I'm sorry I haven't posted in awhile. There's been so much going on in my life, so much more than the average newborn mom probably goes through. Anna is now 6 weeks old, and I can't believe where the time has gone.

Miaanna (1) 

IMG_3369 (1)


(Anna's beautiful white hat was knitted for her by my wonderful friend Laura!)

I'm already nostalgic for her first few days. Having a new baby is a visceral reminder of how quickly time passes, and how quickly children grow. For some reason her babyhood seems to be going by lightning fast. That may seem laughable, as she is still so very little, but perhaps it feels even more fleeting to me because all her three siblings seem to be growing unfathomably older every day. So, it feels heartbreaking – at the same time that I am so excited to see who she will be and become and see more of her first smiles and hear her first words and witness her first steps, it is bittersweet to see what we leave behind. 

This feeling of nostalgia is even stronger because we are preparing for a partial move back to the US. In less than a month, we will leave Japan, where we have lived for nearly 4 years and where two of my babies were born. I came here with just two little energetic joyful boys, and leave now with four children, daughters I never had before, and an older son who is mature and on the cusp of adolescence.  




This is not a full move. We will be returning here for long summers during which our children will attend the school they've been going to (school runs until late July in Japan), and we may move back again year-round, but to leave our home here even for just a few months will be a big change for us. Every day, when I walk outside with the children, or pick them up from school, I soak in every bit I can of our lives here, so I can remember it all. The tiny jam factory near their school with its compelling strawberry smells wafting out into the street. The sight of cheerful children running along narrow roads with their yellow and blue school hats and square leather backpacks. The ginko leaves, bright yellow, under our feet in the fall. Buying sweet-bean and sweet-rice treats at the corner store. Wandering around our favorite park, remembering looking for crayfish in the summer, and visiting the miniature waterfall which so delighted my boys when they were small. 

There will be more sights, more memories, in our new home. Of that I am completely sure. But there is something about leaving a home where you raised your children when they were so small, that makes goodbye feel especially hard. 


23 thoughts on “Nostalgia

  1. Sheryl

    This post is so beautiful – as are the photos of the children. I know that feeling of nostalgia so well, as I constantly pine for the place where I grew up. Luckily you will be returning, so the move won’t be a big shock. And you’re wise to be aware of everything around you and to soak it all up. That’s what I did when my children were young – I tried to be aware of every precious minute (well, maybe not EVERY minute :)), knowing that it all goes by in a flash.

  2. Kris @ Honolulu On The Cheap

    This resonates with me, as I’ve moved between “home” states several times in the past several years. My kids are older, but still – there’s that sense of leaving history behind. A good friend of ours is a musician – ‘ukulele – and travels frequently to Japan to perform. I always say I’d like to be his roadie, just so I could travel with him to see Japan.

  3. MarthaAndMe

    When my first was born, I came home from the hospital and laid on the couch and sobbed and sobbed. My husband asked what was wrong and I had a hard time describing the sense of loss I suddenly felt. I suddenly felt so sad that she would grow up and change and the day we were in would soon be in the past and we could never get it back. That’s the first time I truly understood the heartbreak that comes with the joy of motherhood. It sounds like you will be busy in the months ahead. I hope all of your journeys are smooth!

  4. Francesca

    Beautiful family photos! I can totally understand the feeling of nostalgia your experiencing. I know that when we eventually move from here I will miss the rooms and the woods that have seen my kids learn to walk and talk, and my family grow. Good luck with your move!

  5. Jennifer Margulis

    My little one is 5 weeks old and I feel that same nostalgia for her first days of life. How did she get such a belly already? And rounded cheeks? It feels like she was just born and already she’s more than a month old.
    Moving is stressful and bittersweet. Please be kind to yourself (and no apologies for not posting! You have so much on your plate right now). All that you write here about Japan–like the jam factory–makes me want to visit there.
    Good luck with the move. I hope to see you in the States!

  6. Beth @ Upper West Side Mom

    Time with number 4 seems to move so fast. I soak in every minute with D. Things that I found excruciatingly boring with number 1,2 and 3, like pushing a swing in the park are moments to cherish with number 4.
    Good luck with the move! I will miss hearing about life in Japan.

  7. Lindi

    It can be incredibly difficult to leave a place you love so much behind. I hope your journey will be filled with new discoveries and that the road ahead will be easy to take…

  8. ReadyMom

    As others have said, but I have to add, what beautiful pictures! And you’ve captured a feeling that keeps nudging at me too–my children are growing up so fast. I wish sometimes I could stop time and just live and relive certain moments.

  9. Melanie Haiken

    These photos are so gorgeous, as is the design of your blog. Your creativity shines through! My daughters are much older, and I’ve found the nostalgia getting more intense with each passing year. The time moves so quickly, I have to be careful that I’m not mourning the loss of something while I’m still trying to enjoy the experience of it….

  10. joene

    You have a lovely family and I wish you the best during your move. Just remember it is not where you live, but with whom that matters. You are fortunate that you can all be together.

  11. Almost Slowfood

    When baby girl was born, my friend called it present nostalgia like we were nostalgic for something we were currently experiencing because we knew it wouldn’t last long.
    Lovely post and lovely children! Hope the move goes smoothly.

  12. jeanmarie.

    What a beautiful expression of love you have shared here. I can relate to your feelings about the baby and time passing too quickly. I feel the same way. My second child is three months old now, and somehow it seems that the time is going so much faster than it did the first time! You have really expressed all of that well, and put all of those feelings into perfect words. I came here when I saw a craft on the Crafty Crow. I am so glad to have discovered your blog! est wishes for the move, and for your family every day. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s