When I met Big Friend, his wardrobe relied a little too heavily on tapered, stone-washed jeans. Or the jean’s “Sunday Best” friend: the tapered, pleated khakis. (And I married him? you ask. Yuppers.) Sometimes being backward is only skin deep. Sometimes being backward is just something to shed and send away in the wash. (Fast forward to now. Dark, boot legged jeans and flat-front khakis. Sometimes moving forward is good, too.)
Motherhood has done something to me. It’s rooted me in the here-and-now, made me give up the belief that both yesterday and tomorrow must be better than today. It’s a change that prior to two years and seven months ago I would have cited as unattainable as learning to speak fluent French in two weeks. Yet here I am. I find myself looking longingly at what’s behind (toothless grins, pureed foods, first steps, milky breath, doll-sized onesies, a head that could be cradled in my palm) at the same time as my eyes tug forward (packing lunch boxes, sleep overs, handing over car keys, giving detailed laundry instructions for dorm washers). The backward and the forward are equally good. They cancel each other out. I’m left with the satisfaction of living in the here and now.
The Now that includes some of this:
And usually wraps up this as well:
Here’s the problem with too much backward. Looking too much backward makes me cling nostalgically to things that really weren’t all that great at the time. Like the nights when Mean Mommy took up residence from the hours of 12 pm to 6 am. (Note: Mean Mommy may have looked just like me, albeit with a snarled pompadour hair-do and Evil-Kinevil eyes, but I swear she’s another beast altogether.) Or like tapered, stone-washed jeans. There are some things just better left in the past.
Motherhood’s taught me that Now can be better than Backward or Forward.