We keep an ever revolving display of photos of family members on the bottom of our fridge for Little G to look at. He loves to play with them; peeling them off the fridge and slapping them back onto the dishwasher or putting them away in his drawer in the kitchen or (my personal favorite) sliding them through the cat door that leads to our basement like a mail slot.
I recently updated the photos with more recent pictures and found myself faced with the truth that the photos of my dad will never get more recent. Little G will grow, our lives will continue to change, life will go on; and my dad's most recent photo with Little G will always remain the same. Unchanged. Unevolving. Stuck in time.
It is a photo of them from December 4, 2009 - eleven days before my father died. Already, Little G is so different. Back then, he wasn't even sitting up yet. His personality hadn't started to truly show. His hair was still growing in from the great cradle-cap-annialation-expirament-of-'09.
Everything has changed and all I really want is to be able to be back in that moment. Except I can't. Even if it were possible, too much has changed. Turning back time would require my son to move backwards from becoming such a social baby. It would mean giving up his fierce independence and incredible intelligence and whatever changes are in store for all of us in his future.
We can't go back to those days when my father was alive. We can only visit there through the memories we have. And for my son, who is too young to remember any of this; he will always have this photo of him and his Zayde on the fridge...or somewhere down the kitty door.