Thursday, August 03, 2006

This morning before work, I had coffee with the second family of Robins to use a nest right next to our back porch. The Momma Robin was taxing herself with the responsibility of taking care of three hungry mouths. My guess is by this evening these babies will take flight of their own. It was a hefty job she had; in today’s world if she were one of us I think it would be pretty safe to say she had little time for quilting.

On the drive into town to work this morning there was a doe with two fawns that she was protecting and ensuring that they stay out of traffic. A little further up the road, I stopped and waited as two Momma turkeys and 12 babies scurried across a country road. I’m reminded countless times in a day, the role a mother plays and how vital it is.

My heart went out to my neighbors up the road. I call them my neighbors because I couldn’t tell you their names if I had to. They’re a ’35-37’ ish couple with a 16-month-old baby. Quiet couple—they’re great neighbors… I pass their home daily when I run Ransom. We wave, talk about the weather, if they have the baby out I always gush over it. Well, yesterday, the same scenario starts playing out:

“Hey!”
“How’s it going?”
“OK, I guess, the baby took her first steps today”
“ Ah, man that’s great!!!”
“ Yeah, she was at daycare--- we missed everything”
My response….”Guys, she’ll have so many more firsts….many first steps in so many ways…Don’t worry about it. Hey, get a new daycare lady…. She should have never told you…”

By now I had walked up close enough that I could see tears on the mom’s face holding the baby. My heart went out to the family. I worked part time when Eric was little until he was about eighteen months old. I had a neighbor lady take care of him. We still see each other every now and then at the grocery store; we’ve since moved from next door.
Maybe it’s just nostalgia because Eric’s leaving for school, or heartbreak for this couple, but you know what I did. I wrote Eric’s old sitter a thank you note. I’m quite certain I missed several firsts (I was the definition of a ‘rookie’ parent), but she was so awesome, she loved Eric (and me) enough to never tell me… and Don & I thought we experienced every one of them first hand….

Whether it is that Momma Robin, a young parent, or that mother of a college freshman….I’m still awestruck and honored at the role of a parent….

Until tomorrow—live up today.

20 comments:

Pam's Creative Mind said...

Being a mom who was blessed to stay home with my babies and having 5 grandkids who were blessed to have their momma's stay home with them I just ache when I hear something like this. You are right, they need a new sitter!

Thanks for the reminder that all momma's no matter their spieces have their hands full.

The Calico Cat said...

Awww, I'm crying for that momma - knowing that I will be in her shoes if/when I am a momma....

You should tell her that the baby will have a first step that the family see too & it will still be magical. (This is what my dad said, becasue my mom got to see the "real" firsts - so he had daddy firsts.)

Oh heck - where are my tissues? (I can't see to hunk & peck!)

KCQuilter said...

Now, darn it, another one of your posts has made me go all teary-eyed. I love your awareness and sensitivity to all the life going on around you.

jpquilter said...

This really touched me! We both worked full time when our oldest was little and one day I told her provider that she had her first tooth - she was so excited for us, she just beamed. It wasn't until our daughter was about 15 that I found out that the provider had seen the tooth earlier that week but wanted me to discover it. What a gem! As an early childhood educator, I have to always remember that a big part of my job is supporting parents. Great reminder.

Libby said...

If only there were enough hours in the day that we could do it all. I worked when my daughter was growing up. I've always thought that I saw all the "firsts" because no one told me otherwise. I'm feeling pretty lucky right now.

I love how you observe and describe the world around you.

Cathi said...

I am a stay at home momma and have witnessed all the firsts, but count my blessings, as I know many of my friends have not. Women in this age have it hard, they want to keep their intellect and identity in the workplace and still have a family.

I miss working full time, but am lucky to have my part-time work with clients that keep coming back to me. Lets me know that I am still marketable if I ever want to go back full time, gives me a bit of money for trips home to the States, and gives me grown ups to talk to some days, LOL.

I cried for your neighbor momma, that really wasn't clever of the daycare worker to tell her...she could have said, "she nearly walked today, encourage her tonight"... little white lies would have been good in this case!

tami said...

You brought tears to my eyes. I was lucky enough to be a stay at home mom until both of mine were in school. It is something I wish were possible for all moms. I think those daycare providers who are intuitive enough to keep the firsts to themselves are worth their weight in gold.

Judy said...

They need to tell their sitter to never tell them those things again!! My girlfriend did that exact thing. After the first word she told the lady NEVER to tell her again. She just kept them to herself, and eventually her daughter did something at home and it was wonderful. As soon as I read your post I scremed "She told them??" Then I read your words. Definate no-no.

Bonnie said...

What a beautiful story. You should be a writer!

Linda_J said...

I was never given the privilege of being a mom but that story brings tears to my eyes for the new mama. Think how torn she must be--stay home or have to work and miss those moments. Do dads mourn missing those little things, I wonder?

Marcie said...

Bless your heart for your encouraging words to your neighbors. I would have suffered miserably had I not been able to stay home with my kids. (Sometimes suffered because of them too!) No, you never turn off the mother switch. You wouldn't want to.

Joanne said...

What a nice thing to do. My first babysitters were my DSIL and DS (both of whom have passed away). They practically raised my son for me but they were family and he sure knew he was loved.
This is just a coincidence, I'm sure, but my DD called today to tell me my DGS's "other" grandma broke his heart yesterday -- she took just big sis, Briana to spend two nights & go to the fair with them and left AJ (2-1/2) crying real tears because he didn't understand why they couldn't take him (DD and I don't understand either - he's the easiest baby in the world to take care of).

Tazzie said...

What a beautiful post. Being a Mother is such a special thing, and you have illustrated it perfectly.
*hugs*
Tazzie
:-)

Susan H. said...

My heart hurts for that mother. I am one of those mother's who missed many first's with my children. I have finally realized that family MUST come first, and am blessed with a job that now allows me to put them first when needed. I work hard and long hours, but when my kids need me I am there. Wish I had come to that realization earlier in their lives.

cher said...

enjoyed your post-as a new grandma I am reminded just how fast a baby grows!

Melzie said...

Aww :*) Youre right the sitter shouldnt have blabbed! This post though reminded me I am fortunate to stay at home even though by the end of each summer I am a crazy lady LOL. :) ((hugs)) you are very sweet. xoxo melzie

kim said...

Your posts seem to help me keep things in perspective. You help me remember that my time isn't mine at this point in my life. One day I will have all the time I want to sew or do what I want to do. For now, I focus on the kids and my time with them. I know it will go quick and I will miss it. Thanks for your insight!

Kim :-)

Shelina said...

That is a beautiful post. The way I see it, even if I was with my daughter the first time she did something, I wouldn't necessarily have seen it. What if she said her first word in the middle of the night when I was asleep? It only counts if I'm there to witness it.
I told the hospital I was going to nurse my baby, but they "accidentally" gave her a bottle already - without my being able to feed her either by bottle or by nursing. So I missed her first first. So then I let them change her first diaper, and all the rest actually until I was released. In a way it was a good thing that happened, because then I didn't feel the need to witness the "firsts." Firsts are overrated.

Susan said...

Thanks for your thoughts. I managed to catch most of the firsts, but whether it was his first, or the first time I saw it, it was cause for celebration. =) How nice you were to this couple who needed to hear just what you said.

Laura said...

I am trying to catch up on blogs! Your writing a letter to the siter reminded me of when Jess graduated from high school. I wrote his sitter a letter, we hadn't seen her for 14 years at that time but I thought she should know what a great young man he had grown into and how we credited her love and wisdom for this. She was a great person and instilled a lot of great things into that young man! I think she will really appreciate your letter!