Thursday, August 18, 2011

Here's The Rub...

I wish the days of blogging had been around when I was a young mother. I get all misty eyed when I read  (and enjoy) the blogs of young mothers today. They have humorous anecdotes about their wee ones daily lives. Photographs accompanied with cute captions preserving for posterity that 'Moment to Remember' are theirs for the viewing. When I read the words of these wonderful Moms...'I want to look back and remember this moment', I get sad. Why? Here's the rub...


I raised five children. Back when I was having babies we kept 'Baby Books'. For the first child I had a very well documented and photo filled journal of his infancy. In fact for the first child I had two books I filled, she says proudly. The second child's baby book didn't have quite all of 'life's little moments' in it, but it was fairly well filled.


 I should interject here as a plea in my defense...my first four children were what we called stair-step children. For those not familiar with the term it means they were born one right after the other to put it nicely. Picture my children standing in a row. Now, visually go across the tops of their heads and you might think...stair-steps!


 So the third and fourth babies had books with pictures slammed in haphazardly and maybe a mention of a tooth coming through or a trip to the emergency room. Not books I can take out and wistfully or pridefully show to their brides. For a while I could get away with saying I would have to hunt those up some day. Then the requests were made for the baby books and said contents for video shows at rehearsal dinners...no avoidance tactics left. Umm, the books are pretty lean and most of the photographs are in that chest of drawers in the guest bedroom. Sorry?


Six years separate the birth of my daughter and my youngest son. Giant step. My daughter has a baby book. It's pink! I purchased it myself determined to do better...sigh. I needed about three weeks to hunt it down when she asked to see her 'baby book' but I did find it. The family tree is filled out and the hospital generated pictures are in it. I couldn't answer to what else may be in there. I got so depressed after the first few pages I closed the book in total avoidance.


All this leads to an idea I had of trying to blog about all the dewy, misty-eyed moments I swore I was going to remember of each child's life with moi. Sadly there aren't as many as I would have wished. I can't decide if I've just grown too old to reach back and grab them; if the front of my mind is so close to the back of my mind there isn't enough space for them? I'm not sure the reason...but nobody's home when I go knocking on memory's door. I have a few...just a few of those sweet little 'Oh this is what I want to remember forever' moments. I like to think if they were born in the age of computers, scanning and blogs I'd have more. I like to think I would. Most of my memories are of chaos and shenanigans.


I remember when the three oldest boys broke all the plate glass  windows in the house. They were four boys under the age of six. The baby was keeping me occupied in one room when the first window was shattered. My second born son wanted to see what would happen when he hit his bedroom window with a hammer. The second window went when my first born son chose to see what would happen when he threw a rock...while I was in the room checking out the first shattered window. When I went to check on the second window my third child switched things up on me. He went into my bathroom, opened my contact lens case and experimented with buoyancy. Would the lenses float in the toilet? Would they flush? They did. Float and flush.


That was when I called my husband and sobbed wildly into the phone told him he had five minutes to get home if he expected to see his children alive happy. Not kidding. I then called my childhood friend who at the time was not married and had no children. I begged said please come get me...I need to spend an evening with someone who knew me before I was married and a mother. I returned home to find the dining room table mysteriously shoved in front of the third window, curtains billowing. My husband greeted me with a hoarse or almost non-existent voice...precipitated by yelling. Someone...not sure which one of the little angels decided even numbered broken windows didn't have feng shui. Third window down.


Sadly I have more such memories that come with instant recall. Driving around oblivious to the fact I have athletic 'cup protectors' on the rear dash of the car. It amused my sons to see how many days I would naively drive around displaying an item of playground manliness for all the world to see. Or the day in the grocery I spent walking swiftly down the aisles muttering in soft tones we need to get to the next aisle. Someone's been down this aisle who smells overly ripe. Eventually, I saw and heard the snickers and gaffaws. My sweet young daughter giggling right along with them. It seems, name remains anonymous to protect the NOT SO INNOCENT, decided to see how long he could go without bathing before I would be able to discover his crime. The exact number of days his pre-teen body went without bathing I am gratefully unaware. Landfills smell better than he did that day.


So for now, I wistfully read all the sweet blogs of magical moments. I wish I had been able to capture my sweet memories as they happened. I'm working on finding them. I know I had many. I do get misty eyed looking at pictures of them when they were young. For now, tales like those mentioned above are what come front and center when I go back in time. Visions of thumping walls and bouncing roof tops linger in my dreams.


Here













and there
















is the rub...


 Loves~Loves~Loves~


34 comments:

lyndylou said...

I know exactly what you mean by the baby books. Holly's is filled right up and Jack's not so much but in my defence he was taking longer to reach milestones. Having said that if he was well I think it would not have made much difference as us mums just get too busy with more than one child and you must have had your hands so so full.

Loved this post :)

Shelly said...

Oh, Sush, I laughed and laughed and laughed! What priceless moments- the one about the cups just about had me on the floor. These are the things childhood is made of!

Sarah Pearson said...

I agree with Shelly. These memories? These are the real memories of childhood! I don't know the dates the first teeth came through, but my girls don't want to hear about that anyway. They want to hear about the time they drank tabasco sauce, or the time they managed to pile their teddies up so they could climb out of the cot. Those things I remember :)

Shady Del Knight said...

This was like reading Erma Bombeck, Sush. There's no reason for you to have pangs of guilt for failing to keep an extensive collection of Kodak moments as your family grew. Each new child brought more responsibility, work, distractions and calamities like the ones you described. As your family multiplied, your time and energy diminished proportionately. Life intervened and became a greater priority than the documenting of it. I understand how frustrating is must be for you to be able to recall mischief and foul odors but not as many sweet, warm and fuzzy memories as you would like. It doesn't mean they've been lost. As I'm sure you know memories can be suddenly and unexpectedly triggered by a spoken or printed word, a picture, a sight, sound, smell or touch. Bottom line, you gave each child your best. You raised a wonderful family and today your love is reflected on their faces and the faces of their own children. In the end that's all that really matters.

jabblog said...

I am so glad to read this post. It really made me laugh, too:-)
I have always felt guilty about not keeping full (or any) records of each of my four children's development. There just wasn't time! I was running all day just to try and keep up.
I think that even if there had been laptops and blogging 'back then' I still wouldn't have found time.
Photographs remind me of events and my children's primary school books.
I'm so pleased I'm not alone!!

Life 101 said...

I think my head is full. In order to learn anything new, I must toss something old....that's what I think.
My mother would have had a stroke if she knew some of the the things my brother and I did when we were kids.

Chatty Crone said...

You did the best thing - you lived the books!

Sush said...

>Lynne...I can only imagine how swamped you must have been...and still are. Thank goodness for photos and shared stories!

>Shelly, I'm glad I gave you a laugh! I can laugh about it now...actually I did then too. Except for the windows...never found anything funny about that day...

>Sarah...would it surprise you to know I have a tobasco eating son? Tobasco and a cracker and he's in heaven...go figure!

>Tom...how kind you are. I certainly was up to my armpits in children those years...thanks for helping me feel better.

>Janice I'd like to think I would keep up with the kids had we had blogs then, but like you I doubt I would have had the time.

>Rick, if your head is full, mine has sprung a leak! And no I can tell you your Momma wouldn not have wanted to know ALL the things you and your brother did. I keep telling mine that as I stick my fingers in my ears and go lalalalalalala!

>Sandie...thanks, I've told them I did my best at any rate...and tried to have fun all the while.

Chatty Crone said...

Your blog comment - THANK YOU.

My emails is skcz at comcast dot net - will you send me yours?

Jen F. said...

No, the real rub is that blogging (and social media in general) have brought a whole new level of opportunity for people to portray their lives as they WANT them to be, not as they really are. Picture perfect children wearing perfectly pressed outfits, smiling in all their perfect glory. It creates all kinds of feelings of inadequacy in those who live real lives with stinky children and athletic supporters on the dashboard.

Celebrate the reality of child-rearing. It's genuine and messy and smelly and funny and real.

Pat MacKenzie said...

I can so totally identify with you, baby books and all. I had my first six kids in eight years. Six years later I had my seventh. I've often felt guilty that I don't have clear individual memories of all the cute little things they each did - mostly just group memories. But I did take lots of pictures and looking at them brings memories back. I used to keep a journal back then too so do have a few stories written down. No stories as dramatic as the window breaking ones though! That is so funny when you look back at it from a great distance! And look how beautifully they've all grown up. A lovely family. I hope their children give them the same angst they gave you.

Laura said...

Love Love Love this post!!!!

Sush said...

>Sandie...Ummm...I gave you my email address...LOL. We even went back and forth on one.

>Jen F...thanks for the kind words, I will celebrate but I think they do have lots of honest people blogging real true life stories as well...

>Pat...ahh, so you've been here done that? LOL, My Mom had a pillow that said Avenge yourself...live long enough to have grandchilden!

>Laura...So, you do know the culprits...can you guess who committed which crime, LOL! We'll talk later...Loves~

Denise J. Hughes said...

I know what you mean. I wish I would have had a digital camera when my kids were born. I have no idea where many of those pictures, taken from my old 35 mm, even are.

Desiree said...

I have huge admiration for you...that you remained SANE! I really enjoyed this story from the past, while at the same time thanking my lucky stars I'd never had to deal with anything like this :) Your kids were adorable, to look at, when littlies and have grown up into good-looking adults ;)

I guess that's all that really matters...you lived through each and every moment and you have memories of enough of those moments...life moves forward, not backwards. Just keep enjoying each moment.

Thisisme. said...

Hi Sush. Like Desiree, I have nothing but admiration for you my friend. Four boys under 6! Eeek! Wasn't Shady's comment wonderful? He really is such a wise man!

Ellie said...

Hi I've come to you fron Raindrops and Daisies.
I so know where you are coming from with this post. My girls are now 22, 20 and 16. I would so loved to have blogged when they were little. I love reading blogs about wee children. Oh well!!

Sweet Tea said...

LOVE the broken window story. We've had our share of broken windows too, but never more than one on a given day. LOL. I wonder if we would have found time to blog when the kids were little? Those were busy days, for sure...Love the family photos!!

Barb and Dell said...

Hi Sush, I am visiting from Raindrops and Daisies. I can sure relate to you as I had 4 daughters under six. I wish I had written down all the cute things they said and did. Like you I can mostly remember the turmoil.
Barb

karen said...

Oh Sush - I know exactly how you feel! And I only had 3...So many things I wanted to remember forever and it's gone. My kids remember things I've completely forgotten about - did we live through the same events together? I have my doubts some days. So I'm trying to be more aware with my grandchildren - blogging helps. I didn't have the time to journal when I was younger - wish I would have. Memories are bittersweet sometimes - the remembering is sweet, but I miss being in the midst of it all as well.

Marsha @Spots and Wrinkles said...

Sush,
Here is the deal ... we mothers are (gasp !) human - and we just cannot get it right all the time.

Not when they are babies, toddles, teenagers, or adults. We want to, and we try, but we just can't.

LOVED the story of the windows, but having lived one very similar from my own two boys (they took a BB gun and shot out all the windows in an old car - that belonged to NOT US) I can sympathize - while laughing. :)

Blessings to you - Marsha

Ellie said...

Me again, :) Wanted to let you know I have become a follower.

Sush said...

>Denise... I found undeveloped rolls a few years back and sadly the film was beginning to deteriorate and the developed photos were sub par.

>Desiree..Indeed life moves forward! We did enjoy every minute..some probably became more enjoyable with the misty veil of time, lol.I guess today's posting was in the category of tales around a campfire.

>Thisisme...Eeek was almost the word running through my head on some of those days..lol. And yes Shady is the very soul of kindness and gentleman personified.

>Ellie...Welcome its lovely of you to pop on over! I'll look forward to sharing our life stories and foibles...and yes I do enjoy reading the blogs of the young Mom's of today.

>Sweet Tea...As I said, I would LIKE to think I would have found the time, but knowing the amount of time left in a day when they were all so young, I'm not sure.

>Hi Barb...Welcome and as a sibling with four sisters and a brother I know life is just as hectic with girls as boys. Boys just get over the squabbles sooner...lol! I'll look forward to reading your tales...

>Karen...YES...my kids remember things I don't, my feelings exactly on living in a different experience! Like you I'm now using this medium as a way to remember..

>Marsha...I just had a very relieved smile at your tale of BB guns being shot at the windows of a car. Whew..if they'd had the inspiration no telling what might have happened. And lol, I still can get it wrong with my adult kids. Oh well..

>Ellie..I'm thrilled to have you as a follower...I'm following you as well! Your blog is beautiful!

Claudia Moser said...

So your daughter is the oldest? And has 4 brothers? So cool :)

Sweet Tea said...

I loved your GOOD NEWS today. I hope that perhaps next week I will have the same GOOD NEWS. We sure need a break and even a little rain would be appreciated.

Chatty Crone said...

I pout the answer at the bottom of my post where the car was. It was towards the top upper right in front of the rocks. lol

Sush said...

>Claudia...nope the daughter was what we referred to as our 'intended baby'...we didn't intend to have another baby but the Lord did. A very welcome and loving tail end to the crew. She's the baby, the final act!

>Sweet Tea...I'll be blowing some cool breezes your way(although) my family tells me I have a lot of hot air!

>Chatty...I looked where you said but still haven't spied it. I'll keep looking...

EmptyNester said...

You had me rolling with laughter! I'm sorry, but it was just plain out n out FUNNY! Get those pictures out- the memories will come flooding back. It's the first thing I did when the youngest lovely moved out to college. It works! Oh, and journaling helps stir the memory too!

Sush said...

>Empty Nester...my husband says it's a lot funnier now than it was then. Perhaps he's right! I know the windows about undid us all. We were young and counting pennies and the new windows were 75 bucks a shot. I think even today we would be groaning and not laughing over the windows!

Kathi said...

How fun that was to read... I loved seeing the pictures too of your young children and then all grown up. It would have been fun, maybe, to blog about things years ago. I did some journaling but not nearly enough. I didn't have or make the time I suppose. Nice peek into some wonderful memories...

Sush said...

>Kathi...It is a cold hard truth that I wasn't committed to making time for baby books and journals when they were young. We had lots of fun and happy and BUSY years while they were growing up. Just not well documented. And as Karen said my kids remember some things differently than I now they're grown...little rascals!

Bouncin' Barb said...

This rings true to me as I was the baby and only girl with 4 older brothers. I even wrote a post about what they must have thought when I came along. Great pics.

Sush said...

>BB...ah so you DO KNOW what her life was like. It's a mixed bag...they loved on her tremendously but at the same time could treat her like one of the guys. A lot more rough and tumble of a life than most imagined. Not every day was the life of a princess for her...but she did have many that were!

kneesandpaws said...

This is more interesting than a baby book! I once took a capstone class called "remaking the past." In essence, the class discussed how every person has their own interpretation and version of the past. I remember my childhood differently than my parents do, even though they did manage to keep a baby book (I'm the eldest). I think you've done a great job "remaking the past" in this post. I'm sure that once you write more often about your family when they were young, your memories will rise to the surface. Memoir writing is an amazing journey. I would love to read my mother's memories of us when we were kids, no matter if there were no pictures to go along with them.