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    October 9, 2006

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    My parents left yesterday morning after a week-long visit.

    When you start your family as late in life as I did, thoughts of time and how precious little there is of it, are never far away. When I look at my parents, I have to remind myself that they are not in their mid-40s, but in their mid-70s. I still think of my dad as a lean and wiry young man able to hurdle a 4-ft. fence. And I suppose that when they look at me they have to remind themselves that I’m in my mid-40s and not seven. No matter how many years go by, they’ll always be my mommy and daddy and I’ll always be their baby. After a week like this past one – one that went entirely too fast — I’d drain my bank account in exchange for the promise that I could get more time for Sean, for me, for all of us, before it all comes to pass.

    The day after his Bivian and Papa Ed leave are always hard for Sean. He misses them and it takes some time for him to get over the fact that he is stuck with just me. So this afternoon as I was putting Sean down for his nap, I took some extra time to read to him and for a time, he let me just cradle him. His head rested in the crook of my arm and his long legs draped over the edge of the arm of the rocker. For a long time, we just sat there in silence listening to the sounds of the day – the creaking of the rocker, a lawn mower in the distance, an airplane, a passing car. As I looked long into his face, without realizing it, I wondered out loud “Where did my baby go?” He reached up and touched my face and whispered, “Here I am.”

    When I’m 89 and he’s 46, I’ll still be his mommy and he’ll still be my baby.

    PHOTO: Sean with Bivian who showed him how to decorate a stick wasting using an entire bolt of Christmas ribbon. Liberal usage of ribbon, sissors and tape is just one reason why Bivian is way more fun than Mommy.

    28 Comments »

    1. Shalee says:

      ‘As I looked long into his face, without realizing it, I wondered out loud “Where did my baby go?” He reached up and touched my face and whispered, “Here I am.”‘

      It’s those moments that still bring tears to my eyes and harder beat to my heart. Where have the years gone for my sweet little ones? And I too would trade most everything I have to keep them near and dear for the remainder of my years on earth, whatever they be.

      This post was sweet with memories and bitter with truth; nonetheless, it was entirely beautiful.

      October 9th, 2006 at 2:55 pm

    2. Robbin says:

      Having had my son at 40 myself, this really brought tears to my eyes. My parents are not in good health for their age, which is relatively young. I think that I will be near my mother’s age when my son graduates from high school. I pray that I keep my health better at the same time that I fear for them. I vacillate between wondering who my little man will become, and wanting to keep him just the way he is – with his chubby little cheeks and tiny fingers mine to kiss forever and ever.

      October 9th, 2006 at 3:46 pm

    3. Mrs X says:

      I can’t stand it when my parents go home, or when we do. The visits get harder and harder every year as Girl gets older and realizes what she’s missing by not having them live closer. And then I feel horribly guilty for not giving her what she really wants- a home near them.

      October 9th, 2006 at 4:11 pm

    4. Christina says:

      I’m glad Sean had so much fun. I hope you have many more good times. Don’t even try to compete with the liberal usage of ribbons, scissors, and tape. It won’t work.

      October 9th, 2006 at 4:55 pm

    5. Leslie says:

      So true. Time goes by so fast. Beautiful post.

      October 9th, 2006 at 5:19 pm

    6. nootonet says:

      I was forty-five when my first grandson was born. By the time he was 2, 3, 4 and on, I had to try really hard to remember he was not mine, but my daughter’s. The feelings you have for your children and grandchildren never stop. God made us in his image and provided love that flows down to our children as His love flows down to us. Sean is getting older and bigger, but your love is just getting older and bigger, too. You have realized at a young age what it took me until almost seventy to acknowledge to myself. Tempus fugit!

      October 9th, 2006 at 6:55 pm

    7. Aunt Murry says:

      That is sweet. I could picture you holding him in the rocker and him whispering to you. Thanks for sharing your memories.

      October 9th, 2006 at 7:27 pm

    8. Becky says:

      Have you ever read “Love you Forever” ? It’s a children’s book. I could hardly ever get through reading it to my guys without crying. I used to sing the song the mom in the book sings when I read it. (the tune The Ashgrove works…it’s a hymn tune) Your post reminded me immediate of that book and the times I read it to my boys. Thank you.

      October 9th, 2006 at 7:44 pm

    9. Antique Mommy says:

      Oh yes! I read it at a girlfriend’s house long before I had Sean or was even married and I bawled like big ole baby! And then someone gave me a copy when I was pregnant and all I had to do was look at the cover of the book and it would set me off. It still makes me cry.

      October 9th, 2006 at 8:25 pm

    10. Goslyn says:

      I understand. My parents are in their late 60’s, and I often wish that Tom would have more quality time with them before they are no longer able to be the grandparents they have been for my sister’s children.

      What a beautiful post. They grow up so fast.

      October 9th, 2006 at 10:01 pm

    11. Kvetch says:

      A simple and poignant truth.

      October 9th, 2006 at 10:35 pm

    12. Paulette1958 says:

      This was a beautiful post.I did not have a mother or father they both died so young. I have many times mourned that for my children. They have had no experiences of Grandparents. It sadly is something we do think alot about in our 40’s. I am so glad Sean has had such precious memories with them.

      October 9th, 2006 at 10:44 pm

    13. Brony says:

      That is a lovely photo. You’re right that time is a valuable thing. Something we should not waste or take for granted.

      October 9th, 2006 at 11:14 pm

    14. PastorMac's Ann says:

      AM, This is so sweet. This time with our precious ones is so fleeting. We have to treasure up these tender moments. Thanks for sharing.

      BTW – how wonderful that Sean has his grandparents in his life. I’m sad my kids don’t have have grandparents to around to love them like only grandparents do.

      October 10th, 2006 at 12:51 am

    15. Faye says:

      Very thought provoking message and nostalgic for me. My precious mother died two years ago at the age of 90. Her last words before falling into unconsciousness was, “where’s my baby?” referring to me when she didn’t immediately see me as I had been by her bedside for days and I was out of her range of sight. I was 61 at the time. I will ALWAYS be her baby.

      October 10th, 2006 at 7:55 am

    16. kim says:

      It’s wonderful that you realize how precious time is and do your best to enjoy.

      October 10th, 2006 at 8:14 am

    17. Everyday Mommy says:

      My Friend:
      This is so beautiful and bittersweet. I’m so blessed to have my parents living just around the corner. My LoveBug adores them, and I determined when he was born that he would truly know his grandparents.

      Thank you for sharing this.
      Love,
      jules

      October 10th, 2006 at 9:01 am

    18. EaglesWings says:

      What a sweet post! I’m sitting here crying with you! I’m in my 40’s also and my little guy is 3 1/2…yes where did my baby go!
      Fortunately my parents just live down the street and yes EVERYTHING is better at Poppy & Grandma’s…
      Thanks for sharing!

      October 10th, 2006 at 9:18 am

    19. veronica says:

      I think this is one of the reasons my mother-in-law has trouble welcoming my pregnancies. She is also in her mid-70’s, and she wants to live to see all her grandchildren married. Every baby I have makes that less likely.

      It is also one of the reasons Az and I stopped waiting to have children. At a certain point you realize that every year that you wait is one less year of your life that your children get to share.

      October 10th, 2006 at 10:47 am

    20. Susan says:

      You’re not supposed to make me cry at work!

      October 10th, 2006 at 11:36 am

    21. abogada says:

      I have the same thoughts about my parents, who are also in their mid-70’s. I hope that they are around long enough for my daughter to remember them as she grows older.

      October 10th, 2006 at 12:25 pm

    22. Linda says:

      You said once that being an older mom didn’t necessarily mean you had more patience, but I think it does mean you have lots more wisdom. It is so wise to cherish those special moments. They are truly priceless.

      October 10th, 2006 at 7:14 pm

    23. edj says:

      My mother was 43 when she had me, and my father 47. My father died when I was 15. By the time I was 11, my last grandparent (my mother’s mother) had passed on; I’d only met her once that I remembered, since she lived in Wales.
      I missed having grandparents, but I gained many other things from being born into the family I was born into. All of life is give and take, advantages and disadvantages.
      And you’re right. I’m still my mother’s baby–and she turned 83 yesterday. She used to say I kept her young. Now she’s frail with Parkinson’s, but she’s still pretty spunky, so maybe I did.

      October 11th, 2006 at 4:40 pm

    24. Immomsdaughter says:

      I’m here to say Hi. I’m so touched by your post. You reminded me to treasure my moments with my 62 year old mom, whom I love dearly. Thank you for the reminder,

      October 12th, 2006 at 12:42 am

    25. Melanie says:

      What a touching post! My babies are 7 1/2 yrs down to 2 mo, and I can see already how I will still think of them as my babies even when they have babies and even grandbabies.

      October 12th, 2006 at 11:05 am

    26. Beth says:

      Thank you for this beautiful posting. My four year old doesn’t get to see her grandparents very often, and they too are in their mid-70s (I was their youngest child, and a late-blooming Mom too!). This reminds me of how much we need to treasure every moment we have with one another as a family…

      October 13th, 2006 at 10:03 pm

    27. Jen says:

      You need that Childrens book…I’ll love you forever…..

      October 15th, 2006 at 4:08 pm

    28. Linda says:

      Wow, your post really resonated with me – my Dad, who’s 82 has just returned interstate after coming down to visit us. It’s hard, isn’t it? But I think good in one way, that you really appreciate the time you do have together.

      October 17th, 2006 at 8:36 am

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