Back Up

Who knew a Tuesday afternoon apt. at the Genius Bar would hand me such heavy heart.

My laptop, or what's become a nasty thorn in my side the past month or so since bogging down in what seemed to be an overnight regression, making any kind of communication on the web a slow and painful daily process, was finally diagnosed - via a helpful, bearded man behind the counter at the Apple store conducting the diagnostics test - who told me that my hard drive was just about "done." And then assured me my external back up had made a successful run and would now house the past three years of my life to allow a fresh start on my newly cleared out macbook. A clean slate he said. With the promise of all of my old swift operations back in place. After the non stop battle with that damn spinning beach ball turning carelessly, hopelessly, after every few words I typed, was music to my ears.

In the meantime, I decided to purchase a new keyboard to hook up to my old desktop so I could stay on top of things (to a degree) until I get the revamped laptop back in my arms. But powering on the old one tossed me late last night deep into the rabit hole of 'Ole. Stuck scouring hundreds of photos stemming from the birth of new babies, to birthday parties and beach days. Old friend, happy times. Sad times. My sweet Leon in the hospital with RSV, past vacations, new beginnings and everything else that happened to us in between during the first few years we became parents. I was up way past midnight watching videos of the boys as wobbly babbling toddlers. Learning to walk, learning to hit, to talk and complain. Wondering how, in the blink of an eye they all turned from babies to boys. And knowing full and well how quickly time will take them from little boys to grown men. It made me miss them young, the way old home videos are meant to. To stir up those settling memories that fire up forgotten corners of your heart. But it also sparked reminders of how hard life was during those first few years. How chaotic our house hold felt, how difficult it was to keep them all fed and clean and happy and loved on a daily basis. How exhausted, and proud, and confused, and worried, and happily entertained I was in the midst of it all.

And then I finally flipped it off. And slipped back to bed reconsidering what I think I've always accepted and understood: that to be a mother, and watch them grow will always be marked with bitter sweet emotion. And that some of the hard times that come to pass should be counted as small victories themselves. I was reminded of how I cried for a year worrying that Leon would never walk, now I catch him racing around the playground when I stop to drop off his lunch. How I wondered if Rex would ever wear anything other than an old man's sneer and now he's one of the funniest people I know. How I scolded Arlo time and time again for pulling apart so many things as a toddler and now see that he was always learning. Teaching himself to dig a little deeper and is now one of the brightest kids in his class.

So for now, the photos will continue to pour in with that back up there as savior to catch what overflows. And I am fully ready for a fresh start, a blank space to fill up with pieces of our life the way it plays out now, all over again.