Monday, January 25, 2010

Babies 'R'n't Us Anymore

Abby and I made a whirlwind trip to Babies 'R' Us and the mall this morning while Ben was at school. It's a forty-five minute drive down the mountain and another forty-five minutes back up, which doesn't leave time for much else in a two-and-half-hour window. But we've needed to exchange a few things from Christmas, and since Abby's feeling under the weather, it seemed like a good, mellow morning activity--driving, listening to music, and chatting back and forth about the sights along the way.

It was a strange feeling to walk through Babies 'R' Us, though, like stepping into another time. It was only a few years ago that we seemed to frequent the store nearly as often as the OB's office, picking up gizmos and gadgets and linens and toys and creams and myriad gear for our darlings-to-be. Today, walking through aisles of bouncy seats, swings, bassinets, and exersaucers, all designed to keep babies cozy and comfy and content in those arduous months before they can communicate, I realized that baby territory feels foreign now--distant, almost unfamiliar. In just two years, we have come so far.

I remember it all, without question, but I find myself looking back at those days as history, and I catch myself realizing that this must be how all moms feel looking back, whether at babies or toddlers or teenagers. They've been there, done it all, and probably remember acutely the joy and the trial of each stage, but it is no longer reality, no longer familiar territory, even though they lived there once. This, I think, is where the nostalgia comes from--knowing that it used to be home but is no longer.

I think what struck me most is how far we've come from total dependency. Now, though still dependent in some ways, they are so self-sufficient. They eat, they sleep, they use (or are learning to use) the potty by themselves. They tell me what they need, they identify their feelings, they resolve conflict, they make up games, they entertain themselves, and they're navigating the sometimes bewildering territory of right and wrong. The present is all about conversations and coloring and trips to the park and singing songs and explaining why and handing over a little more responsibility each day.

Anyway, the dichotomy between past and present jolted me this morning, because the transformation occurred so quickly. Two years is not a long time, yet it is enough to change everything. Wild.

So Babies 'R' Us no longer feels like home. Now I feel at home at the library and the park and the zoo and the aquarium and the school and anywhere else in the world that I get to explore with Ben and Abby. Someday, those will no longer feel like home either, but something else will. Maybe even their own home, one day.

And probably sooner than I think, because time does, indeed, fly when you're having fun...

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin