Loops of Time


Sometimes it just comes back around and smacks me right in the head. Sometimes I think I’m perfectly balanced and no longer feeling the pangs of the old empty nest.

Then it just jumps up, grabs me by the throat and shakes me like a wolf taking down a limp old rabbit.

I still miss my kids. I still miss my Mommy days.

The other day we were down in our basement playroom. There are a bunch of old toys down there. Old games, old books, some aging camping equipment. And a few old photos.

My Ellie reached out to one of those photos and asked, “Who is that boy? Is he my cousin?”

“Who is that boy?”

My heart stopped, took a deep breath, started itself back up again.

“That’s your Uncle Matt.” I told my granddaughter. “That’s what he looked like when he was…..(your age? My little one? My sweet tiny boy?)….when he was about 4.”

And I held that frame in my hand.

I could hear his laugh. I could feel the warm sun on my shoulders. I could feel, as if it was right there under my palms, the smooth soft texture of his back. His golden silky hair.

He was my boy. My baby.

My eyes filled with tears.

I know. I know that my boy is not gone, although in the ways that matter to my Mommy heart, he is.

My beautiful golden haired boy is still here. Still a huge part of my life. Still in my heart and my thoughts every day. He is happy, grown, in love, loving and fulfilled.

I couldn’t have wished for anything more.

Except that in that tiny moment, when Ellie asked me about the smiling boy in the photo, I wanted THAT little boy back. Just for a minute. Just for a heartbeat.

That little boy who loved me so and who smiled with just joy as he played with a ball on a hot summer day.

We all move forward, every single day. We look to the future with love and hope. We grow, we learn, we continue to become the people we hope will be our best selves.

But every once in a while, time simply loops itself back and we are face to face with the moments that have passed us by.

I love my current life. I love the idea of my future.

But oh, how I’d love another chance to cuddle that sweet boy.

9 thoughts on “Loops of Time

  1. Aww … I know that feeling I wish I could reach out and give you a hug myself to make you feel better lol. . I use to love how my daughter would look at me with her big brown eyes and have such confidence I knew all the answers . And stand by me at family functions as close to my side as she could .. and then my son my little boy always giving me the best hugs and loved to be rocked or on my lap snuggling into me . Yes I too look at pics and get overwhelmed . Life sure does move forward … a bit too fast .

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    • Weird how strong that mother love is….Once I had a dream that i was able to go back in time, just for one afternoon. My kids were little. I was in the room with them, loving them and having fun, but painfully aware that it was only for a short short time. Worst/best dream of my life.

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  2. Sob….so true, Karen…and wait until it’s your grandkids who have grown into teenagers and tower over you…you’ll feel the sadness even more and wish you could turn back time for just a bit…keep the faith, friend…I feel your pain.

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  3. Sob…and wait until it’s your grandkids, now teenagers and towering over you, who you miss so much as babies…your sense of yearning for the past will be multiplied two-fold…I feel your pain, friend…keep the faith and keep on moving forward…it’s all you can do…but, on a positive note, we just had our girls and grand girls here for a visit, and Molly, 13, delighted in hearing stories of her baby days and her sibs, too, plus Mom’s and Aunt Wendy’s…we are the keepers of the stories and need to share them with the loved ones coming after us…you are doing it in your wonderful blog posts and inspiring me to write more “from the heart” essays…

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    • Thank you, my friend!Mostly I am delighted to be in this wonderful phase; my adult kids are thriving, both sons are in love with wonderful women, Kate is happily married. I count my blessings, over and over again, every single day. But those photos….. I love seeing the photos of Heather’s kids! All of them are so beautiful and still as full of spirit and spark. Love to all of you!

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