Last night I decided to punish myself and watch ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ again. I’ve seen it before and know how it makes me feel. If you’ve ever seen it, you know- and probably understand where this post is going. If you haven’t seen it, you should, but please don’t hold it against me.
On top of that movie, on my mind as of late is obviously the shedding of 2014 and the anniversary of my grandmother’s passing in 2011. These three things together share a common bond when it comes to remembering, missing, and obviously marking the passage of time and saying goodbye. They’re all sort of sad like Benjamin Button himself.
Nothing really makes me all bummed out like watching that movie. I get sad when I think about how the two main characters live for a few short blips in the days or years together- and might not have realized how wonderful they had it. Until later.
I think about that sort of thing a lot. I think about the houses we lived in, the places we have been, the struggles we’ve had. Last night while I was watching this movie- during a commercial break I check my phone and see a friend in a Facebook group posted a photo of a cute puppy and asked us to remind her again why not to get a dog. Friends started commenting with photos of their pet’s destruction and I had to jump on the bandwagon with mine. After all, I had this gem circa 2008 of Napa & Henry’s damage:
So in order to do that, I had to skim through my entire Fb photo history. That in itself was about as heart wrenching as the movie playing before me. I scrolled past photos of days that feel like decades ago- moving overseas, life when the twins were little, when they were born. Brody as a toddler, Brody being born. All of these images (which I have to admit- I was a photo posting whore back then) squeezed my heart.
I was reminded that those snapshots have passed, yes. And the time that we are IN is here. But before I know it this too will be a part of the past. Before I know it, it’s going to be 20 years from now and I am going to be going back, looking at photos of today and wistfully wishing I could return. Back to when my boys were little- and insisted on sitting atop me on the couch. I know that time is coming. I know it. The funny thing is I don’t dread it, nor welcome it. I just kind of accept it as fact, for what else can I do? I do not worry about ‘giving them enough attention’. I do not worry about spending too much time on social media, or in any way not giving them enough of me. I’m a great mother to them. I do not doubt that for a minute. It’s something else.
I watched the characters in the film pass each other by in periods of life. It was those simple blips they shared that made me the most sad. I don’t know why. Time passes, we all know that. ‘Living in the moment’ and all that yadda yadda talk. We all know that song and dance. There are thousands of mushy blog posts out there to remind you of ‘being present’ and the like. To be honest, if you can’t figure out that that sort of thing is important, reading someone’s jabbering about it on a blog isn’t going to help you. You either get it or you don’t.
I get it. I do. Hence I’m here trying to work out if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
I look back on pictures and miss those blips of my own. I know that I wrung every drop of contentment out of sitting there bleary eyed and exhausted- a baby or two on my lap. Bicycling in the Netherlands. Wandering about in Rome. Driving somewhere in Germany. I never resented/wasted/took for granted any of it… so again I ask- what good does it do me now to wallow in it? Or is this the appreciating part?
I don’t mean to sound negative. I’m not trying to bum you out. I assume that you, whoever you are is also out there appreciating what wonderful things have happened to you in your life- and if you don’t, well. That’s a shame. I guess what I’m getting at is the difficulty I’m having is reconciling the good of the past, staying in that ‘magical moment’ AND looking forward to the future at the same time. I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know if I want to do that either.
So thanks again, Benjamin Button for messing with my head and reminding me that life is super short. Harrumph.