Every once in a while I like to look at my children and reflect. It’s a nice concept until you reflect back until the day they were born…and then it’s weepy eyes and “He/She was just a baby!” (wail!). There are far too many random memories that blink into my mind in these reflections.
The first cry…that cry that announces to the world how very angry he/she is. The wide eyed wondered look as he/she beheld the bright world in all its splendor. The wrenching emotional upheaval you experience as you’ve just concluded that this being…this tiny being that is so much a part of you…is totally counting on you to guide them in life. You are responsible for showing them right and wrong, that life is not always fair (oh what a hard lesson that has been!), and that no matter what mom and dad will always be there for them.
I waited in breathless anticipation for their first steps (where was Facebook when I needed to shout that to the world?), cried with them at their first real injury (let’s just say daddy was way better at handling that one), and seethed in anger at the first heartbreak (okay he was five but his little heart was broken and that was that.. mommy was mad). I watched her turn to me that first day of school and cock her little eyebrow and say…-“Don’t you have something to do today mom?” as I fought the urge to scoop her up and run. Watched them light up a room with infectious laughter at those deep gurgling belly laughs. Felt my heart stop beating as the first dreaded (but expected) -” I hate you!” mumbled out of their mouth (yes I have the ears of a bat and I heard every syllable) and felt it start beating as half way down the hallway they ran back sobbing …-“I didn’t mean it mom!”.
Of course they are now both teenagers (and therefor know EVERYTHING!). There is still the mumbled under the breath… -“Stop treating me like a baby” to which I smartly reply…-“As long as there is a breath in my body you will ALWAYS be my baby!” The…-“So and so gets to do it..why can’t I?”, that I answer with…-“If so and so jumped off a bridge would you?” (yes mother….that was you coming out of my mouth). My very emphatic response to the death ray glare…-“Don’t you look at me in that tone of voice…I brought you into this world and I can take you out!” (Good Lord I am turning into my mother!)
But through all of this I really must say…we are doing okay. I’ve heard that if your kids are mumbling under their breath after a heated gettin’ on to…you are doing it right (Apparently I am a master parent). But always…always…after I loudly ask…-“What was that?” I receive an …-“I said …yes ma’am!” My son takes his hat off in church (and I don’t have to remind him). My daughter is always willing to help some one in need. And both of my children have absolutely no problem with sitting on moms lap and saying…-“I love you mom.” (the sweetest words I ever did hear). And someday they will go out into this big wide world fully prepared (if we did our jobs right) to take on any challenge thrown at them. Is there a mother more proud of her children than I?
As I am swamped by the memories I look to the future with these new babies. The new memories that I will build with them. The fun we will have and the laughter we will share. The angst at yet again watching my babies grow only to one day have to release them into the world.
It is a bittersweet reflection…