Wednesday, August 29, 2012

September: The Beginning of Nostalgia

The realization comes in flickers and flashes.

When I reach for your hand to cross the parking lot and you pull away protesting, "I don't need to hold your hand anymore Mumma."  A pang to my chest and I pretend to cry...embarrassing myself more than you when you plainly state, "People don't really cry like that Mumma."  But that doesn't mean I stop.  I may pretend to cry on the outside...but the real crying is beginning on the inside.

When you lie beside me at bed time.  Peaceful, quiet but not yet asleep and I see the face of the baby that you were once upon a time but is now atop splayed limbs, long and angular with deepening muscle.  When your eyes finally close I find myself still beside you.  2 minutes.  5 minutes.  10 minutes.  Listening to you breathe evenly.  And I thank God once again for the healthy, strong boy you are.

When I notice I can almost (but not always) reason with you.  When the beginnings of a tantrum can be desisted with calm word, a look or a hug. (though - again - not always).

When I see you in your role as a big brother, being kind, helpful, playful and dare I say loving.  When you aren't fighting each other tooth and nail that is.  

The other day when I saw you with your second cousin, who is going into her second year of university - when did this happen?! - ...and I recall the moment I held her for the first time as vivid as it was yesterday.  So tiny and curled up in my arms, dark hair and scrumptious pink smushy newborn face, smelling delicious as babies do.  The memories I have of her as a little girl flooded me at that moment.  Giving her piggy backs.  Her obsession with the Spice Girls. The first time she showed me her big girl bed.  The first time she showed me her Big Girl room.  Watching Mary Poppins with her as a toddler as she dozed peacefully on my chest. Seeing her awe inspiring talent as a gymnast.  Singing Happy Birthday to her on her 14th birthday which was also my wedding day.  Watching her bloom beautifully, gracefully into an intelligent, funny, compassionate and stunning young woman.

The memories of you as my first born, her as my baby cousin mesh together as I watch you together.

Suddenly with a start, that pang in my chest hits harder when I realize that your second year of university will also be here before I know it too.  20 years just flashed before me.

Boom. Just. Like. That.

Then I will find the trails of my memory are left scattered like bright delicate petals on a concrete pathway leading away from me.

Too far away from me.

The thought makes the stitches of my heart strain with longing for this space in time to still.  And though the years are far off I feel the melodic swirls of nostalgia beginning already.

The trail of sweet memories began with your first cry and in a couple of weeks you'll be off to your first day of school which will begin another set of bright reflections that I hope won't dull with time.

I can see 2 weeks from now all too clearly.  You, looking so handsome and much older than your 4.5 years decked out in your sharp navy and white uniform.  Cars backpack slung over your little yet strong boy shoulders.  Your wild curly mane of hair sitting atop big blue eyes.  Looking up at me, squinting in the autumn sun with your dimpled smile.  Bidding me your biggest adieu to date.  Excited for what the morning will bring.

"Bye Mumma!"  As you turn away from me, all smiles and become engulfed in your new classmates. My hand that waved too enthusiastically slowly making it's way back to my side as you glance back toward me barely noticing I'm still there. The way it should be I suppose.  It's better than tears.

And maybe you won't hold my hand when we cross the street to your school.  I will reach for it.  Maybe you will reach for mine this time.  I hope so.  I also hope it's not to much to ask that with that adorable squinty, dimply smile comes a hug.  And possibly even a kiss.  You must say an I love you.  There's no negotiating that one.

Might that be asking too much?

For the sake of this Mother's tender feeling heart...I certainly hope not. 

1 comment:

Emily Sovich said...

I hope not, too! I'd say you've earned a lifetime of "I love yous" and hugs.