Editing

Did any of you ever watch Everybody Loves Raymond? I’m seeing a few hands go up in the back.

I’ve seen every episode. If you watched the series, you probably remember the ridiculous (ly funny) episodes surrounding Robert and Amy’s wedding (spoiler alert, Robert and Amy got married. Like ten years ago). Anyway, there are a lot of things that go wrong. Amy’s brother intentionally doesn’t pick up the priest to try and ruin the wedding. Marie stands up and gives a speech about how maybe they shouldn’t get married DURING THE CEREMONY. Frank was Frank.

By the time Robert and Amy make it to their reception they walk in like two shell-shocked scarecrows. Basically the whole thing was a disaster (as sitcom weddings are wont to be).

When it comes time for Ray to give his best man toast he talks about how the best thing Amy and Robert can do is employ some editing when they’re saving the memories of the day. Maybe forget about Marie interrupting the ceremony and Frank complaining about the lack of a free bar.

Ray finishes his toast with:

I remember my wedding day as the day that I got to kiss the most beautiful girl in the world. I think she remembers it. At least I hope she does. It was a good day. The start of a lot of good memories. We completely blotted out the part where Mom was hangin’ onto my pants leg yelling “Don’t go! don’t go!” Yeah. We didn’t save those pictures. Just the good ones. Just the good ones.”

Last night I was incredibly melancholy. Charlie is really officially seriously teething, so she spends a lot of the day yelling at me and just generally unhappy, and it’s the first thing that I can’t fix with a tight swaddle or a boob, or a nap. Teething just sucks. Cold stuff works for a minute or two. Then it doesn’t work. Teethers are the same. We’re not napping well, sleeping well, eating well. None of it.

And yesterday we spent literally the whole afternoon hanging baby pictures. I now have a wall of Charlie. And the pictures are all from our newborn shoot, when she was so tiny. And last night as I sat and stared at the wall of Charlie, I begin to miss that feeling in an visceral sort of way. I don’t want her to teeth, because I don’t want to lose that tiny baby gummy smile. Every moment and milestone is just a step away from the happiest second of my life, which is when she was put in my arms.

Here’s the thing-I miss my newborn. I don’t want ANOTHER newborn (at least not right now), I just want to go back 4.5 months and hold mine again. I don’t want a new baby, I want new baby Charlie.

And this probably sounds awful because I don’t want to trade 4.5 month old Charlie in for newborn Charlie, I just want to have magical time traveling power so that I can go back and hold her when she was that small again. I love 4.5 month old Charlie. I love her giggles and her smiles, and her cuddles and even her trickiness.

And I know that I have edited out so much about those early days. I’ve edited out the bathroom struggles, the breastfeeding heartache, the literal shaking that would occur when someone else held my baby too long. I’ve edited out the few nights we had where I didn’t know how to make her happy and I’d wake Chief up crying. i’ve edited out how scared I was. It’s all fuzzy. It’s on the cutting room floor. In a few more months I may not remember it at all.

Editing means that in a few months I probably won’t remember these early days of teething that are so hard on all of us. I won’t remember crying in the front seat of the car tonight because I can’t seem to make my girl happy right now. I won’t remember sitting melancholy on the couch desperate to feel newborn Charlie in my arms again. Editing means I’ll hold onto the good ones.

Just the good ones.

  

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9 thoughts on “Editing

  1. Well your wall looks beautiful! In the end I think one of the greatest gifts of parenting is that editing process. For every age there will be ups and downs and pros and cons. There will be something so special about every age you would never want to backtrack, and something missing that makes your heart ache and your guts hurt, that you wish you could revisit a hundred thousand times. I think it’s maybe hardest in the 3-6 month age, when you’re really seeing they aren’t the newborn they were yesterday, but they aren’t quite the fireballs they will be. My niece was the love of my life from the minute she was born, and those 3-6 months were like, STOP! But then she just got to be so much fun and had so much personality… No way would I trade in a day with 20 month old Everly for a day with newborn Everly! She’s just too much fun now. Even with being constantly sticky and sometimes already terrible-two-ing. Soak it up and get all the feels. It still only gets better and better. I believe that.

  2. This is lovely and I adore your wall. There are always going to be times that are not as shiny happy as others, those are the times that build character and define relationships. Embrace them all ๐Ÿ™‚
    As gorgeous as Charlie was when she was born I don’t think the world (let alone you) could go without Charlie dressed as Harriet Potter for one more day ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. The wall is so awesome. I would love to do something like that in our home, too – you guys did a great job! My wife and I completely understand your feelings on wanting “baby Charlie” back. As our son approaches three years old, we realize how much we wished for time to speed by when he was a baby because it was so hard. We wanted him to start sleeping through the night, to start eating solids so he would quit throwing up all the time, we wanted him to be able to crawl, walk, run, talk. Now that he does all of those things and more, we now want that time travel machine so we can go back to the time when he wouldn’t yell or hit or kick us or tell us we were being a “mean Mommy”, when he would happily sit in his high chair and have dinner with us without most of it ending up on the floor or in the garbage, when he would stay put if we set him down to go to the bathroom in peace, when we could just hold him and love him and hug him and he didn’t fight back. Those days are gone, but the memory is still there. The stress and panicky feelings have softened and gone blurry around the edges when we look back, but they still happened – the good and the bad. There were sleepless nights, the tears all three of us shed as our baby threw up all over for the 15th time that day, the endless crying at teething time, and those awful sleep regressions – they all happened, but so did the first smile, the first tooth, the first step, the first word. It’s completely natural and normal to want to have that baby back, to re-experience the joy and wonder of holding that tiny little person you created in your arms and just staring at them in wonder. My point being, you are not alone in how you’re feeling. You will remember every moment of their life, but the pain and heartache of the bad moments softens and dissipates over time. You will always remember because you are her mom, and sometimes you do have to edit out the bad so that you can go forward only remembering the good things. Bask in those good memories, because they’ll get you through the tough times ahead for many years to come. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I love your wall!! I’m sorry you’re feeling so down right now. I feel like I hear every mom say things like this or go through periods like this…they love their baby/child to pieces, but they wish they could go back to when they were just born to experience that one more time. I feel like it’s a natural thing. I hope that her teething doesn’t get too bad and that you still have your happy little squishy girl most of the time. But at least you know that teething won’t last forever, and she’ll be happy all the time again soon enough.

  5. My son is now 4 and I remember very few of those bad times. I’m not wishing he was still a baby though. Our first 6 months were TOUGH! It would be nice to have a snuggle though ๐Ÿ™‚

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