Tag Archives: memories

Reason #63 Why Having a Preschooler Rocks


This morning we were running errands when Katie spotted a huge fountain and wanted desperately to get closer.

We didn’t have a ton of time to finish our shopping before we had to hurry home for lunch and naps, but she asked so nicely that I indulged her.

We sat and watched the fountain for 15 minutes and she laughed with glee every time the water shot up.

There was no errand more important that seeing how happy that little bit of time in front of a fountain–a fountain that I’ve looked right past more times than I can count–made her .

Lunch was delayed, naps were late, but we were happy.

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Pure Joy

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So Much to Say

In the hours that I’ve spent at Craig’s mother’s bedside, I have found it difficult to be silent.

She alternates between moments of alertness, making eye contact and nodding in response to questions, and moments of unconsciousness. She is in there still…and she is trapped. You can see that she has much that she’d like to say, but she cannot speak.

So I talk to her and for her. I talk about her grandchildren, her sons, her friends. I retell stories that she has shared with me–stories of her youth.

I continually ask her if she wants me to talk and she always nods yes.

But, I can’t help but wonder if she’d appreciate it if I was just silent for a bit, or maybe if I would just slow down and let the memories wash over her, like warm sunshine on her face.

I find myself going on and on, afraid of the silences, afraid to waste one precious minute of the time that we have left, afraid that she will go and I will have some little thing that I want to share with her.

I tell her that I am eternally grateful for her son. I tell her that he is strong and true. Patient and handsome. Loyal and tender. (She knows all these things, but I tell her all the same.)

I tell her that Katie grows more confident every day and that she loves gymnastics.

I tell her that Matthew has turned into an impossibly happy baby and that he adores his sister.

I tell her how her granddaughter Keelin has an eclectic spirit that illuminates any room.

I tell her how her grandson Zai is turning into such a fine young man, intelligent and kind, silly and serious.

I don’t tell her that I am scared that I wont know how to help her son when she passes.

But, I do tell her that he is safe with me, that I will figure it out, and that I’ll never let go of his hand.

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So That You May Know Her…

Dear Katie and Matthew,

Your grandmother is lying in a hospital bed tonight and she is dying. Maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow, but very soon.

Daddy is with her, holding her hand and telling her just how much we all love her.

Neither of you will remember her and that breaks my heart.

There is so much about her that I want you both to know.

She was dynamic. She could quote Shakespeare, discuss philosophy, and sing and play the guitar. Daddy tells a childhood story of camping with her–he remembers her sweet voice singing over the crackling of the campfire. I wish I could have heard that.  I wish you could have heard that.

She was eclectic. I will never forget the outfit she wore to your Uncle Todd’s graduation. She was dressed from head to toe in the most vibrant shade of turquoise, complete with floppy hat and arms adorned with bangle bracelets that just sparkled in the sunlight. She was lit from within in that wild outfit and it suited her beautifully.

She was intelligent. She was a well-respected trauma nurse who pursued her education while raising three young boys. She saw so much in her days as a nurse that made her even more compassionate and empathetic.

She was kind. She was quick to tell you why you were special to her. She was so generous with her words and never missed an opportunity to tell you exactly what made you unique. Sometimes, she would make me blush with her compliments, but I always appreciated and welcomed them.

She was whimsical. She loved astrology and loved to tell you what your sign meant and how it impacted you. Daddy and I would roll our eyes, but that didn’t stop her–she believed it and it was endearing.

She was the most optimistic person I’ve ever known. Her glass, even in the most difficult of times, was always half full. When life dealt her a terrible hand, she found inner strength that astonished us.

She will live on in your daddy, who is the man that he is because of her. She taught him to be a gentleman, to be kind and courteous. It was from her that he learned how to treat women and how to respect others.

I want you each to know that she loved you. She was so happy to have grandchildren and you made her just light up. She exuded happiness when she spoke of all of the fun that you would have with her as you grew and I’m so sorry that you won’t have that opportunity. She would have caused all sorts of fun trouble with you.  She truly looked forward to being, in her words, “your partner in crime.”

I am so truly sorry that you didn’t have the opportunity to know her.

I promise to share all of my stories with you. I will do all that I can to keep her alive in my memory so that I can share her with you both.

She has had such a rough time of it. Now it is time for us to wish her peace.

With all of my love,
Mommy

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I’m a Big Fat Ice Cream Liar

I lied to Katie yesterday.

It was a repeat of a lie that I’ve told countless times over the past two months.

On the day of the initial lie, we were outside playing and she heard the Ding Ding (the ice cream truck) and said, in her sweetest, most curious voice, “What’s that noise?”

I panicked.  I totally panicked.

Here’s why:

When I was little, I had an unhealthy addiction to the Ding Ding.  My mother, who often showed just how much she loved me through baking and allowing me all sorts of goodies, encouraged this. {Thank you, Mom!}

The Ding Ding plays a huge role in my memories of summer.  He came every day and my mother always had her spare change ready for me.  {I think I developed super hearing from always listening for the earliest hint of the music from that truck.}

If we were going to run errands, I needed reassurance that the timing would in no way conflict with my daily treat.  Nothing could keep me from that truck.

I would drop whatever I was doing and run for the truck with all of the other neighborhood kids.  We all waited impatiently for our Push-Up Pops, Creamsicles, Chocolate Eclair Pops, and Fudgsicles.

Every single day.

As I’ve mentioned before, I am that mom.  I don’t allow Katie to have sugary treats very often. I’ve nearly perfected my trips grocery store, almost always avoiding the problem areas.  And, if she catches sight of something I won’t allow her to have? I say, “Oh, those aren’t for kids, they’re for grownups.”

{Yes, I do realize that I am a horrible liar.}

The Ding Ding is a combination of all of my worst nightmare on wheels.

What do I see when I catch a glimpse of that truck?  A pedophile (our local driver looks CREEPY) who drives around spewing fumes (get a new muffler, buddy!), peddling his high fructose corn syrup-laden fat bombs to innocent children.

So, when Katie heard the Ding Ding and asked what it was, I lied.

I said, “Oh, that?  That’s the music truck.”

She looked befuddled, so I enhanced the lie by telling her, “the music truck drives through the neighborhood every day so that all of the kids can hear the music while outside playing.”

Totally lame, I know.

So, now when she hears the truck, she looks at me and almost challenges me to lie again.  I am convinced that she KNOWS I’m lying.

Although a huge part of me wants so badly to make her happy, as I know the treats would, I just can’t do it.  If I let her have a treat even once, I just know that I am setting myself up for daily struggles.

How am I going to keep up this lie?  We live in California–our Ding Ding knows no winter.

Any suggestions?

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Reason #26 Why Having a Preschooler Rocks

We had a tea party that lasted all morning long.

Katie dreamed up the menu…

…kept my cup full…

…and gave me memories that will last a lifetime.

She’s a delightful host, that Katie.

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