Remember This...

This photo comes from a perfect April morning at the St. Louis Zoo. A fantastic visit with my sister-in-law Sarah had sadly come to an end and we had reluctantly driven to St. Louis to take her to the airport. We arose early in the morning to save some of the day for play with Sarah before she flew out that afternoon. We stopped in Columbia for a quick breakfast at Panera and then rushed to the zoo. We arrived not long after they opened the gates and it was a magical morning with the zoo nearly to ourselves. We lingered at the penguin exhibit, saw all of the bears, took a ride on the zoo train, visited the insectarium and the butterfly house, and caught most of the wild animals out of their caves and roaming about. We even indulged the children with a ride on the zoo carousel. I didn't think the day could get much more perfect until we headed up the hill towards the south gate. It was there that the children spotted it: a just-in-bloom, perfect "popcorn tree". We've been singing "Popcorn Popping" since January-- futilely trying to coax the blossoms of spring closer with each rendition-- but this was the first actual blossoms we had spotted all year. I'm honestly not sure who was more excited about it- the children or I! The tree had the perfect low branches and we posed the children endlessly, snapping away here and there with the camera-- trying to get the perfect picture-- and then, it hit me. As I looked through my viewfinder at the precious angels before me it felt like I must be looking into the future. But, I wasn't. In that tiny moment my babies had grown up right before my very eyes. Benjamin, my precious little baby, didn't need anyone to hold him. He sat confidently on his own when just one short year ago he had been safely nestled in my womb. Emmaline had become a sweet little lady seemingly overnight. Her little toes seemed to point on their own and each move she made as she perched delicately atop the blossomed branch was so gentle. In the last year she had gone from being nearly bald to having a head full of delicate shoulder-length blonde curls framing her face. And Noah-- my little Noah-- was not little any more. His hands were much bigger than I ever remembered them-- gripping the branches as he climbed confidently from branch to branch. I found myself nearly overcome with emotion, trying to somehow find a way to freeze the moment in my memory forever. Perfect spring mornings don't happen very often, but on that morning my children's youth seemed even more fragile and fleeting. The moment didn't last long, but I am so grateful that I had my camera to help me to remember. But then, like an optical illusion the moment was gone. Lost forever. But remembered, always remembered.

Optical Illusion
Carol Lynn Pearson

Time is a stage magician
Pulling sleight-of-hand tricks
To make you think things go.

Eclipsed by the quick scarf-
A lifetime of loves.

The child is man.
The friend in your arms
Is earth.
The green tree is gold, is white,
Is smoking ash, is gone.

Time's trick goes on.
All things loved-
Now you see them, now you don't.

Oh, this world has more
Of coming and going
Than I can bear.
I guess it's eternity I want,
Where all things are
And always will be,
Where I can hold my loves
A little looser,
Where we finally realize-
Is the only thing that really dies.


Pattie said...

You have such a beautiful family...i love reading your posts..they are so sweet and eligent..you can just feel how sweet you truly are....Thanks for sharing.

Melody said...

What a beautiful moment and what a glorious way to capture and explain it.

Ashley said...

You have a great way with words--you write what I feel :) Those lucky kids, you are a great mom.

Melissa said...

I just love your kiddos. They have all changed so much in the 2 years I have known them, they are only getting cuter, you know!

Jaime said...


I hope you don't mind me looking at your blog, I was looking at Janae's and saw yours, it is SO cute!! I hope you are having a great vacation and that you are safe and sound.. I sent you an email about your rental in Nauvoo also.. Take care!

Jaime Wendling

G.'s Mommy said...

RUTH! I found your site from Amanda's blogspot. It's Me! Lacey.... how the heck are you? Come visit my site ASAP! Got it? Your kids are so cute!

paulandcherisvreeken said...

Goodness you have said everything I've been thinking over the last few months. Riann seems like she's exploding into life and gaining momentum every day. It bums me out that just yesterday she was little and loved to cuddle and now she's growing and has her spark of independence... She's more like me than I realize!!!

I hope you guys are great!!! I hope Andrew is doing good in school!!! If you get a minute drop me a note!!! I'd love to hear how things are. I miss you all!!!

Doug and Becca said...

Hi Ruth,
I found your blog through Rachel's. It looks like it's been a while since you've posted, but I just wanted to say hi. I hope you are doing well! Your children are beautiful!

becca rammell

Cherie said...


Come back to your blog. I miss you. Also, help me start a blog.


Sarah <3 said...

<3 it! Picture, poem, story! <3 it!