Yesterday I was in a store line up. A woman with a four year old girl was in line ahead of me. The child didn’t seem to require oxygen in order to speak, because I am sure I never heard her breathe once between sentences. That little girl was explaining an extraordinarily complex game she had made up, with a set of rules that would rival Dungeons and Dragons. The Mother was trying to pay, and wrangle a younger sibling along with shopping bags, and the little girl chattered on. I listened with great amusement because it has been a few years since my kids have spoken in marathons like that.
I think back now, there were times when their stories seemingly went on for ages. When every small thing they did resulted in a full voice below of “MOMMY COME SEE WHAT I DID“. That was back when they wanted to show me everything, and tell me everything.
I am now entering a different phase of our lives. Their stories are less frequent, but much more interesting. They tell their tales with the same feverish enthusiasm and it seems like they just couldn’t wait to tell me, but it doesn’t happen too often. Children, from the day we have them start to pull away from us. I thought it was hard sending them to school full time, or letting them go places without me. That was easy. This part is getting hard. When they keep their stories more to themselves, and have that shared understanding with their friends. They have stories I don’t know about, or that they keep to themselves to build their own internal archive. I just hope those secret stories are mostly happy, and are memories of achievement, or resilience, or love.
I sometimes sit and watch my beautiful babies laugh and practice being teenagers or grown ups and wish they would tell me one of their stories, or show me what they did.
Tell me your stories baby, and Mama will hold them in her heart.
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