"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

one day

It's a Sunday evening and the dirt road is awash in the fading sunlight of a summer's-end day. The two boys fly ahead on bikes and Janie tries to engage them in some sort of competition. Annie pushes the stroller lulling Charlotte to sleep as Celia walks alongside amiably chatting.

The man beside me has one hand in mine as the other pulls the wagon bearing Eliza wrapped in a blanket to ward off mosquitoes.

"Daddy ... One day ... I saw a kyab at the beach," she begins her story for the hundred millionth time in that sweet, little, sing-song voice. It's the same crab story she's related to every individual she's encountered over the last two weeks. Each and every time we've smiled at the recitation adoringly.

"Will I always remember this?" I say to Newel beside me.

It occurs to me that I struggle to recollect the taller ones swirling around me as little bitties. There are pictures but the actual memories are harder to recall. In the moment, I think hard about each individually and the fog is thicker than I care to admit.

"Not as well as you would like," he voices the awful truth.

And it's happening faster and faster.

Teenage children crowding my kitchen at the end of a long school day, spill stories of crushes, friend conflicts, and daily drama.

Celia, turning in response to her name being called by a friend, slams straight into the chest of a cute boy at school making it the best. day. EVER.

A girl named Miranda, grabs Christian's arm and pens hearts all the way from hand to elbow. He's clueless as to why.

A best friend is insulted by a third party and Annie has spent the day helping her rise above petty nastiness by encourage a 'we're better than this' attitude.

Golly ... play dough and finger paints were once the biggest daily highlights.

On the other end, there's a baby who so satisfyingly fits into the crook of my arm to sleep. She's content like she was always meant to be there. Like this is her spot. She doesn't know it was many other's spot long before it was hers.

But the mental image of those days is not nearly so vivid as I'd like.

She's already passed from that squishy, fragile stage to a more sturdy one. The one where, for fleeting moments eye contact is made, eyebrows raise in recognition, a genuine smile spreads, and her chest puffs up, straining for who knows what. To form unattainable words? To desperately control a body still herky jerky? Slow down baby. All of that will come.

"Will I always remember this?" I ask myself to the echoes of "Not as well as you would like".

It bounces around painfully in a space deep inside. A space, perhaps lacking in detailed recollection and yet, hopefully, filled with the sound of sweet, little, voices speaking in sing-song tones.

"Daddy ... One day ... I saw a kyab."


  1. Very well said. I started our family blog as a way to keep in touch with family when we moved across country. But more and more, I want it to capture those little moments that I know I will forget or have already forgotten with our older kids. It's all so fleeting. Your kids are very blessed that one day when they read your blog as adults or to their kids, it will conjure of the most vivid of images and rekindle their memories and instill in them some of life's lessons.

  2. Beautiful Marlowe! Those memories won't be lost forever. One day we'll be able to remember with crystal clarity. I can't wait until that day!
    Love you and miss you!

  3. love this. and i really want that sweet baby. i have got to find a way to get me one.

  4. poignant marlowe! thanks for taking the time to jot it all down. time is fleeting. so sad. beautiful too as it causes us to cherish it as well as we can!