Saturday, June 8, 2019

Voices evoking time and memories

I was shopping in Target today when I saw a boy and his dad.  The boy looked about 10.  His dad was asking the boy about something that they were thinking of buying.  The boy answered earnestly and in a very grown up responsible way that it seemed like a good idea.

The the dad asked if the boy wanted to get some lunch.  The boy said "that sounds like a good idea".   But he had a sweet little boy's voice.    And it took me back to conversations with each of my sons at around that age.   They could be little kids one minute and the next talking like reasonable, mature people.  Only they were still little boys.  Soft sweet voices and smooth skin.  No acne yet.  No facial hair.   But on their way there.

And now I am the mother of four men.  Grown up adults.   With facial hair and height. They are all taller than me.    And I don't see them often.  Or speak to them.  Or hear their grown up voices.   The voices that are, in my memory, sweet and young.

And I have a daughter who is 41.  And she is independent.  She has always been, or at least tried to be independent even as a toddler.   No, she didn't want to get into the car seat!  She didn't want to do anything she didn't want to do.  She had boundless energy and makes me glad that I was young and energetic when I had her.

It's the whole circle of life.  The seasons go round and round.

It's all so normal.  Expected.  Usual.  Yet it is a mystery and a surprise.

And the boundless love that was there as soon as I knew that I was pregnant with each one, grew and grew. 

My heart exploded each time I met my newborn for the first time.   I worked hard.  I tried hard.  I worried and fretted and tried to see the joy through the piles of laundry and bottoms that needed wiping.

Trips to the emergency room.  Stitches and broken bones and strep and seizures.

There's a school of thought that when a baby is born it is a blank slate and we are responsible for what is written on that slate.

I don't know.  I don't know how responsible, or how much to blame I am. 

I know that we were pretty blank as new parents.   We did what we thought we were supposed to do.  We learned as we went.  We learned from other parents and books.  And our children were our hardest and most demanding teachers.

Staying up with a sick child.  Cleaning up vomit.  Worrying.

And now, as adults, I still worry.  I feel so bad when they experience pain.  I would drop anything and run to them if the need me.  I have done that for an adult child and as long as I am able I will always want to be able to be there.

I want to kiss it and make it better.  Mother love.....

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