It's a silly thing, isn't it, Nostalgia? Me, I'm nostalgic for almost everything. I find change incredibly difficult, and letting go of anything causes me a lot of grief. To whit, the piles of baby clothes carefully folded away in our loft. And the fact I cried when my sister in law picked up the family cradle a couple of weekends ago. And yes, I know that's not nostalgia, but I have a point, honest I do.
A few minutes ago I brushed my teeth, washed my face, and wandered in and out of the bedroom and bathroom, tidying and putting my suit away, getting ready for bed. I'd just been upstairs to gently nudge Junior awake enough to take his medicine (tonsillitis, the latest in a stream of lurgies which has visited our house recently). And I came down and the absence of the cradle in the bay window suddenly seemed utterly visceral. It will never be there again. I will never creep around when I'm getting ready for bed, concerned about disturbing my tiny baby. I'll never wake in this bed again, hearing those powerful newborn demands for food, and stumbling in the dark to the cradle to pick up my swaddled infant.
And it felt like such a big loss, such a huge thing to let go of. At the same time, I can remember at a factual level how awful those early weeks were, the utter utter tiredness, the lack of rationality, my feeling that I'd lost that precious relationship with Pob. I remember, but I don't remember how it felt, just that it was true. And so that leaves me with the feeling of loss, a weird loss because I don't want it back, exactly, I just want it not to be gone forever. I want a baby to wear those clothes, sleep in our room again, but I know that at the same time we are going to be happier as a family of four than I ever dreamed we could be, and almost certainly happier than as a family of five (as if that was even possible). I don't want another baby, but I do, oh I do.
So it is Nostalgia. a bittersweet yearning for something past. I yearn for those months of being on leave, having lots and lots of unstructured time with my children, for the tiny baby that Junior was, for learning to be a family of four. I yearn for it even while I know that parts of it were miserable, that the person Junior is now is in many ways so much more fun, more loveable. I'm not sure I'm ever going to lose that Nostalgia. I'm sure other things will replace it. But being nostalgic is a strong part of my personality, and this is such a profound shift in my life that I think it will always be there. I'll always miss the babies they were, even as they delight me with the new things they can do. That's my lot from now on, and I'm lucky, oh so lucky, I get the luxury of feeling this way. Of feeling this sad and this hopeful, of holding all those feelings in place at the same time.