No more kisses

Some mothers cannot wait until their children are much older, or at least old enough to start doing things without their help. But for some others, a heavy cloud follows us around as we push the stroller because we’re in no rush to move beyond the baby phase.

If you routinely look back and stare at pictures of your babies when they were little, then I’m talking to you.

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Oh yes.  I miss the mittens!

In the days when I was out and about with my very own newborn, I could sense how these women (maybe most whose children were already grown) felt by the sight of us.  Nostalgia immediately took hold of them and they would begin,

I remember when my child was that small…

Even before I gave birth and was just showing, it would elicit similar reactions from total strangers.  A pregnant woman is an unavoidable reminder of such a past, but I’m no fool. I knew my days were also numbered.

If you have several children then perhaps you get to hold on to it longer but eventually, even the last one will grow up too. I’ve heard that it doesn’t matter how many kids you have, the thought of any of them (from way back when) still takes your breath away. Sigh.

One afternoon while at an amusement park, the female attendant helping my baby exit a ride squeezed in a hug for herself before handing him over to me.

I suppose it’s just a delicious stage to sniff and squeeze without protest that has a fond place in our memory bank.  Their sweet and affectionate ways delight us deeply during this most precious season of our lives.  But, their refreshing innocence is fleeting.

With every step they take, they shed their former self to make room for a new look. After my child has reached the next milestone I keep asking myself, “Where has my baby gone?” because the one in front of me, is not the original I once held in my arms.

I will also undergo a metamorphosis, eventually.  The mother he remembered will become elderly. I’m sure I won’t recognize myself by then either and will miss what I once was, too.  Appearances aside, I’m sure all parents want to hang around for as long as they possibly can to see it all.

I do try to keep myself in the present.  However, I have my weak moments.  When we’re playing together for example, I can’t help but think about how the time will come when he’ll no longer be interested in my company on the same level.  On another occasion, I’m simply focused on the sound of his voice when I hear him speak, that until puberty still belongs to that of a small child.  I don’t want it to ever go away.

But, the reality is that upon adolescence and beyond it will and that our interaction with our former babies will be very different in general.

For now, I remain thankful that he still engages me with pretend battles while announcing that he is Darth Vader and I’m Yoda as we wait for the school bus.  This won’t last forever and I’m well aware.  It’s an underlying sadness that joins some of us on our motherhood journey.

Well hey.  I am happy that we still have so many more years together before any big changes occur, even though my child has been telling me this a little too much lately,

No more kisses, only hugs.

Sure, I’m grateful for the latter but ugh.

 

 

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Paper Planes

For as long as I can remember, no napkin was safe from my father. He would always turn them into paper planes. Actually, any paper.

As a young child I enjoyed watching them fly. As I got older, we’d make them together. I guess that’s why you’ll always find paper planes in my home, too.

Sometimes I wait patiently for my own child to look up at me so I can send one straight in his direction. He tries to catch them as we laugh. It sure gets his attention.

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Recently, I was tearing off the end of February from our large desk calendar when the idea first hit. By the way, these giant sheets also work well in a variety of other ways (for protecting surfaces during coloring, painting, or play dough sessions; tracing objects; sketching; drawing big pictures or words; homemade game boards; signs and so much more.)

The opposite side of the calendar sheet basically doubles as a very large blank canvas. I have even used them on kitchen counters for easy clean-up after meal prep. I’m planning on creating an early learning display with one next on how to set the table. You’ll find there’s ample room for outlining a real fork, plate, knife and spoon.

Fold one and keep it handy on the go because you could probably change a diaper on that thing in a pinch!

But, it was creating a paper plane with it that’s been the most fun. It’s the biggest and best, by far. I mean, it soars well above the furniture and if it’s aimed at you I suggest you duck so quack-quack.

I always repeat that this ain’t Pinterest perfection so don’t expect fancy Origami but rather, your standard-old-fashioned-classic paper craft plane. Maybe next time I’ll give it some life with crayons and markers. For now, I’m just getting a plain kick out of flying them in the air, as is and maybe you will too.

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Oh and one last thing just between us grown folks, I do like to call it a big ass plane. (When the kids are not around, of course.)