A New Time. A Different Season.

Last week I took Annabel up to my old office to visit some old coworkers friends. In the five and a half years that I worked in the admissions office at UT, I moved physical buildings three times. I started off in the Main building, then moved to what was once referred to as the Freshman Admission Center. Finally, when I went part-time, I moved to the Visitor Center. So last week we visited two of the three buildings. It was lovely to see a few people, but also a little bit depressing.

You see, in the past two years, a majority of my closest work friends moved on to other positions. Walking back into my old building, I realized that while I’ll always have the memories of the great times I had there, it just wasn’t the same. Only one good friend remained, and he’ll actually only be there for a  few more weeks before he too moves on to something bigger and better. Once he’s gone, that will pretty much be it. I’ll have no reason to visit that building anymore. It was a sad realization and made me think about all of the different seasons of my life. It always makes me a little bit sad when I realize that there is no going back, even though sometimes I like to fool myself that I can. It’s like the time I walked through my childhood home only to realize that it wasn’t home anymore. At least not my home.

And that’s how I felt walking into that old building. It’s just a building now. Sometimes it’s comforting to think that we can go back and things will be the same, but usually they aren’t. They can’t be. Life moves on, people move on, and seasons change. I’m sad that that time in my life is truly over and that even if I returned to my same job tomorrow, it wouldn’t be the same as it was during that one time when it was so amazing.

But I can’t be sad for too long because then I remember everything it gave me. All of the friends, learning experiences, and memories. And I’m in a pretty special season of my life right now. One I know that I’ll look back on and miss and want to return (unsuccessfully) to.

These are the days made of morning walks. Both of the me pushing the stroller and her pushing the stroller variety.

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These are the days of long afternoon naps,

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and simple morning art projects that result in full-body painting, which results in hosing down a diapered toddler in the thick, summer grass.

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These are the days of bedtime stories and rocking chairs,

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and tiny toddler toes, which lead tiny, mischievous toddler feet, always in search of the next mess to make.

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Yes, this is a beautiful season indeed. I miss it already, and I’m still living it. I’m mourning its loss even though it’s still right here. It’s just that I know. I know that it will be gone long before I’m ready for it to go, and so I grip it with a fierceness I didn’t know I possessed. And now I see how some people must continue to have child after child. They can’t bear to close this chapter.

Please stay my little girl forever, Annabel.

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Please?

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