Lately I've been feeling nostalgic. I see babies in church and in stores and it brings back a flood of memories of my three children.
I was a stay at home mom. My husband and I were in our early 30's when we got married and we had hoped to have children right away. I quit my job (trust me, it wasn't a career, it was a job) and Number 1 son was born 2 years later. Number 2 son was born thirteen months and one day after that and our daughter was born six years after that.
When I see babies and toddlers, I wonder where the time went. Mine are adults and it seems like only a little while ago ...
I have been out shopping and admired a newborn or toddler or I've run the other way because I've come across yet another child having a meltdown in the store.
Probably the worst incident I've experienced was in the grocery store. A woman with her toddler and the cart filled to the brim, pulled up to the cashier. She turned to the rest of us behind her and calmly said, "This is going to take a while. He (pointing to the child) has to unload the cart himself or he'll cry if I touch the groceries."
The man directly behind her stared in disbelief, the cashier's jaw dropped and for a moment we were all frozen. Suddenly another employee came over and began to unload the cart, talking to the child and asking for his help. He didn't help her and the mother stared daggers at the employee as she emptied the cart of groceries.
And the little boy didn't cry.
I could take my kids anywhere. Grocery shopping, window shopping, cruising the mall on a winter's day because it was a chance to get out. I would invite friends or neighbors to come along and they were always surprised how well behaved my kids were.
But I also look back and remember times when maybe I didn't comfort them when they needed it or lost my temper with them over some small thing.
Since my own mother was lacking in anything resembling maternal love, it has always nagged at me about my own skills as a parent. I prayed constantly to Our Blessed Mother to guide me as a mother. I was in panic mode that I would treat my children the way I was treated. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and correct the things I did wrong.
But most of all, I wish I could go back and hug and kiss those little faces just one more time.