I love before-and-afters. There’s something so very satisfying about a transformation, especially when you get a glimpse of -pre and -post. (I’ll admit: I was one of those thirteen-year-olds who lived for makeover shows.) But I also love revisits for those times when the transformation is still ongoing but change is apparent, measurable. Like seasons. Like kids growing. Or an old house in the process of a makeover. Around here, we’ve got all of those–a new kitchen to cook in and love, and a revisit to a favourite haunt after a long winter.
We’ve written a fair bit about animals and narrative here at Fork & Fiction. Just looking through the archives was a fun trip back in time:
Our favourite animal stories, going to the races, Eastery good fun, and forgotten childhood moments.
A few days ago, Little e, The Tiger and I went back to Tigerlily Farm, one of the best places we know for communing with all manner of farm animals. We first visited this time last year, actually, when my belly was getting into “wait, you’re NOT due next week?” territory and Little e still had a hard time pronouncing her own name.
This year, spring has come early and it was too warm for sweaters, too bright without sunglasses. There were day-old goat kids to cuddle, chicks to catch and a sleepy calf to stroke. Watching Little e rush around from pen to pen, exclaiming at everything that caught her eye, reminded me of that magic of childhood–things never getting old.
And I mean that double entendre. A three-year-old never seems to tire of the things she loves; case in point: the bedtime books on tight rotation for the fifth week. And then there’s the impossibility of death, the never-ending story, if you will. [The other day, Little e and I sat on the porch and talked about death. We’ve always been very matter-of-fact about it. The neighbour’s cat, a relative’s friend–they reached the end of their lives. She pointed over to the window, where a fly was lying upside down and said, “Look at that fly. Do you see how dead it is?” as if it were just another adjective, like “black.”]
Of course, in the first case, “getting old” means “becoming boring.” In the second case it’s aging, realising one’s mortality. It’s funny because those are both things I’ve been thinking about myself lately. When did I trade my youthful naiveté about life for dark, ominous clouds?
That other thing we’ve been enjoying, though I cringe to post the before picture, is our new kitchen. Isn’t it amazing what you can become accustomed to? And I know in this case our old kitchen amounted to a first world problem (sure the colours were terrible and the appliances dated–there was running water and electric light), but MAN is it nice to work in a clean, mature, well-designed space.
Ugh. There’s nothing to say, I know. Except that all the inexcusable things about that deceased kitchen will only ever live on in photographs. And, now, on the internet.
So I guess the past few months have been a lot of things, but one of them is a good stark look at what I, we, used to be and what we are now. Young. Old. Getting older. Maybe wiser, but definitely interested in accumulating more wisdom. And sometimes that wisdom comes from a three-year-old. And sometimes, as in the case of the exploding bag of water placed in Mummy’s purse, it does not.
What are your most memorable before-and-afters?
First of all, let me just say that I love your new kitchen. Hmm, makes me think it’s time to update mine. My favourite before and after, I guess because I have been noticing it so much right now, is how my kids, especially my oldest who is 23, has transformed into a thoughtful, likeable, engaging young man. I can actually sit down and have an interesting, informative conversation with him now. Before, everything was quick, quick, quick. You couldn’t get an answer from him, just a grunt. Dinner time meant he was in a race to get out the door to see his friends. Now, he is so different. He joins in on conversations my husband and I are having and engages conversation at the dinner table. So nice to be around him – don’t get me wrong, I still swear I have a gazelle running through the house especially when he runs downstairs – but overall a nice transformation.
Thanks so much, Anne! And thanks also for telling us about your son’s transformation–I will admit it gave me hope that when my kids reach adolescence, it will only be for a while and not forever that they will hate me and communicate in grunts and withering glances. I can look forward to the adults they will someday become!