The Things A Mother Didn’t Do

It’s uncovered … once again.

I open the drawer to my daughter’s chest-of-drawers, shuffling a few items around to make room for the new. Beside me, my daughter’s sweet hands work, shifting and folding.

Ooh, what’s that? My hand glides over the shiny, smooth surface–the object lining the drawer. Stashed away. Purple. Paint. Prints. “Oh.” We carefully reveal and pull it out. It’s the baby, when she was a baby … her tiny handprints. Made in Sunday school.

DSC_6145 (7)Instagram Photo (5) - Copy

Frustration and disappointment sink to my lower tummy. My heart follows, weighing down a little heavier. “I never did hang this,” I admit. I look to my daughter. “I meant to frame this.” I stumble for words. “I just kept forgetting.”

How many times have I said that over the years? How many times have I stumbled across the thing I never did? How many times have I failed to make a change, make a difference? And now, it seems really too late.

“It’s okay, Mom.” She smiles, always assuring. Always forgiving.

We read over the words together, smiling, laughing, remembering how artistic and messy she could be. Oh, the stories there to share.

“Look how tiny your hands were.” She smiles and gives a little nod. It’s amazing how something so tiny can fill you so full … full of wonder and joy and love.

DSC_6149 (3)

We plop down for a game of Princess Uno. I marvel at how I manage to get my teenagers to play Princess Uno still. I never managed to shift to the older version. I guess I enjoy hanging onto all little all I can. And I laugh at the irony–that I played the older version when I was a kid, and now I play the princess version as an adult.

We eventually move to the bed, side by side, talking about her best bud, school, drawing, cats … The daughter who doesn’t love to dance jumps up and takes my hands in hers, and we waltz, laughing, tripping over each other. “You’re going to make me fall,” I say, with a frightened giggle.

Before I know it, best bud is joining us and sister, too. We’re looking and sorting through all the items stashed away in baskets on her bookshelf. And laughing. White wicker baskets, lined in pink-and-white polka-dotted fabric. It’s little items. Cherished items belonging to both of my daughters, from their childhood. Things I just couldn’t part with. Things I cherished too much to stash away in the attic. Because … what if we needed to see them, look at them, read them, breath them in … remember? Now.

I pull out tiny baby Bibles, framed baby pictures, tiny photo albums, and notice the dust covering the stuffed animals. A wave of embarrassment washes over me. I never did make my teenager a teenager room.

I mean … it’s cute, but it’s still a little girl room.

DSC_6151 (3)DSC_6152 (2)

“Do we need to change your room?” I ask. “Are you happy with the pink paint? It was named ‘Lauren’ … remember? After your best friend. Remember how we had moved away, and you were so glad the paint color had her same name?”

“Yeah. I think we should repaint and change things up some,” daughter says, with her cutest typical smirk–the smirk that tells me she loves me just the way I am, behind and all.

“What color would you possibly want? Other than this color?” I can’t think of one that would be better. Not a single one. Translation: do I have one more paint job in me?

She mulls over the idea.

“Can your room just stay little?” I ask. I know the answer to that. I love being a mama. I thought I’d never be one once. And I’ve loved every step along the way. But the uncovered truth is–I always seem to remain a world’s pace behind. What’s wrong with me?

I didn’t do this. I didn’t do that.

Days pass.

Daughter rushes toward me carrying something precious. She cups the tiny somethings in her hand, like she’s protecting it, guarding it, loving it.

Her eyebrows raise, eyes sparkling. Her smile grows. “Look, Mom. Look what I found in the basket on my bookshelf.” She beams, extending the treasured possessions to me, with her fresh prints anew.

It’s two tiny “A Little” Little Golden Books–The Poky Puppy, Little Golden Book Land. “I can’t believe I found these,” she says. “I didn’t know they were there. In my baskets. I loved these.”

One tee-tiny book, having been read so much, is bound by tape. Bound by love. Some things, some actions are just bound to be. Do you agree?

DSC_6106 - Copy (6)

And something is uncovered right at that moment. Embracing that second-in-time to my heart like a cherished friend, I’m so thankful I didn’t do what I never did. I’d never do what I never did again for another moment like that.


Happy Mother’s Day! Do you have a similar story to share?  Have you found a little favor through your failures? 

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “The Things A Mother Didn’t Do

  1. Wonderful post, dear Shelli. You’re an amazing mother. Fresh paint pales compared to the caring and compassionate way you’ve mothered your daughters. I felt bad for not painting one of my boy’s rooms sooner. He ended up painting it himself. It looks great. The other son has moved out and—believe me—I don’t think about paint; I think about how glad I am that I gave him the gift of my time while he was little.
    I painted my own room when I was 15 (pale peach). I enjoyed doing it myself. 🙂
    You’re a good mom. ❤
    Blessings ~ Wendy Mac

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Wendy Mac! We’ve moved so many times, it seems, and have painted each house. Ugh. You are so sweet … and I think it’s sweet that you painted your room when you were that young. Happy Mother’s Day, Wendy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Shirlee Abbott

    You fail to give yourself credit,, Shelli, for other things you did not do–not squelching creativity in favor of neatness, impatient words not blasted through clenched teeth, spontaneous moments not subjected to schedule.

    For me . . . it was damaged furniture. Our adopted sons arrived in mid-winter, and snowy mittens damaged the entry table. A hot-wheel car made a permanent highway the length of my buffet. The five year old glued the couch cushions together. I remember praying, “Lord, I love my children more than my furniture, but do I have to prove it every day?”

    Happy Mother’s Day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shirlee, thank you so much. You brought out such sweetness. And goodness … boys! My dear friend has three, and wow … but they are so awesome. My husband decided one year that the kids could color with markers under the kitchen table. It was a new table. I wasn’t sure I could handle that … no one would see it. They only did that a few years, and then they kind of forget about it. I need to have them draw some more. 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day to you, too … you are a dear friend.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s