On a recent trip to Wisconsin my youngest granddaughter took her turn in the red dress, a family tradition going on 45+ years (see One Red Dress, Seven Little Girls).
Spending time with my granddaughters and my son and daughter-in-law reminds me of my own time as a young mother. I remember well the seemingly endless days with my son when he was a new baby. He was an easy baby by any standard, but as a new mom I sometimes felt like time was standing still. So many tasks became repetitive in a way I’d never experienced before. The future seemed to stretch out forever and I couldn’t imagine my baby being a father of two little girls, living several states away and connected to me by something called face-time via a smart phone and Facebook via a personal computer, yet rarely face-to-face in the same room.
Now as a grandmother to a one-year-old and her big sister I have a real appreciation for the adage “the days are long, the years are short”. Something does happen to time as you age. The days are not really so long anymore, but the years are much shorter! And that eternity that seemed to exist has been filled in by a lot of living, as well as a realization of the finite.
Photos can reinforce memories and fill in some of the spaces where those memories may have faded, but I also like having something more tactile to occasionally handle. And while none of the items I’ve stored away will achieve the history and power of the red dress, they are sweet reminders of long days long ago.