My mom often takes pictures, and I can't help but think that she must have done these same things with me when I was a little girl: having tea parties in the back shed, befriending every cat that crossed our path, stepping in puddles, dressing me in mismatched clothes and thrifted sweaters...
There is a place where I learned to do these things with my children and I'm coming to know that that place was in my own childhood, from my own mother.
I wonder what it is like for my mother to look upon this little face, so much like my own when I was little, from her blue eyes to her corona of fuzzy curls. She must seek and find traces of her children's faces in all of her grandchildren's faces. I wonder if she sees traces of her own face, or of the faces of her parents. It just goes on and on.
I wonder what it is like for her to arrive at a place in her life where once again she is closely bonded with small children who depend on and adore her, who feel as safe with her as they would if she were their mother.
I am reminded to cherish each moment I have with them, reminded that there will be a time when I won't feel little hands on my face every day or little arms around my neck. There will be a time when I only have to feed myself, to plan adventures for myself, to make sure that only I myself am happy and comfortable.
I am reminded to cherish each moment I have with her.
I know that when my turn comes, I'll want to spend every spare moment with my grandchildren, too. We'll have tea parties and adventures outside, and hopefully there will be a screen door to slam all day long and cats to love up and puddles to be stepped in.
My mother always says that she retired from nursing then came to work for me. When her friends marvel that she is so willing to give of her time, she tells them that she is paid in hugs and kisses. When she comes through the door in the morning and is greeted with squeals of delight, little running feet, and deep, lingering hugs, I know that we both have a sweet deal in this arrangement of sharing the care of my children.Her photos of these marvellously ordinary moments of her day with her grandchildren tell me that she loves and sees them as I do, unconditionally and without bounds.
Mostly I wonder how I came to be so very blessed.