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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Where Have My Babies Gone?


I can't help it.  I'm a bit melancholy lately.  I look around me and see my children - a few all grown up.  Others close behind.  And, a grandson who is rambunctious and growing up so fast too.  Where have my babies gone? 


I think they've left their mark on my skin, my hair, my hands, and my heart.  They've left an indelible print on my life and my existence.  They've given me memories and moments, heartaches and headaches, hugs and happiness, worries and wonderment.  I suppose the world must go on, but must they grow up?


They are all asleep in their beds right now.  The house is dark and quiet.  I take comfort in knowing that they are here, just a few steps away, from a hug and a kiss on the cheek, from the reassurance that they are loved and adored.  They are still my babies - even if one is 30 years old now.


I think back on when they were babies, and toddlers, and youngsters full of joy and laughter.  Now my oldest daughter is 30, my youngest daughter is 15.  My only son is 12 and my grandson is 9.  The years have rolled by with the creep of a roller coaster going uphill and the speed of the ride going straight down.

Yep, life is like a roller coaster and then you're at the gate wondering why the ride was so short. 


As you can probably tell by my place here on the web, I love to take pictures.  I love to hold those memories in the palm of my hand for a little bit longer.  I love to go back and revisit them from time to time, Oh!  And now I look over and watch as my daughter clicks away holding on to those memories of her lifetime with her son.


Still, it's tough.  It is one thing looking in the mirror and examining the new wrinkle that I never noticed before, or the deeper recesses around my nose and mouth, but it is altogether different having my daughters all grown up beside me looking in the mirror and getting all dolled up.  I look at them in amazement at how beautiful they are and how blessed I am to have them in my life.  I'm also amazed at how recently, it seems, that I was young and youthful, full of energy with a head full of great hair, bright eyed and bushy tailed.  I remember those feelings of looking good and feeling good.  Oh how time has a way of passing the torch onto our children.  It is their time to shine now - and my time to admire them in their youth.


I still wonder where my babies have gone?  I wish I could pick them up out of their crib and hold them in my lap and close to my breast again.  I wish I could rock them to sleep and sing to them as I did when they were babies.  Wasn't that just yesterday?

Song for a Fifth Child
by Ruth Hurlburt Hamilton (1958)

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.


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