Sunday, September 20, 2009

Time in terms of a bookshelf

This is our Ikea bookshelf. I love, love, love this thing. And so do many people we know. I think I could name at least 10 of our friends and family members who own the exact same one. Jon and I are avid readers, it's my favorite hobby! So we use this shelf to hold our dearest, most-used literature. And since the shelves are so deep there is plenty of space in front to display other things. (My husband is a total knick-knacker, if that's a word). I counted the other day - of the 16 boxes, 7 hold Jon's books, 7 hold my books, and 2 are neutral. :) It is obvious which boxes belong to which family member. Jon's shelves hold titles like "The Holy Qur'an," "The 9/11 Commission Report," and "Understanding Terror Networks." I, on the other hand, have one shelf entirely devoted to my current baby/pregnancy reads, another shelf composed of my favorite authoresses - Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell and the Brontes. And then a number of classic American titles, including the entire "Anne of Green Gables" collection which Jon prefers to keep hidden behind a large picture because "they're ugly."

So what does this bookshelf have to do with time and being a Mama? Well today, I was sitting in the living room, watching my son make his rounds clearing the shelves/CD case/coffee table of any "clutter" when he pulled himself up to the bookshelf, as usual, and then proceeded to reach for the third shelf. It suddenly hit me, how quickly time flies, in terms of the bookshelf.

When Jack was just a wee babe, he'd sit quietly in his bouncy seat, contentedly staring at the rows and rows of colorful book spines. Several months ago, when he started rolling, his favorite rest stop was the bookshelf, where he'd rest his little legs on the edge until he could catch his breath and get back to rolling again. Then he started crawling, tearing books off the shelf and anything else that stood in the way. So we moved all the items (other than books) on the bottom shelf to the top 3 shelves. The next week he was pulling himself up to Shelf 2. We then cleared most of those items and moved them to the top 2 shelves. I left behind a few items that I thought were "baby safe" like my wooden animals from Africa (I was wrong, Jack managed to break an ear off the zebra) and the framed picture of Grammie and Grandpa (for some reason he loves to play with it). I figured at just over 2 feet tall and new to the whole pulling-himself-up routine, we would be able to continue on with two vacant shelves on the bottom, even if it made the whole bookshelf look a little "off." That was yesterday. And then it happened. Today he pulled himself up to the second shelf, reached up his chubby little paddy, and pulled down the candles on the third shelf. I watched in disbelief. For heaven's sake, last week he could barely keep himself on two feet, and now he can not only maintain his balance but also reach his hands over his head?! It has me wondering, how much longer before he's reaching the top shelf? And how much longer until he starts pulling books off the shelf to read to himself? Maybe Ikea makes a taller shelf ...

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