I’m on a bit of a nostalgic kick at present. Wasn’t it yesterday that I birthed Freya…? She’s nearly a month old now! Or wasn’t it yesterday that I birthed Luna…? Now she’s three and a half years old and talking up a storm (not sure where she got that from *cough*me*cough**cough*). I could go even further back into my memory cache. Yesterday I started college. Yesterday I started Job Corps. Yesterday I left San Marcos for Marshall (not such a nostalgic time in my life, but still). Yesterday I was Luna’s age (again, maybe not such good memories there, but surely there must be some lodge somewhere in the abyss of my subconscious, even if clouded by the memories of having my childhood innocence shattered by sexual deviants).
Luna’s fond of saying things happened “yestiday.” It’s one of her favorite things to talk about.
“You bought this for me yestiday?”
“Yes, Luna, we did purchase that for you…three months ago.”
“You went to store yestiday?”
“Yes, Luna, you and I did go shopping two weeks ago.”
“You spank me for jumping on couch yestiday?”
“Yes, Luna, and every other day this week. *sigh*”
I do love having conversations with her. I was waiting for this point in her life. Yet I’m missing when she was tiny and portable like Freya, when I could put her down and know she’d be where I left her. These days I can’t even trust that Freya will be where I left her, considering the jealous kitten and the helpful big sister. Luna loves holding Freya, so I’m trying to make her feel included by letting her hold Freya only when she’s sitting right next to me on the couch.
But someday Luna will be twenty five, Freya will be twenty two, and I’ll be forty seven. I have friends in their thirties, forties, fifties, and sixties who are doing great and I know a pretty awesome and lively octogenarian that gives me hope that life can be lived energetically decades into it, so I’m not dreading being in my forties, mind you, but I am wondering how quickly twenty two years can go? Twenty two years ago I was a talkative three year old, albeit one with far more knowledge of adult matters than I should have had at that age, but a three year old nonetheless.
I have vague flash-memories of a water-slide made from garbage bags, a big army tent, playing with dogs. Sometimes I’m not sure if things I remember are real memories or photographs superimposed into my subconscious and animated by stories I’ve been told, but when I am trying to sleep at night my childhood comes back (sometimes hauntingly) to my mind.
Recently, a girl I knew from childhood contacted me on facebook and, like the ghost of Christmas past did for Scrooge, I was taken back to a different time in my life: San Marcos, TX, circa late 1990s. Funny how the bullies and the friends I had back then aren’t impacting my life now, though it all seemed of the utmost importance to the preteen version of me. I remember breaking up with my hand-holding-and-sitting-close-on-the-school-bus first boyfriend because people made fun of him–I was already low on the middle-school totem pole and didn’t want to be knocked down even further. I regret that decision now, though likely our relationship wouldn’t have lasted anyway and I ended up with the man that I love now whom I didn’t know back then. It’s just thinking about the things I’ve done and wondering, “What if I’d done this differently?”
If my biological father hadn’t been a pedophile, it’s possible that my mother might’ve stayed married to him. What if he’d never left the air force? What if, after their divorce, my mother didn’t marry his brother? What if I never told on my stepbrother/cousin for what he did to me, and, therefore, didn’t move away from San Marcos when I was twelve? What if I hadn’t done this or that or the other…? But you cannot go back, and, if you could, would you still have what you have now?
I know the answer to all of these what ifs: I wouldn’t have Luna and Freya and Robert and this house and the life I have now. Maybe I’d have been happier at various points along the road, but I wouldn’t have the happiness I do have now. And even when I’m feeling quite down and depressed, I can’t help but find a silver lining in knowing that things will get better eventually–they always do.
Eagles–Life in the fast lane, surely make you lose your mind, life in the fast lane, life in the fast lane, everything all the time, life in the fast lane.