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Thursday, 21 June 2012

Finite Beings In An Infinite World




The other day when I enthralled you all with my word portrait of our growing William, I kept thinking of so many more things that I want to remember when these lightning fast years have raced by.  And race they will, if my friends and other parents with older or grown children are right, it's a matter of blinking and you're taking them to their first day of school with a perfect new lunchbox and a spirit not yet wounded (hopefully) by other children's ridicule or unkindness.  And all the hope in the world that life will be good, so unbearably good for them.  That their innocence will last.  That no one will hurt them, ever.  But even as you wish it, you know this wish won't come true.  Blink again and they've grown and you're in your house on your own and it's very still and very quiet and there are no children's toys anywhere and no smudges on the windows or building blocks in the toilet or small cars in your shoes and suddenly you have all the time in the world for those things you used to wish desperately you had more time to do.

It's probably because it's his birthday tomorrow that I feel as though each moment is graced with a sort of poignancy.  I always have felt deep, unexplainable regret at the official markings of passing time.  New Years Eve used to fill me almost with a kind of sorrow at the thought of the year disappearing, birthdays while happy occasions, remind me of simple, precious moments that are lost as the calender page turns.  You go out into the world and nobody knows that you used to be a child.  Maybe that makes no sense but it's how I've always felt.  That when it's Christmas or someone's birthday or any other special day you had better make it count from start to finish and say always make sure to say "I love you" one last time before bed...let the person, whether a child, parent, or friend, know how much they mean to you.  Because it is all so finite. 

I think I think too much.

But I am often prey to sudden and deep surges of feeling over mundane things.  Like yesterday evening, we went out shopping for balloons and little things for William's birthday and in the mall, he was racing ahead of us and he still runs kind of funny.  Like the fact he doesn't fall over is pure chance.  Arms waving and legs propelling him forward with lurching motion.  As he ran he was laughing this huge, free laugh that was just pure energy and joy.  I think only children know how to laugh in such a way.  I could see his little brown feet in his sandals and that his hair was sticking out all over his head and that he still has chubby rolls at the back of his neck and as he laughed and shouted "weeeeeeeeeeeeee" (because it was just so fun apparently) and I laughed too but I also felt a sudden and deep sense of loss already for the time in the future when this little boy as we know him this very moment will disappear.  I can't explain it better than that.

Today we went on one of our long and leisurely walks downtown and on the way home we sat on a bench by the harbor to eat our yogurts.  There were two people fishing and as we sat they both caught fish and took the fish off their hooks and let them flop to death on the pier.  I am the sort of person who is bothered by things like this (I can't help it:) but I don't think fishing is wrong of course and I didn't want to turn William against something he might possibly enjoy as he grows up a bit so I didn't say anything at all.  But as wild a little man as William is, he has a really sweet heart.  I saw him look over at the fish and he put one hand over his heart and said "Fish is hurt Mommy.  Poor, poor fish."  Then he sat there for a long time with his little dirty hand on his heart repeating "Poor fish...poooooor fish...oh, hurt...hurt fish...fish go i water"  And I thought for all his stubbornness and  noise and the fact that he occasionally succeeds in frustrating me until I actually cry, he has a gentle heart.  I'm not sorry.:)

The name William actually means "strong defender".  That was one of the reasons we chose it.  I hope that he lives up to his name and is brave, strong, kind, and a defender at any cost of those who need defending. 



16 comments:

Barbara said...

Happy Birthday to your little man. I feel the same emotions when I realize that another year has passed. I always wonder if I have done enough to enjoy all of the moments. Your William will live up to his name, he sounds like he already has a great soul.

Rathi said...

This is such a beautiful post Colleen... happy and yet I understand how it is know that all these moments will go away to make way for newer moments... I hope William all the wishes as he enters into his next year... :)

Lots of hugs and kisses

JANU said...

Happy Birthday to William. Beautiful post..:-)

Brian Miller said...

the name seems to fit...smiles....hunting or fishing is one thing..being cruel is another...and just letting them die on the bank is not good at all...i hope william has a wonderful birthday!

Corinne Rodrigues said...

The rat story and the fish story show how compassionate he is, Colleen and I can see how his Mommy is influencing him. ♥

Marie said...

He`s a cutie♥, Colleen. Happy birthday to him. Only 10 days and I see my sweetheart again. I`m so exciting and full of joy:)

Marie said...

Ups, Marie = Marlies

Colleen said...

Marlies I am SO happy for you!!! Please give Anna-Lena and canada my love!:) Have a wonderful time and safe journey! I can't believe the year has flown by so fast! Love to you all, Colleen

Felisol said...

Dear Colleen,
I'm also glad William has and gentle heart and is being raised by an equal gentle mother.
How lucky he is in his innocence, not even knowing that he is lucky. Always being surrounded by love and care.

As for you, you must be Serina's sister soul. She has mourned by New Year and birthdays since she was five. "Oh, mother, I want the old year to last longer." And that was one of the many wishes and could not fulfill.
She enjoys birthday celebrations, but not the fact that one more year of her life has gone.

I've never really thought or felt like that, but because of Serina, I understand you.

Glad you are considering becoming a fostermom. There are so many children in our rich, but oh, so materialistic country who need buckets of love.

mary333 said...

No, you don't "think too much". You think just right. Each passing day is a "little death" for moms I think. I guess we are blessed to be able to store up memories in our hearts - that's a wonderful gift. I remember bawling my eyes out on Michaela's first day of school because time flies by too quickly and it felt like just the other day I was cradling her in my arms. We can't stop the passage of time but we can cherish each moment of the time given to us.

William's name has a beautiful meaning. I believe God gives us grace and inspires our heart on what to name our children when we take this kind of care choosing it.

melissa said...

I missed William along with you! Happy birthday little one.

You actually inspire me and in God's own time, I pray for this beautiful things too :)

He's so soft and gentle ~ I do love this boy. I think that it's mother's instinct to hold him forever but he's growing and there's a need to give him space for that too :) You are doing great Colleen :) ~ Lots of love to you both :*

Joyful said...

What a cute photo of your little one. He sounds so sweet and gentle hearted. Happy Birthday to him. xx

Rachna said...

Happy Birthday William! You and I are so alike in so many ways. I am extra hyper at anyone's birthday wanting to make them feel special and wish them well one more time. His sensitivity reminds me of that exhibited by my elder son, Siddharth! Isn't that a great quality to have? A hearthwarming post this!

Crown of Beauty said...

This is such a heartwarming post, dear Colleen. William's name was chosen well. I am sure he will be a strong defender of the abused and the marginalized.

At that young age, he understood what the poor fish was going through. He felt it in his spirit.

Happy Birthday, Strong Defender. You will surely be a valuable asset to society as you grow up.

Much love
Lidia

Zuzana said...

Dear Colleen, so happy to see you back blogging again.;) What a magnificent post, it is like you wrote down my sentiments. I feel the same way about time and it's passing, as the celebration that although happy occasion always fill me with melancholy, knowing they are also an end to a period in our lives.
I also love reading about your moments with your son, observing him grow and change.
Have a lovely weekend,
xoxo

Peggy said...

Colleen, enjoy every moment of these days with Wiliam. I am in that stage where they re grown and gone with children of their own that I don't get to see often enough Nad the house is quiet and I have too much time on my hands. so enjoy every single minute. iIt's a blessed time.