Monday, June 22, 2009

Seasons of parenting ~

I've been looking through old photos and feeling a bit "sniffly." Photos like this bring back so many mothering memories ...

As you can see, everyone is looking at the camera but me -- and I'm sure it was because I was playing the mother hen. We were perched on a rock that overlooked one of the highest points in the Ohio Valley. You never know when boys might make a sudden move and wiggle right off the edge of a cliff...

I love old photos! There's a certain nostalgia there, of course, but it also shows me that this parenting thing moves all too quickly. I remember the children in this photo so very well. Melissa, at 10, was quite the grown-up starlet as you can see with those cool shades. She loved writing, drawing, playing the piano and being involved with skits and musical recitals.

Jason, on the far right, was our sports enthusiast who actually learned to read by studying the backs of baseball cards. He loved playing ball and would invite all the boys in the neighborhood to our place for a game of wiffle ball (we wanted to keep our windows). I didn't mind serving up Koolaid or popsicles on those hot summer days. Boys aren't a whole lot of trouble -- just give 'em room to run and put out a plate of cookies or peanut butter crackers now and then. :-)

Kevin, beside me in this photo, was probably the happiest (besides my hubby) to be perched in such a precarious place. He was a miniature Marco Polo that loved to explore, experiment, and -- in general -- make a mad dash to the very edge of adventure and hang on by his toenails. Bless him, he usually looked back to make sure his Mom wasn't having a heart attack.

I miss the children in this photo. They don't live here anymore, so they won't be asking for popsicles or Koolaid on hot summer days. There's no gang of boys on our front lawn slapping high-fives and tagging the oak trees as bases. There isn't a sweet little starlet at the piano practicing for her next recital. There's no miniature Marco Polo planning his next escapade to China and beyond (though he did get close -- he spent time in South Korea while in the U.S. Marine Corps).

If parenting can be compared to the seasons, spring is when our children are very young. Summer is when they are elementary age and autumn is when they are teens that will soon be out the door and on their own. I suppose I'm in the winter stage ... parenting from afar and enjoying the lovely snows of grand-parenting.

But it doesn't feel like winter around here. The outdoor thermometer is registering the upper 90's and I'm kinda enjoying the summer of parenting all over again ... compliments of some favorite family photos.


  1. Nan, I loved your comparisons using the seasons...
    I miss my children, too, but thankfully they live close to us.
    I remember telling a co-worker years and years ago that my son's bedroom was a mess! I was complaining and going on and on about the things in his strewn here and there....blah, blah..the 'pig pen' story." She said something to me that stuck with me and changed my outlook.
    She said, "Pull his door closed....don't worry and stress over the small things. One day when he's grown and gone, his room will be empty...and it will be clean....and you will miss him and the mess." How true. I tried never again to complain about the 'little things.' Thank you for the walk back in time. That is a wonderful photograph. (And yes, that was the Mother in you looking out for the children as you are looking aside...We can't help that. It is and always will be in us. Even when they are grown.)

  2. You're life is richer for the memories, Nan, and more so with the extension to your family in the form of grandchildren. More memories in the making.

  3. So sweet... I've discovered since I've been grown and gone how very much I need my mommy still, just in different ways. :-)


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