A day six years in the making

Time expands and then contracts….

Bryan and I have long disagreed on the meaning of this particular line from Hard Candy by Counting Crows. He thinks it means certain periods of time seem to last forever, while others of the same length just fly by. I think it means that in the moment, it may seem like time stretches out, but when you look back, you can’t believe how quickly it passed. Perception versus reality, I suppose.

Looking at these photos of Ava from the past six years drives this point home for me.

It took this child almost two years to say a two-syllable word. I thought I’d perish before I finally heard her first sentence. At the time, potty training most certainly took forever.

Remember when Ava cut her own bangs? I thought they’d never grow back. And, the phase when she would only sleep (horizontally, and between us) in our bed? AGES.

But now? Could it have really been six years ago? Because it feels like yesterday.

But it’s quite obvious much has transpired in those six years. Now, Ava talks like a grown up. She mimics grown-up behavior. She rolls her eyes at her father, pleads to have her ears pierced, and reads absolutely anything you put in front her. She’s questioned the origin of life, and whether or not a punishment is fair. She has her own fashion sense, rocking plaids with prints and owning it completely. She’s fiercely independent.

And, yet, she’s still quite little, at least in the sense that she needs reassurance, she needs comforting, and she needs to be near us. Sometimes, I honestly forget that she is still a child, that she still needs to be held.

When she reminds me, I scoop her up, limbs everywhere, and hold her close. In that moment, time expands, and then, all to quickly, contracts.

11 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Doug Smith on March 24, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Beautifully written, Rebecca. She is a doll!

  2. Posted by Rebecca on March 24, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Thank you, Doug! (And, I believe at least two of these photos are yours…)

  3. Posted by Rebecca's Mom on March 24, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Happy Birthday, dear Ava! You have certainly changed our lives in so many, very special ways.

    Six years? Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday you visited Gramma and Papa’s house for the first time, a tiny little infant napping on our big bed. And last weekend when I picked you up to pull some buds off the tree so you could plant them in the backyard, all legs and arms!

    Always know how proud we are of you and how much you are loved by us!

  4. Posted by Liana on March 24, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Wonderful entry, Rebecca. Happy birthday, Ava!

  5. Posted by Laura on March 24, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Happy birthday, dear Ava! We love you so much, sweet girl, and wish we were there to celebrate with you today all over again!

    Rebecca, this made me cry. Although Eliza and Hazel are still much smaller, I get scared sometimes about how hard it will be to remember them just as they were at this moment or that. That’s why I love the photos you posted from each year — I can hardly believe little Ava at 2 years old!!

  6. Posted by Katie on March 24, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    A beautiful post, and a beautiful girl. Happy Birthday, Ava! Love you lots!

  7. Posted by Dawn on March 24, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Have the best birthday ever, Ava!

  8. Posted by Karyl on March 24, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Happy Birthday, dear Ava! Rebecca, this is such a wonderful post – it is truly amazing how quickly the years pass – Ava is such a beautiful little – big girl! We love her so much!!!!!

  9. This made me cry Becca. Beautiful post. The moments of my life, long, short or otherwise are happier since Ava was born.

  10. Posted by Gramma Great on March 25, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    We’re a day late sending birthday wishes to Ava. We so enjoyed the party and spending time with everyone, especially the birthday girl! What a beautiful post this is. We are all so blessed to have Ava in our lives. Belated Happy Birthday Dear Ava!

  11. […] Olivia and I spent the morning at Quail Run for Kindergarten Roundup, and yet again, I found myself in a rather confusing state when it comes to this sweet girl. On one hand, it seems astonishing to me that she’s just now reaching this milestone. On the other, while she is already five, she is a very young five. Time expands and then contracts, I suppose. […]

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