When I heard people talk about Timehop, I thought they meant when Facebook greets you with these “x years ago today” memories. Apparently that’s just called Facebook Memories, and Timehop is an app — which I don’t need, since I have Facebook, right?
This “7 years ago today” picture was in my Facebook feed the other day. The baby in the picture is 8 now, and the 8-year-old holding her is 15. My eldest and my youngest are exactly 7 years apart, to the day, so a “7 years ago” picture of the two of them is especially poignant.
Life with teenagers (I have two at the moment) is very different from life with babies. One thing that’s different is that you can blog about babies and post pictures of them on social media without their permission. Even when mine were babies, though, I was cognizant of the fact that they wouldn’t always be, and what parents write about little ones might not sit so well with them later.
Yesterday was a lousy day. I can’t say why here, because the story is not solely mine to tell. It involves one of my daughters. A therapist friend says it shows “good boundaries” that I get the older ones’ permission before posting pictures of them or anything about them on Facebook. Boundaries. Staying in our own lanes. Driving through the emotional wilderness of life.
Seven years from now, my 8-year-old, the baby in this picture, will be 15, driving with a learner’s permit. My 15-year-old will be 22, out of college (hopefully) and…and I have no idea. She’ll be a grown woman, and she’ll be doing whatever she wants to. Seven years after that, they’ll all be between 29 and 22, and I may be a grandmother.
When that day comes, I wonder if there will still be a Facebook to hop back through time and remind me of today. In the meantime, I want to savor each and every one of the years I have left with my girls still at home. Of course, this means enduring not-so-great days like yesterday. But that’s life, whose light we perceive and appreciate only because of its contrast with the shadows. Hopping back is all well and good, but I want to walk forward, through both the light and the shadows.