I've gotten pretty good and focusing on the here and now. Nine-month-olds, with there newfound skills in constant shenanigan-seeking will do that. One mind-wandering moment and you're fishing dogfood out of a mouth or a toy out of the commode. Every once in a while, though, I see my future flicker right in front of my eyes. B will actually answer a question without "I dunno", and I imagine discussing the cool volcano experiment in science class or how fractions are hard. We'll sit down to dinner (L in the highchair flinging sweet potatoes & B on the bench painting on the wooden table with avocado), & I'll picture us gathered around talking about our days (and 99% of the food NOT ending up on the floor). L substitutes a human sound for his usual pterodactyl shrieks and I can almost hear his little voice singing songs. L has outgrown the bouncy, the infant tub, and sleeps in a big boy crib. B has dropped his nap, sometimes uses the toilet, tries to drink from a regular cup, likes to take a shower instead of a bath (!)...soon all this assorted paraphernalia of young childhood will be done with, the gazillions of garish & loud toys will give way to books and electronics, we'll be reading chapter books for bedtime after they brush their own teeth. Its bittersweet, but kind of exciting to imagine...no more diapers, teething, tantrums, pumping and being up all night! While my heart aches a tad, I also feel my shoulders lower 2 inches and my eyes brighten at the prospect!
The other day I was on the floor doing puzzles with B as L crawled around trying to eat the pieces. I felt a...flicker...in my lower belly & I instinctively laid my hand there with a familiar sense of relief, until it hit me a second later---there is no burgeoning life there, probably things just settling back into working mode after months of lactational inactivity. The emptiness and sense of longing was unexpected, but I tuned in to it. And my view of the future? Flickered and changed 180 degrees.