Our Sweet Spot

I have such a treat for you all today.  Mary Lauren of My 3 Little Birds is here today as my latest Sluiter Nation Recruit.

I am usually a quiet stalker on Mary Lauren’s blog, and I frequently enjoy her posts at Babble’s Toddler Times. In fact, I was a little intimidated asking her to post here, but she was so gracious and lovely and well…you are going to love her.

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In my earliest memory, I was four years old. It’s more flash than narrative, more a feeling than a storyline, more a dream fragment than substantive recollection. Nevertheless, it’s a peek inside my childhood mind, and one I’m grateful I remember.

It was this time of year— early fall. We lived in a red house on a dead-end street and at four, I was still an only child. I opened the heavy storm door and stepped onto the front porch. There was a faint hint of smoke in the air— a neighbor burning trash, perhaps, on the other side of the hill. As I held onto the wrought-iron banister I said aloud to no one but the trees: I wish I were nine.

At the tender age of four, I was already willing time to speed up. I was willing to give the universe a sacrifice of 5 years, a burnt offering of childhood and why? So that I wouldn’t have to hold onto that banister to make it down the front steps.

At 35 I still will time. I move it forward, just like I did at 4 years old.

Could this day BE any longer?

Is it Friday yet?

Sometimes in my dreams I go backwards too. I think of being single and able to spend half a paycheck at the mall and didn’t have to buy jeans that hid the imperfections of middle age. I think of my blissful first year of marriage in the little first floor apartment where I learned to make meatballs his grandmother’s way (cooked IN the sauce- never baked).

But lately more than anything, I find myself pausing time. I want to freeze it like a movie frame, right before the hero kisses the girl, or on the brink of unlocking a mystery that sends the movie toward its victorious conclusion.

Right here. When she’s three. He’s five. And he’s nine.

Right now, in the house with the cramped second floor we’ll be leaving soon.

Here, in this moment, with its ups and downs, with its pillow fights and temper tantrums and fourth grade homework that makes me crazy.

Right here. This is our sweet spot in life, the dream fragment we’ll look back on one day and say, That. That’s the movie frame image I want to play again and again and again, till the lights in the theatre go out.

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