The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Nauseous with Nostalgia

My youngest child just turned one. Colby’s official transition to toddlerhood – marked by a family BBQ and several renditions of “Happy Birthday” – wasn’t all sweet smiles and cupcakes. Behind the excitement and celebration was a lingering sadness. The truth is that Colby’s first year ended before I was ready to move on.

Grief wasn’t an ingredient in my older son’s first birthday. Each new development – from crawling to Kai’s first song – was as sweet as his very first cupcake. Only recently did I recognize the finality of each milestone. This leads to scary questions such as: If I’m not ready to move on now, how will I feel when my boys leave home? After all, if the first year can pass like a turn of a page, college is little more than a magazine article away.

To try to reassure myself, I imagine myself thirty years from now looking back in time. What advice would I give myself? Having only the benefit of imaginary hindsight, I can only answer with what I already know. I need to enjoy my kids and collect good memories along the way.

Instead of grieving the moments that have already passed, I can focus on enjoying the kids now. Often that means while I’m kitchen-cleaning, appointment-making, money-earning, bill-paying and other life-doing tasks. If these next few years zoom by faster than Colby can empty out the kitchen cabinets, I better remember the details.

Some of my favorite memories are the slow, ordinary ones – Kai pulling a chair to the sink to wash his hands, Colby crawling down the stairs backwards and the boys kneeling side by side sorting blocks. These are the kind of moments that just don’t fully register in my memory unless I make an effort to really pay attention. These are the candid photos of memories, the moments in between vacations, events and celebrations.

Next time I start mourning Colby’s lost baby days, I’ll focus my nostalgia on the upcoming “firsts” already lining up for their turn in front of the camera. For now, I’ll hold onto the memory of Colby toddling toward me, holding out a piece of used Kleenex like a prize, his six-toothed smile so wide that his eyes and nose crinkle together like a Shar-Pei puppy.

If I don’t hurry up and slow down -- I might miss what comes next.

.By Maya Creedman


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