My baby boy is coming home tomorrow! Woo hoo! He had thought about taking a trip to some beachy Southern locale with several buddies from his dorm, but then he decided to come home for spring break instead. (And the people rejoiced!)This is a picture of said boy with his mumsie, taken 19 years ago when he was about 3 months old. Isn't he just the cutest little person you've ever seen? He was (still is) such a happy guy. When I look at his beaming face here, I could just about eat him up.
I wasn't supposed to be in this picture with him. When I took my little man into the Wal-Mart photo studio that day to have his picture taken in this adorable "Three Little Kittens" romper, which had been worn by his father many moons earlier, I was not planning a mother-son photo shoot. If I was, I'd have surely tried to make myself more presentable, dontcha think? I believe I had not even showered that day. (You know how it is when there's a baby in the house: daily showers become a sort of hit-or-miss thing for Mom.) My hair was a mess--and by the bye, would somebody please explain to me how I could go out of the house (even to Wal-Mart, which is not exactly a hot spot of high fashion) wearing a red plastic headband? I mean, I was a lot younger then, with months to go before my 35th birthday; but I believe red plastic headbands are meant for females no older than the age of 5.
The headband did match nicely with my bright red, oversized, rather tacky Christmas-themed sweatshirt, however--the one I wore mostly in the privacy of my own home during that Christmas season, when I was 8-9 months pregnant. That's right, 3 months after giving birth, I was still sporting that same baggy, garish top as a cover-up for my belly fat. Little else probably fit me at that time, actually. Unfortunately, I was never one of those gals who got back into her pre-pregnancy jeans by the time her baby was 4 weeks old. (Grrrr...) It always took me 9 months to gain the weight and another 9-12 to lose those last stubborn 5-10 pounds (and sometimes, I was pregnant again before that even happened!).
And can we talk about those ginormous glasses? I've said this before on this blog, but I'm going to say it again: why didn't anyone tell me how ridiculous I looked in those things? I know that huge glasses were all the rage back in the day--but c'mon, give me a break already!
Okay, now that I've picked myself apart, I will admit that I'm glad the Wal-Mart photographer didn't listen to my excuses that long-ago day and proceeded to browbeat me into having my picture taken with my son. I don't really look ready for my close-up, but I do look happy. (Not to mention a lot younger and less wrinkly than I do now.) And now that I'm older and wiser, I've learned just how quickly that sweet, precious time goes when your children are little and helpless and need a mother's care so completely--so any images that capture that fleeting period of my life are special to me. Spending a couple of weeks recently with my oldest son, his wife, and their twin baby daughters, I was reminded of how much I miss sitting with this baby boy (and the 4 who came before him) on my lap; how much I loved cuddling him and burying my face in the soft skin at the back of his neck, breathing in that incomparably wonderful "baby head" smell. Thank God for grandchildren, who give us old folks another go at cuddling and nuzzling babies!
There's nothing--I repeat, nothing--as wonderful as motherhood. Or babies, with their soft skin and great-smelling heads. Or young children who keep you laughing and on your toes. Or sons who've grown from little boys into fine men. Or tiny twin granddaughters, whose heads smell the way their daddy's did.
Or college-aged sons coming back home for spring break.
Forgive me, God, when I complain about unattractive photos of myself in too-big glasses. And thank you, thank you, thank you for the gift of my children and grandchildren!