Last weekend we celebrated the birthdays of my baby girl and her stepbrother. They share a birthday, a year apart. She’s the baby of our beautifully blended family. I said I wasn’t going to attend, I even dropped off my presents – I had other plans you see. In the end, plans were shifted, and Mommy dropped her schoolwork, packed up the dog, and made my way down to the party. The smile on my gal’s face proved to me that I made the right choice. How could I think to miss my own baby’s birthday party?
We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. – Stacia Tauscher
I am constantly asking, What do you want to do when you grow up? She has given me a wide variety of answers. One answer pricked my heart, a former “career” of mine. One she only enjoyed for her first two years of life – of course she can’t remember… I sat and watched her, after opening presents, playing in a corner with her Shopkins, alone. Don’t you want to play games? Others asked. No, I want to play this. So, they left her alone. It reminded me of a picture, when I was around her age, sitting in a corner, playing Barbies… The family was playing a new game, I didn’t want to join in, I hadn’t thought anyone had noticed. I creeped down to the floor and asked if I could play with her, she was more than happy for me to play along. I cherish these moments, for they are ever fleeting, at 10, it won’t be much longer until she no longer wants to pick up these toys to play – alone or with me.
Children have never been very good at listening to their elders… – James Baldwin
My son is an anomaly, at least this is what I like to think. I don’t know that there are many sons quite like him. He is all boy, yet he is the kindest person I have ever met. There are times when he takes me by surprise when I see a side to him that reminds me of his dad, or worse, reminds me of me! Not that either of us are bad. I have witnessed my boy exhibit so much patience, that when it runs out, and he admits it, even I don’t know what to do or think! Now, in these years of puberty, my prayer is just, Lord, let him live! Listening has gone out of the window, yet his tender heart remains. He has become – shall we say reckless? My brother says I should just let him be. But the mother inside – well, I suppose this is where my first gray hairs will begin to sprout…
Teach your children they’re unique. That way, they won’t feel pressured to be like everybody else. – Cindy Cashman
Oh dear daughter, struggling to find yourself in this dark, twisted world. From the day I learned I was going to be a mom, I didn’t think I could do it. From the moment I saw your beautiful face, I knew I was made for it. God doesn’t make mistakes – we’ve heard it said, thousands of time, but I know it to be true. When I gave birth, it had to be her, no other child would do! She has a gentle way of calming, though I was the one soothing her. She has a special way of loving, in that unique way I fell in love at first sight – not the fake love you read about in books, but the unconditional kind. She doesn’t see herself as I do, with sparkles in my eyes, her beautiful face, I ask, Why do you hide your gorgeous smile? I try to hide the tears that well up each time she says, “When I go to college…” I refrain from saying, Can’t you just stay?
Children are mirrors, they reflect back to us all we say and do. – Pam Leo
I never imagined the day would come that I would be a single-parent. I never imagined the day would come when we would all be in the double-digits (and if you know kids, you know what a big deal this is). When I look in the mirror of my children, reflecting back at me, I see those traits, I thought were faults and I realize they were strengths all along. What I hear reflected back, as they interact with others is love, sometimes I’m guilty of asking, who taught you that? I see pieces of my childhood, I see who I wish to be – then I have to wonder, are these pieces of me? In these awkward tween & teen years, I find myself increasingly introspective, as I look in the mirror of my dear children, at my own reflection.
*Original photo taken by CB