Okay, I’ll admit it. I fell off the blogging earth for a little too long this time. I can blame it on being “busy” and having “so much going on.” But, judging by the amount of Netflix and Amazon Prime shows I’ve binged on this winter, I’m not going to try to kid you with that hooey. I could blame it on the whole “we have a new house and the renovations have been intense.” But those have kind of taken a hiatus for the colder months as well. I could blame it on poor Chewy Gallagher, our new little puppy— but is that really fair? She doesn’t even know I have a blog. How would she know that the time spent picking up her chewed paper towels is really messing with my creativity?
I think it may be more because of the fact that my person exerts so many words a day that I can’t possibly afford to put together the well crafted paragraphs and elegantly worded witticisms that I once was able to. I couldn’t get it together for Thanksgiving, Christmas or even in spirit of the New Year. I started to think that maybe my blogging life was a little bit over— like I had a nice run, but, it’s time to move on.
Then I typed www.shortcutgirl.com into the web browser box. And read a few pieces. And missed it. All of the things that I have been blogging about the past couple years read like a diary. A confession of the hard won victories of parenthood (and life) and the mini victories– the moments when you Just. Nail. It.
This blog is not just a girl who likes to take shortcuts (oh yes, believe me it IS that) but this blog is the evolution of a parent of babies to a parent of toddlers, to a parent of an almost-kindergartener (I know, I can’t even…). It’s been a safe haven for me to make sense of the unsettling nature of your first parenting experiences as well as a place for me to express my own A-ha! moments when it comes to my friendships, my body, my husband and the most important relationship you have sometimes—the relationship you have with yourself.
Just like when you read your diary from childhood, I look back on some of these posts and see things I don’t remember. Behaviors my children had, phases I had trouble getting through and most of all very vivid and descriptive memories of my children in what seems like just a blink of time.
So, here I am back at it and today’s topic is not all that random. It’s what this blog provides me with, what I like to feast on as I look back through the entries from the past three years. I am a memory junkie. I feast on them through photos and old videos. I like to keep track of all of the little intricacies of life–sayings, trips, traditions, phrases that you share with just a couple family members. I was surprised to find recently a memory book I made for my husband to sum up our year together when we were dating. There were things photographed and written in there that I barely even remembered myself. Now, I have always been sentimental about the photos and words people share with me but have been happy to find out recently that people are also sentimental about the words I share with them (a college friend recently told me she saved every card I ever wrote her in college—- how much I would like to read all of those cards!)
Memories with your children are different. Each thing you do with them and for them becomes a memory that they will relay to you at a later date. That looooonng car ride on vacation or that day when the puppy tore up the couch cushions (didn’t happen and WON’T happen, got it?) are all a part of who they are. Everything from your dinner conversation to the way you say good night to them is a big, fat, deposit in their memory bank. A slice of family-life-as-a-kid for them to feast on for years to come. A reflection of you as a parent.
What’s really gotten to me lately is the idea that in a few short years, my kids won’t be at my ankles in the kitchen while I cook. They won’t be homework free playing in their pajamas downstairs at 6 pm. They won’t be begging to play with the dog rather than sit at the table and eat dinner. These deposits, the ones of the pre-K, not yet school aged years are limited. In the next two years, I will send both kids off to school and (gulp) be wrangling homework and backpacks and parent-teacher conferences. Pretty soon the noisy after school banter of brother and sister will be traded for the hum of ear buds and music played behind closed doors.
My memory bank already feels like it is bursting at the seams, no room for more deposits of funny stories or toddler talk or silly malapropisms. Even so, I will keep up my own deposits. Taking little mind snapshots and short videos in order to preserve, to hold tight and really feel the payoff of each memory. The idea that with these people you created and are somehow expected to guide through life, you have a wealth of history to withdrawal from any time you wish.