I find myself in a strange place, feeling like I've been here before and worried that history might repeat itself. Five years ago, I had a little girl who was about 18 months old. I was going to the office 2 days a week and the other 3 days I was home with her, going through the motions, watching with wonder and she grew and experienced new things. I struggled to find my place in her world and struggled with my own redefined world - not just "me and him" as a couple, but now "me, her and him" as a family.
Passover that year came early and our annual Family Seder fell on Saturday, April 7 (which also happens to be my sister's birthday.) We had a strange discussion that day about happiness and how things were going between us, a discussion that would branch out over the next few days and weeks, expand and then explode, disappear and come back to haunt us. As I recall that day, it launched a summer that I would rather forget, but in many ways, feel that I can't lest I be doomed to relive another summer like it somewhere in the future.
But why, you may ask, is the timing so "strange" again? Because once again, Passover comes early. Once again, our annual family Seder falls on Saturday, April 7. Once again, I have a little girl at home, who is just about 18 months, growing and experiencing with excitement and wonder. Once again, I am working 2 days a week and staying home with her the other 3. Through it all, I can't help but wonder if I should be worried that history will repeat itself, even if I haven't forgotten.
It is true that we are now five years older and hopefully, even if just a bit, wiser. Everyone goes through tough times and those who come through on the other side are usually stronger. I can only hope for that luxury. I know that I haven't forgotten that crazy summer, 5 years ago. Feeling that history has spun back around to line itself up for another shot has me worried - not necessarily because I think he has forgotten that summer of the past, but because he wants to forget it - pretend it never happened.
I suppose that is the way of things. Women tend to hang on to things. We rehash and review, we discuss, we find it difficult to let go. (Just ask any woman who her first crush was - I'd bet you $5 that she remembers ALL of the details and another $5 that if you asked the guy, he would probably not even remember her name.) That is our lot in life, to carry the history, to remember the "good old days" (and the days that weren't so good.) Most of the time, the men get the luxury of forgetting and moving on, leaving us to dwell. Wasn't that an episode of Friends, or another sitcom? The guy forgets something and the woman remembers and stays angry and then brings it up at a later time.
In any event, I find myself on alert, more diligent and paying attention to things, careful not to let life get away from me again, careful not to lose sight of things at home, or get too lost in watching the girls grow. Like I said, we are older and wiser and in different places in our lives. Things that may have seemed trivial just a few short years ago are now much more important. Things that seemed more important then now have taken a back seat, replaced now that we are refocused.
We are moving on, growing older, growing up. We can move past our history in some ways, but although some things move to the back of our memories, they are never fully gone, nor do I think they should be. Because the minute we forget how those stories came to pass, as soon as we lose the details of what was, we fall prey to the danger of repeating it.