in which your intrepid blogger gives in to dramatic nostalgia and weeps.

March 28, 2011

every now and then, after my kids are asleep, i’m filled with a deep sense of nostalgic longing as well as intense worry and regret. i think back to my day with them, or the last hundred days with them, and i wonder if i couldn’t have been more patient, more attentive, more involved (or less involved!), and just generally done a better job.

then, if i should accidentally stumble upon this song (or some reasonable facsimile thereof),

as happens more often than you would think possible for an out of season holiday tune, i will end up crying.

i hate the feeling, but i am consumed by it often at night; the feeling that i should have done something different for these children, that i could have somehow seized more and greater opportunities to show them my love and their inherent wonderfulness. i hate the feeling because i know it is a) unnecessary (my kids are absolutely without a doubt FINE) b) unhelpful (when was the last time weeping over vague notions of missed opportunities improved my current situation?) and c) somewhat ridiculous and self-indulgent.

i wonder about things i could have done better, and i also dwell mournfully on incredibly happy times, times spent playing with little baby #1 in a hardshell cooler full of water in the sun as San Francisco Bay Area sunshine and breezes play around us, times spent sniffing the intoxicating baby hair of little baby #2 while he giggles at the funny piggy noises…

and now i wonder how i can feel such intense pangs of loss about happy times that are demonstrably still possible with my cute and charming children.

and i wonder if parents a hundred years ago, or on other parts of our planet today, have any time for navel-gazing whining looks back on their children’s toddlerhood, or if this is part of one of those modern consumerist rich society historical blips i try to point out occasionally to my kids so they aren’t too surprised if things up and change, and what it means that i’m choosing to spend time writing about this now with everything else going on in my life, my community, my city, the world…

i don’t have a lot of answers tonight, or even well formulated questions. i’m glad you aren’t paying to read this, and yet… i’ve talked to lots of other parents who feel these things sometimes (like my dear friend who cries during a wide variety of commercials). and really this feeling is like the sore tooth you can’t help but press your tongue against.

“i think there must be something wrong with me, Linus…”

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