Monday, October 3, 2011

The End is Nigh

My calendar hangs on the wall over my desk, and recently, I flipped it to October. My eyes happened on the small rectangle in the upper corner, the one giving me a miniature version of next month’s rows and columns of dates. There was November 20th. Second Sunday from the bottom. Until that moment, thinking about that date – Violet’s first birthday, the end of this blog – left me wondering how I’d fill up all the remaining posts, but seeing it there on the calendar, so close that it stares back at me every time I sit down to type a post, I feel a mildly surprising surge of panic. When I started this blog, it was for me. My wife’s pregnancy was flying past, and I wanted some way to hold onto it and to everything we would go through once Violet arrived. But over the past four hundred and some odd posts, the purpose has changed. This is now more for Violet. She is potential personified, and everything I type here feels like some sort of insurance against the future, whatever may come. With so many people I know, there are things I want to say to them but never do. I might forget, or wait for the right time that never comes, or I never find the courage to speak, but it’s easy to write to an idea, especially when that idea is the only daughter I’ll probably ever have. With that much on the line, it’s easier to get down the important, the goofy, the sentimental things I want to say to her. Maybe I won’t get them all down, but I’m starting to feel desperate, knowing that soon this window will close. I know I could continue collecting thoughts here after November 20th. No one’s holding me to that date, but the idea of following through on what I said in that first post – one post a day until my kid turns one – and giving this chapter of her life and mine a definite start and stop feels right. Come November 20, I’ll print it all up into a book and put it somewhere safe. Maybe I’ll wait to give it to her until she’s older. Maybe not. But it will be there, no matter what happens to me - death, or stroke, or just the possible crankiness and inevitable forgetfulness of old age. She’ll be able to read all the things I wanted to say, all the things I wanted her to know, and she’ll be able to read them whenever she wants, long after I’m gone.

316 days old

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