Monday, January 25, 2010

A needed reminder

My mom came out last week to visit and get her Chloe/Ryan fix. She'd been having "attacks", so thank goodness she came when she did! It was so fun having her here. We went to lunch, shopped, laughed, watched 'Seven Brides For Seven Brothers' (a Halliday favorite), and enjoyed many late night talks.

Mom also found plenty of time to spoil the kids. One thing that really stood out to me was that she was never in a hurry. No matter what she was doing, even if that was taking a rest on the couch, she welcomed any interruptions by the kids. One day in particular she'd just finished reading a rather long story to Chloe. Just as Chloe always does when a story comes to an end, she immediately asked my mom to read it again. Without hesitation Grandma Jill cheerfully said, "Okay!" and proceeded to the first page. Such a simple act inspired me to be more giving of my time. Sure, there's always that to-do list. And I certainly realize that the role of a grandmother is different from that of a mother. But we all know how quickly time passes and how children outgrow stages and enter new ones in what feels like a blink of an eye! I think this poem, which my mom shared with me years ago, sums it up well.

Babies Don't Keep

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullaby, rockabye, lullaby loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peek-a-boo

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullaby, rockabye lullaby loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

- Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

Thanks for the reminder, mom.

It was such a delight having you here, and we miss you already!


Anonymous said...

The poem is awesome. We all need a reminder that they don't stay small forever. What a sweet woman she is. I love the photo as well. You've got a great Momma!

Kelly Stoddart said...

Thank you so much for posting that! Just what I needed on a hectic day like today. You have a fabulous mother!

The Goulds said...

I love your mom. Seeing her makes me want to cry. She is such an amazing woman, who always has a way of bringing the important things in life to view. I need to print that one out.

Nells-Bells said...

thank you for posting that poem! there are days when i just look at the house and sigh. it is in total disaray and i'm too busy playing with the kids. well, i'd rather play with the kids than clean...lets put it that way.
BTW -- seven brides for seven brothers is one of my ab-fab movies of all time!!! xo.

Angie said...

Love it! Thanks for that uplifting reminder. :) Your mom is so special!

Mama/Gma Jill said...

Oh - goodness - it took awhile to get back here to comment, and now I see these others: Carrie, Kelly, April, Angie - you guys made me cry all over again (and Nells-Bells - I loved yours too :). Thank you all so much - I love you all and wish I could hug you.

And sweet Valeri, thank you for this. It is priceless to me. Thank you for appreciating everything, and also it brings back the wonderful week. Just look at Ryan's little face, and Chloe's little hands with her precious weaving. But what more was there to do than just do what the kids wanted to do, or what you needed me to do. I was all yours. That's why I love to come! And you're so right - a mother's role is definitely different than a grandma's. No one could find a better mother than you are, anywhere. (And all the rest of you too - you're ALL wonderful mothers!)

It really is such a good poem. My mom framed that last stanza when David was born, and I've always loved it. It's so very very true. In fact, I have another one here telling what happens if you don't heed the advice given in the first. Will take a little space to get it down, but I think it's worth it:


My hands were busy through the day;
I didn't have much time to play
the little games you asked me to -
I didn't have much time for you.
I'd wash your clothes, I'd sew and cook;
But when you'd bring your picture book
And ask me please to share your fun,
I'd say, "A little later, son."

I'd tuck you in all safe at night,
And hear your prayers, turn out the light,
Then tip-toe softly to the door...
I wish I'd stayed a minute more.

For life is short, the years rush past...
A little boy grows up so fast.
No longer is he at your side,
His precious secrets to confide.
The picture books are put away;
There are no longer games to play,
No good-night kiss, no prayers to hear -
That all belongs to yesteryear.

My hands, once busy, now are still.
The days are long and hard to fill.
I wish I could go back and do
The little things you asked me to.
Author Unknown

I love you all so much. Hug the babies and Neil for me.
Love love love, and from Gpa too :)
Mama/Gma Jill