If my life were a movie, in it, I would be standing there, holding my newborn baby. I would blink and then a sweeping, spinning rotation of the camera would highlight images of Brendan as a baby, then a toddler, then an older boy. It would all be beautifully shot, with sunlight glinting and glaring through a canopy of spring and autumn leaves. In an instant, I'd open my eyes and see standing before me my college-aged son, handsome and smiling. It would all take place in the blink of an eye.
That's what my life feels like today.
To me, it seems like yesterday that I stood inside our church, holding him as the priest poured holy water over his tiny little head and anointed him with chrism. Sunlight streamed through a skylight at the very moment the priest anointed him and shone on his peaceful, sleeping face.
I remember holding Brendan in those first few weeks of his life, overcome with emotion and feeling unworthy of this gift I had been given by God and thinking that he was not just a gift from God, but was of God, an extension of the Creator, embodying everything that is good and holy.
That moment that stands out so vividly against a blur of 2:00 a.m. feedings, diaper changes, and hormones feels like yesterday or last week, not six years ago.
Yet, here we are. Summer 2009. And my baby has his first loose tooth.
When he discovered it last night, I was really excited for him and a little panicky because I'm not sure what the going rate is for the tooth fairy and I knew I had no cash. I was hoping it wouldn't come out for a day or two more.
After that initial reaction, it only took a few moments for sentiment to overtake me and bring me here, to this place where it feels like it's all going so fast. Too fast. Where I feel like such an ungrateful heel for the times I've complained about lack of sleep or lack of place and space and lost identity. Where I wish I had never lost a moment of joy to depression or fear or sorrow.
So what to do? Let it go. That's all I can do. Any time spent on regret for the mistakes of my past would just be more wasted time. All I can do is embrace the here and now. Be here. Be present. Be positive. Roll with the punches and do the best I can. Love my boys. Love their dad. Love myself. Just keep livin'.
And figure out how this whole tooth fairy thing works.