Saturday, March 26, 2011

These Precious Things

I've been more melancholy as of late than I care to express. I've done what most writers do, crawled up into myself to see how the story unfolds.

I'm noticing things that are swooshing past me and even as I reach out to grab hold, nothing even brushes my fingertips. Only the wind created by what was.

There are no more colorful pre-school toys littering my bathroom floor. The cabinet that houses all the plastic dishes and bottles, character plates and sippy cups, hasn't been emptied but goes unopened. The girls are all big enough for real glassware now.

The oldest girl is getting more mail than I've gotten in ten years. All from colleges because she's almost gone.

And the time! All this time I have. Uninterrupted showers. Yoga. Writing. It should be so relaxing. Only it's not. It's sad.

My phantom babies are still crying at my side. They want to be held, breast fed, scooped up and snuggled. And when I give in and go to care for them, my arms grab onto air. Empty and hollow.

I've been told that being a grandmother is wonderful. And I guess I can believe it (though I'm years away from that-- let's hope) but I know the soldiness of motherhood. The absolute reality that when the baby is sick in the middle of the night a steamy shower and a good rub of Vicks will make them sleep on my chest. Only I won't sleep. I stay awake all night and try to read one handed by the glow of the warm night light. I won't do that with my grandchildren. That's a mother's job.

Last night my littlest was not feeling well. I bathed her and wrapped her up tight. I put her in my bed and snuggled close to her. She fell asleep nestled against my chest.

The oldest walked in and kissed her forehead.

"You used to love being here," I said.

"I still do Mom," she replied as she walked out the door and entered her own world (room)

Come back! I have another arm! I miss you. Where did you go? I want to take care of you!

I will always take care of you. You were here first.

You are the owner of my heart.

This world and all who live in it better be good to her. Oh yes. Because if they treat her in a manner that is not in keeping with the wondrous and gentle soul she has always been, there is no telling what I may do.

Be warned world. This mother bear is ready for you.


  1. You have such a way of expressing the inexpressible. As a fellow mother bear, I relate to this oh-so-well! And mine are only 13 and (almost) 11. While we did away with sippy cups a long time ago, college feels like it's just around the corner.

    Thanks for warming my heart with your melancholy tribute to motherhood this afternoon.


  2. I'm not a mother, nor remotely maternal. But this is beautifully done.

  3. I loved all of your writing, Suzy. It makes my heart ache in the most wonderful of ways.

  4. I hear you, my heart hears yours, because I'm at that place too.
    And I feel exactly as you do, have felt that air when I wanted body.
    Being a grandmother could come nowhere near being a mother. And I agree with you, the job of staying awake at night is a mother's (or fater's) job.

  5. I'm a year ahead of you and I'm crying. This is it for me. Thank you for letting me know I am not the only one feelng this...

  6. Children are love. I miss them being little. The strollers, the giggles, the wonder in each new discovery. The cuddles. You get some of that back with grandkids, but it isn't quite the same. They aren't yours. They don't live with you and you miss alot. But it is still a good thing. Your kids may grow up but you will always be a mom.

  7. Beautiful. If there only was a "rewind" and "stop" button for time. Sigh.

  8. My only son moved out into his own apartment one month ago. I have finally gotten to the place where I can stretch out without tearfully missing having him in my space.
    What you said about your phantom babies creates words for the feelings I have not been able to express. Thank you.

    This is beautifully done, Suzy.

  9. So beautiful :( and sad. I called my Mom (who lives 2000 miles away) right away.

  10. You speak down deep into my heart. Into a place that's all your own.

  11. Beautifully written Suzy. Although my children now have children, they'll always be my children.

  12. Oh My Goodness, ms. Suzyhayze,, oh my goodness,,,

  13. Makes me fear my son growing up, away from me! I love holding him. I always want to be able to hold him.

  14. I wept when I read this because I too have been feeling melancholy lately...for much of the same reasons. My son is also getting mail from colleges and I feel him pulling away. For so long my identity has just been "mom" world has revolved around my kids and I don't know what I'll do or who I'll be when they are gone.

    You captured how I've been feeling so perfectly and eloquently.