At the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

There’s a book called, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,” by Jamie Ford. I’ve never read the book but I’ve loved the title since I first heard it. So much of my life takes place at that corner.

I write this from a [diffferent] hotel room in Denver. Across the room, my oldest son plays with his early Christmas present, a brand new Go-Pro. We’re here for a college visit – and a little playtime. After our tour of campus, we’ll head into the mountains to ski for a couple days before heading home for Thanksgiving.

I watch him intently editing a time-lapse video he shot last night through the hotel window, and I can’t help but think life feels a whole lot like watching a time-lapse video.

His video contains over 800 photos shot over an hour time period which he’ll string together in quick-motion to appear as if it’s all happening within a minute or less.

If I were to make a time lapse video of our lives together, it would have to start with the photo of us in the hospital, a few hours after he was born. It’s the one where he’s in his little see-through bassinet, all wrapped up, papoose-style. His eyes enormous as he stares at me. I stare right back at him with both a sense of giddiness and anxiety as I realize I’ll be taking that thing home with me. A human. I will be taking another human being home. To care for. And love. And watch grow-up right before my very eyes.

The next photo is of him in all his chubbiness. Actually, let’s not lie. “Chubby” conjures up mental pictures of babies with a roll here or there, and maybe a double chin. This one, my oldest child, was just plain fat. So fat my sister-in-law was scared to hold him upright for fear the rolls of fat would impede his ability to breathe.

And then there are the thousands of shots with his younger brothers that came 20 months, then 48 months and then 65 months later. There are shots of cousins and friends. Of his toy guns and real guitars, and monumental events that would come together to tell his story until this moment of us in this hotel room. Next to a college campus. A college in Colorado.

Then there’s the photo only found in my mind’s eye. A photo with dark edges but a bright center, with so many details it appears fuzzy. It’s the picture of this child I love embarking on a life beyond the now.

Then the next shots filter through my head. These are the ones filled with places unknown to me, with people whose faces I don’t recognize, and stories I have not yet heard.

But for now, I watch the picture in front of me of a son who is about ready to embark on a life apart from his mom and dad. A life he will continue to record with snapshots of his story. The one that was, the one that is and the one that will be. While both of us continue to live in that place where we chew on the bitter and savor the sweet.

Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “At the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

  1. Jenn Burk

    I love reading your blog and appreciate you being so open and honest with your feelings and life. I feel your words in my heart and they speak so clearly to me. I read this entry while holding Bo in my arms and watching him sleep. I found myself crying, but in such a good way. In the four months he has been here, there are so many snapshots in my head and I can’t believe how quickly the time is flying by. I also have the photos I see for the future. His first day of school, riding a bike, going fishing, playing with friends, becoming independant. As much as I can’t wait to experience those milestones, I just want to hold on to this snuggly baby forever. I haven’t gotten to those fuzzy college photos yet, I am really not sure I am emotionally ready to get that far! Enjoy this time together! What a wonderful experience to share! Big hugs to you!

    • lynnhouse

      Oh Jenn,
      I’m so happy to hear you are treasuring the times with sweet Bo. So many times we just try to rush out of one stage and into the next because there’s some difficult element present… Like lack of sleep with a baby. But it sounds like you’re embracing these moments. There’s nothing better than cuddling with your baby. Thanks so much for responding!

  2. Rick T.

    Nice read! Enjoy!

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