Monday, September 21, 2009

"This is MY mom!"

Yesterday morning I had procured all the necessary books off the library shelves: Disney Princesses, Tinkerbell, A Princess and Her Horse, The Princess and the Pea, and Rapunzel. The munchkin and I sat at a small table in even smaller chairs and I read the tales to her two-year-old heart's content.

A boy, not much older than this daughter of mine, hoisted himself into a chair beside us and laid his offerings on the table: Marvel Superheros. He sat and listened to all the tales politely, though they were clearly not his forte'. He would interject facts such as "Have you seen this movie?" pointing to Wolverine, and "I like this movie," indicating The Incredible Hulk.

And all the while the clock continued it's circular cycle until an hour had passed and no one had come to claim this precious boy. It was time to leave and I was beginning to wonder if I needed to find his caregiver and who that could be who would abandon him with books they were not reading to him and answers they were withholding from his endless questions.

I held my little girl's hand and the boy toddled beside us and I must admit my feisty daughter scowled at him and said, "This is MY mom!" The little boy fell out of step with us and I ran off chasing down my long haired thundercloud as she stormed around the library.

As I approached the front desk, I saw him again. Growing tired, he was laying beside the checkout. A woman was walking toward the computers and he got up and stood beside her. She did not look at him, she did not speak to him, and he did not mention Wolverine and The Incredible Hulk to her. The last hour of his life was unknown to her and I admit I wanted to shake her as I walked by and shout, "WAKE UP!!"

I wish I had read a non princess story. I wish I had read him his Wolverine book or that he had said to my offspring, "This is MY mom!", but he didn't. He just looked at me and I clung to my girl, grateful that she is grateful (or at least possessive) that I am her mother.

I learned a valuable lesson. I am not just a mother when my two kids are with me. I am a mother in whatever circumstance I find myself in. As a woman, I have been blessed with compassion and empathy, but there are so many times I am guarded and careful. I've never regretted being too kind and in the moment I had an opportunity to mother a child who needed some time.

I'm hoping that someone somewhere is reading that little one a story. And I hope it's his mother...

And now for something completely different:

I was invited by my friend Melissa to play a blog game kind of like the old slumber party game “Telephone.”
One blogger starts a story and passes it on. Each blogger adds a part. It should be interesting to see where it goes.
So here it is:
A Writer-Mama’s Tale –
The Seduction of Vintage Grapes

Even the crickets had rested their legs when she sat back in her chair and sighed with a final sip of vintage grapes. Darkness swallowed……..

the sob that threatened to tear from throat as she watched her only child drive away. What did he know about the world outside of….

our small town. Was he ready for what laid ahead of him? Her lip quivered as she thought back to the days when….

Jason toddled behind his father through the vineyards and copied his every movement. Mark was young and full of hope and desire then. His face…..

,now lined from time and stress, still shined with pride for their son. As Jason's car drove away, they…

embraced as the breeze, pregnant with the scent of ripe grapes, swirled around them. Their eyes remained transfixed on the car until....

Mark cleared the emotional phlegm from his throat and held his faded blue goblet aloft. “Here’s to new beginnings.” Her first instinct was…

You can click on any of the sentences above to go to the author's original post then head on over to Mindi's blog on Wednesday to see what happens next!


mindij said...

I've had that same thing happen at the library! I ended up reading 3 or 4 books to some little kid I didn't know! I felt so bad for him-no one came looking for him! He ended up leaving me and I didn't see him again but it made me hold my kids just a little closer!

Do you have any idea how hard it is to stay within 140 characters?! Yes, you probably do!

rubberbandgirl said...

Ok, I've read to other people's kids and all and I do my absolute best to stay with my kiddies.

Kristina P. said...

I love your new blog background!

Robin said...

Thanks for the reminder that mothering is much more than taking care of your own kids.

Amy said...

"I have wept in the night for the shortness of sight that to somebody's need made me blind. But I never have yet felt a twinge of regret for being a little too kind."
This came from the package of quotes I got from Enrichment when Mechelle was the Leader. This was the only on I kept and it has hung on my fridge for over a year.
Amen to your post!
Love you ;)

clan of the cave hair said...

I feel your heart aching for this little child. I guess the silver lining in this story is that he was at the library with his mother and not in the locked car parked in the parking lot of a strip club with his father. But its true, mothering is so much more than just making sure your kids are fed each night. Poor little guy, he just wanted to be heard, to feel important, that rings in my mother's heart.

Erin said...

Oh, that's so sad. Thank you for this reminder to me to be present with my children.

Joel said...

This was so powerful, Rachel. Not only does it help me think about what kind of mother I am, it reminds me that I need to take other children under my wing sometimes. And I often have little patience for that.

Debbie said...

An amazing story. I am always flabbergasted by "discarded" children I encounter. Why do people not treasure these souls?

R Max said...

I've experienced this on both sides but leaving a child that age for ONE HOUR?! That's not right.

Christine said...

I've been meaning to tell you... because of this post I played Yahtzee with Isaac instead of what I had planned to do. And I set aside my magazine to read stories to the kids instead. You've made me a better mom. :)

Kellie said...

Thanks for the reminder. That is really sad about that little boy and his mom. I would have had a hard time not shaking her, too.