Slice of Life Tuesday: That was then…this is now

Visiting my parents in London:

Then…

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…our annual visits were filled with playgrounds , museum visits,  jaunts around the city, and family time with Grandma and Grandpa.  We’d set off exuberantly in the morning, baby carriage and backpacks filled with snacks and sandwiches, and return in time for tea – exhausted and bursting with stories to tell of our day’s adventures.

My son, a whirling dervish of excitable energy and high spirits, lent our days exasperation and laughter.  By the time we were ready to pack and leave for home again, Ben was ready to go.  He was already looking ahead to life back home.

Now…

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…our visit was replete with jaunts to museums and art galleries, and long walks through places well known and well loved.  Everywhere we’d been, we’d been before.  But we saw with new eyes.  We experienced in new ways. My once-restless son was a keenly observant and delightful traveling companion.  Humorous, thoughtful, and brimming with interesting perspectives and insights.

Sometimes, I miss the then…but I treasure and am grateful for the now.

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29 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday: That was then…this is now

  1. What a nice photo of you and your son. The then and now. Love the way you built that in your words and photos. Appreciating and missing then. Relishing and living in the now. Lovely.

  2. Lovely! Your words reminded me of my own exuberant son, and have me looking forward to him growing up. (Though I am enjoying this part too!)

  3. I’ve missed you! Your voice in your writing makes me feel as if we are old friends talking about our kids over tea. –or wine, whatever! I loved watching your trip on FB. You take such joy in who your children are. Thank you for sharing.

  4. This is a wonderful piece that blends the past and present with words and images and bring us right into your time with Ben. Can’t wait to hear more as we drive together, early on Saturday morning with see/meet Ralph Fletcher!

  5. My favorite line is, “Sometimes, I miss the then…but I treasure and am grateful for the now.” I know just what you mean as a mom of older kids (and a younger one, now, too!) Thanks for sharing your memories and your nows.

  6. Traveling with adult children is so refreshing and fun. I love your pictures and your memories here. Looks like you two had a wonderful time.

  7. What a special opportunity to remember the past and enjoy the now. Love the “new eyes” of the activities. Such a sweet slice of life, savoring the time with your son.

  8. Tara, we’ll have to talk some time. Like your son, I grew up with grandparents living in the U.K. Our visits were treasured time — both because of family, and because the sights and sounds of England are so different from those of NJ (where I grew up too)! We finally took my children to see where Nana grew up three summers ago. Layers of memories upon memories. Thanks for sharing yours.

  9. I don’t have children, but I have a niece who lives on the other side of the country. I usually visit them, but she has come here a couple of times. As we revisit places, I have similar feelings to yours. ” Everywhere we’d been, we’d been before. But we saw with new eyes. We experienced in new ways.” Thanks!

  10. I think I am drawn to you because we have so much in common. My own children are all grown up and just as you, I do treasure the times together at every age. But working as a teacher, surrounded by women getting engaged, married, expecting, giving birth, I do miss that time when the kids were little and my life was all about them. Now I adjust to what it is. Your photo essay said it so well – all the feelings I have. Thanks for sharing so openly.

  11. I love the then and now aspect. Things change but still somehow remain the same. I think that every time we go back to places we’ve been we see new things with different eyes.

  12. I really enjoyed this post! My boys are 13 and 16; and I often miss the “then” when I think about their younger years. Like you, I am trying to soak up every second of the “now.” A wise friend once told me to enjoy every single stage of their lives. Thank you for reminding me of how important it is to do just that!!!

  13. So delightful to read your thoughts and see the pics of this recent trip (and earlier trips) with your son. It is fun to experience familiar places with new eyes and new perspectives. Your post is such a reminder to slow down and enjoy the now.

  14. Time spent with a son is a time to savor. Too soon life changes and opportunities for Mom and son time become scarce. I think your knowing these truths came through in the emotional temperature of your writing today.

  15. You post took my breath away, Tara. The lyrical nature of your writing felt poetic as did the turn around to reflect upon your feelings about then and now with your son. You’ve made me hope for visits with my now grown son to places we have been before in his younger years.

  16. This reminds me of when I went back and visited my elementary school last year.. You remember everything very differently when you’re younger. This was such a beautiful reflection on how things have changed but how the fact that you have always valued your time with your son has not.

  17. What a handsome guy! Thank you for sharing the then and now. Such cherished moments are a privilege to be a part of. Glad the trip was good. Good to have you back.

  18. Such joy in both the then and now images and description. I loved looking at the then pictures: the hair and clothes styles, the tint, the grouping. Such love, there and now.
    Blessed.

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