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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Pluma

It wasn’t Mother’s Day, my birthday or even Christmas and yet, someone sent me a beautiful surprise.  Good friends don’t need a reason or an excuse to do something nice for you, do they?

Some weeks ago I had casually shared how much I always wanted an old-fashioned pen (after being reminded during a period piece on television.)

Then, on a random afternoon,  a feather pen, heart-shaped stand and ink made its way here.  It was totally unexpected and really made my day.  To my utter delight, a package of special paper was also part of their thoughtful gift.

19025003_800637813437719_7515497085339831705_oIt puts a smile on my face every time I see it displayed on my writing desk.  I also cannot wait to begin practicing the fading art of penmanship.

I plan on sending letters, greeting cards and invitations just like our ancestors once did (my parents, actually.)  I might even use it to pen short cover letters for business correspondence.  Well, why not?

A major bonus is that the young ones around me (who are just learning how to write period) will witness an adult trying hard to get better at something similar.  In this case, calligraphy.  The inadvertent lesson that it’s never too late to pick up a new hobby.

For some, receiving a hand written note in the mail might in turn make their day as well, so it just may be the type of gift that will keep on giving.  I know that I appreciate a personal touch. Speaking of, if you happen to know someone who’s equally enthusiastic about writing instruments and/or stationary, this is a superb gift idea for sure.  I’m beyond thrilled to have received it myself, can you tell?

Now on a more personal note:  I know that other Spanish translations for the word pen include “bolígrafo” as well as “lapicero.”  But, that’s not part of the lyrics my mother used to sing to me:

Pollito, chicken,
Gallina, hen,
Lápiz, pencil
And pluma, pen

 

Tea. A drink with jam and bread.

Of the many good childhood memories that one may have, watching The Sound of Music with my family when I was young, happens to be among them.  It was a special time (typically summers with my cousins) and an Aunt who was just as interested in music and art.  She teaches kindergarten.

For those of us not destined for the stage, singing is still a vital and enjoyable part of our lives.  So, thank goodness for outlets such as karaoke to switch things up from all those solos in the shower.

Another joy about singing and in particular songs like Do-Re-Mi is introducing them for the first time to children.  I can’t say with absolute certainty if they care or even notice when I’m off-key or that I tend to hold a note longer than necessary, but nonetheless it’s entertaining for us all (I hope!)

So, when NBC aired their live version back in 2013, I was over the moon and this collaboration of Do-Re-Mi in particular has kept our momentum going.

Especially when you know the notes to sing…