Skip to main content

Home Is Where Your Mom Is

Yesterday at dinner Andy and I were discussing our virtual diversion, Facebook. We've both connected with a number of old high school friends and in Andy's case, maybe even some old flames. Of course, this lead to a spirited discussion about exes and romantic behavior during our youth.

While we talked, Caroline shoveled grapes and raviolis into her mouth and tried to rub her grubby hands on Andy's senior yearbook. (I had to look up the old girlfriends and comment on their tacky hair and ugly outfits.) At the end of the conversation I turned to Caroline and said, "Now, Caroline. You are never going to date in high school. Or college." She gave me a goofy smile and motioned to get down from her chair. My comment was just to be silly and to include Caroline in our fun, but really, the statement made my stomach turn.

One day she isn't going to be a baby. She's going to be a teenager and she'll have a boyfriend and drive car. She'll go to college and she won't need me anymore.

As Caroline took her tubby and we got ready for bed, she was extra clingy. In the bath and while dressing, she clung to me, flinging her arms and legs around my arms and waist. She buried her tiny little face in my shoulder. I could feel her warm breath on my neck and her baby fingers gently brushing my back. We read some books and tucked her in. Well actually, she hopped up and down in her crib and yelled "Wiiiizzzzaaaa!" and we blew her kisses and shut the door.

An hour later I peeked into her crib, placed my hand on her belly to feel the rhythmic rise and fall of her stomach and caressed her cheek. And, I started to cry. How much longer will I have my baby? She's growing and I can't catch her and keep her little. Before I know it, her baby belly and cheeks will be gone and she'll be too big to wrap herself around me.

I'm overwhelmed by this feeling and sad because I hear every parent say the same thing, "They grow so fast." Hardly anyone says, "Oh, I'm so glad they grow so fast because when she was a baby she was horrible but now she's a sweet, lovable teenager."

I can only hope that Caroline will feel toward me the same as I feel for my mom. Maybe I can't wrap my arms and legs around her like I used to but I want to. I'm excited to see her when we visit and just being in her presence offers me the same comfort as it did when I was a child.

After a rough day at school I used tell my mom all about its highs and lows. Today, she is the first person I call when I have good or bad news. (She knew I was pregnant before Andy.) Now with Caroline in our lives, we talk about what I was like when I was that age, if Caroline looks like I did or acts how I acted. I wonder if she looks at me now but sees my two year-old self, baby cheeks and ringlets, reaching my arms around her legs, calling her "mommy."

I know not everybody is lucky enough to still have a mom or to have a relationship like I have with my mom. My wish is, even when Caroline is too big to wrap herself around me, that I am still able to offer her comfort and security just as my mom does for me.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

I Love Otsego but I Love Andy More

Growing up, my big brother was your typical older brother. He loved to torture me and his favorite hobby was making me mad or making me cry. He took my own stuff and made me buy it back from him at a yard sale. He put dog crap in my socks and sneakers. He threw spit balls at me, pinched me and never let me win at any games. Despite his daily doses of teasing and displeasing me, I did notice that he wasn't particularly interested in other people making me mad or making me cry. I'm not saying he was ready to fight on my behalf, or ride up on a white horse to protect me, but he was pretty firm in his position as the number one bane of my existence. Despite the fact that he no longer tortures me quite like he used to, our relationship has left a lasting impression on me, long into adulthood. As a self proclaimed arm chair therapist, I take note that I have been trying to work through that relationship for years-with Andy. Poor Andy had no idea that, when we started dating, I'…

Holiday Letters- in Two Versions!

I don’t know about you but I love a good holiday letter. Nothing sends me into a tailspin of self doubt and depression like reading the carefully crafted story of the highs and accomplishments of those in my life. As the letters flow in, alongside the photos of the beautiful smiling faces of my loved ones, I curl up under a warm blanket, look out at the bleak, gray winter skies and think: what the fu#k is wrong with me?We are so fortunate, due to modern technological advances, to be able to experience this self doubt an average of 20-50 times per day as we addictively scroll a variety of social media channels. Yet nothing truly confirms our own personal inadequacies like a yearly summary of others’ successes and happiness neatly packed in an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper, folded in thirds and slipped into an envelope alongside a card collage of beach shots, matching sweaters and smiling, happy faces. I, too, have sent along such letters to accompany our smiling happy faces, providing thos…

An Open "PM" to Polly

Hey Polly, it’s me- Melissa. Can I call you Polly? Because I feel like I know you. Do I know you? We’ve been in the same social media circles for many months now.I see from your profile that you went to Cornell. I have a lot of friends that graduated from there. It’s an awesome school. What year did you graduate? I also see that you’re self-employed. I really respect entrepreneurs, particularly female entrepreneurs. What’s your business? Are you a photographer because your Facebook profile picture of Doubleday Field is fantastic.I see that you don’t have any Facebook friends, Polly. I understand that. Are you lonely? It can be really lonely around here. Listen Polly, this election got really nasty but at the end of the day are all neighbors right? Do you want to meet, do you want to talk about it? Haven’t seen you on social media since the election. I totally get where you’re coming from, Polly. It’s been hard for me, too. When you put yourself out there with really strong opinions pe…