Do you ever get a little nostalgic for days gone by? When you have children and grandchildren, those days seem to fly and before you know it, the little ones aren't little anymore. I was feeling this way as my family gathered around the table eating lunch on Mother's Day this year. All of a sudden, it hit me that two of my three grandchildren are adults now. Jake talked of finishing his first year of college, Chloe talked with excitement about high school graduation and beginning her first year of college, and thirteen year old Genevieve just listened. Her time will come. Then they left us and ventured upstairs to what was once their giant playroom. As the rest of us talked downstairs, it was the absence of noise coming from upstairs that caught my attention. It seemed that just yesterday there was loud raucous laughter, spats of "I am not" - "Yes you are", the creaky suspension springs of the old 1950's "Wonder Horse" rocking wildly threatening to throw its rider to the floor, and screams followed by one of us running up the stairs to see which one of them was badly injured, only to find them rolling on the floor laughing.
But this Mother's Day, Chloe and Jake were quietly talking about the past and future, and Genevieve, growing bored of grown-up talk was taking a nap on the bed. But in my head, I could still hear the laughter, I could still picture the rocking horse swinging wildly to and fro, and I could feel the little bodies, one by one giving me a hug when I finally heeded their little voices of “Maw-maw, come upstairs and play with us”.
No voices asking me to play came this Mother’s Day, but their hugs came, nonetheless, as they readied to go home. Only this time, instead of me stooping to their level to accept their hugs, I stood on my tiptoes to accept Jake’s and Chloe’s, and stood dead even to hug Genevieve.
So much has changed, and I miss those days terribly, but instead of brooding over it and living in the past, I am looking forward to seeing the adults they will become; looking forward to attending more graduations, weddings, and finally, welcoming great-grandchildren into this old house full of memories, where I’ll once again hear the sounds of laughter, the even squeakier springs of “Wonder Horse”, and the hugs of little ones as I make my way up the stairs - a little slower with the passing years.
Pass the tissues, please. Sniff, sniff.