When my girls were three or so, they went through a major collector phase. They each had little purses, one shaped like a duck, one like a frog, and hid all kinds of treasures in there. Lucy was the most possessive about her little yellow duck purse though, and she carried it everywhere for months.
One summer day, we left it behind at the Giant that was in walking distance of our old house, and we went all the way back to get it (four blocks, but legions when with two toddlers) and saw it sitting alone in the aisle, thankfully untouched. When I close my eyes, I can see that little yellow duck, sitting upright in the aisle, so dear to the little girl next to me, head covered in ringlets, plush little hand in mine, round cheeks I could kiss for days and big brown eyes the color of chocolate syrup.
Reading this blog post brought all those old memories flooding back, and I felt swamped by a wave of nostalgia for those chubby little toddlers I used to spend every waking minute with, talking, hugging, reading, playing, and moving through our daily lives in our own placid rhythms. In those tough early years, women used to come up to me and say, “Don’t worry, this will all get easier, but don’t let these years slip by too fast, because they are so wonderful and they fly so fast.” Overwhelmed by responsibilities and worries, I used to think those women were ridiculous, so out of touch with how difficult my life was in those years.
But when I think of that little duck purse, and that little girl, I feel it too. So sweet, so precious, so fleeting.