After the clothes are put away and the candles are lit…
When Daddy decides his working day is done…
The smells of good things to eat start swirling throughout the house…
And the record player plays us an old standard.
The windows are all closed tight and there are socks hugging our feet…
The heater clicks on and Mama starts to set the table for dinner…
The autumn glow tells us it’s time to settle in.
Those oranges and pinks and violet hues, filling up the cold, crisp sky…
Reminding us the days are shorter, holidays are near and family and home is all that matters.
*prompt 21/30 Autumn Glow
-joining in with the Write Alm’s November Prompts.
Prompt 18/30 seeking solace
She was seeking solace in my shoulder-blade. Burying her head deep down into Mama’s sweater, capturing my familiar scent, to ease her anxieties that the doctor was producing with all of the pokes and prodding.
I talked her through the examination.
“She’s going to look in your ears now. Okay. All done.”
She grabbed onto my body even tighter though when the stethoscope was placed on her bare skin. Her anxieties building and Mama’s embrace no longer keeping her confident. Tears poured from her eyes when the nurse stuck her with the needle and I had to shush in her ear to calm her little body down. I put on my brave mother face for her. Quieted down my own quick heartbeat. Used an even tone. But secretly, I was seeking solace too. Away from these strong maternal emotions I was feeling to protect my little one. Her face beat red from crying. I held her with gentle stability. She held onto me and I held tight back. It’s so difficult to be so young and not understand the what’s and why’s. I brought her home and cuddled her close. Laughing again and smiling again, it was but an experience she hopefully will not hold onto. And another experience in my book of tough moments of motherhood.
– joining in the daily writing with Write Alm’s November Prompts and Heather’s Just Write!
I saw my daughter in my face. I saw that smile that curled up and the twinkle in her eyes. Those same gappy front teeth.
She is me.
I am her.
I dreamt of her years before she was here. I thought of her with dark hair and ivory skin, yet, blond wisps are the reality. Darling, soft, blond, messy hair.
Hair that reminds me of my own Mother. Those same blond wisps my Mother hated for me to touch. “I don’t like my hair played with,” she’d announce. And just like my mother, my daughter throws up her hand, pushing me away when I brush those extra long pieces out of her eyes.
I on the other hand would allow anyone to touch and caress my hair.
I see my daughter. I see my mother. I see me.
The sing songy nature of her play.
The language all her own. One only a mother can understand.
I had the same language. My mother smiles and tells me, “you told us stories just in that way.”
This daughter of mine who loves Mama’s milk, who curls up to me at night but can be furiously independent during the day. I was that to my own mother once upon a time. I was hers and she was mine. And now I’m grown. And my mother and I, we’re kinfolk. Both of us, Mothers, along different parts of this journey. Mothers watching their daughters grow into Mothers, watching their daughters grow… a journey unlike any other.
-playing along with WriteAlm’s November Prompts.
The morning news show was on in the background while I sipped my tea and ate my granola and yogurt. Ellie, still in her pink and orange fox pajamas, was pushing her dolls and stuffed bears around in the stroller Grandma and Grandpa had bought her a few weeks earlier. The Broadway cast of Wicked came on and as soon as the music started, Ellie turned around, wide-eyed. She walked up to the TV stand and stood there staring at the screen. I smiled at her immediate response to my all time favorite musical and continued watching her reaction. “They’re singing and dancing,” I point out, when she turns to me with wonder and amazement. I sit there practically in tears watching my girl and the joy she has found in one of my favorite things.
I don’t have many regrets in my life. I have always liked to play the safe card. I’m the goody two-shoes, the one who doesn’t take chances all too often. But, now that I’m older, sitting here, drinking my tea, watching my first-born daughter light up at the sight of costumes and makeup and singing and dancing, I can feel that sigh of regret creep up. If only I had been braver. If only I had tried harder at the craft. If only my quick weekend trip alone all those years ago, just to see that Broadway show would have turned into something more courageous, like a full-on move. Even if I had moved to New York City as a young adult, I may never have built up the nerve to even try out for a show… but, the regret is still there. I could have at least been a part of the city, for a little while. Drank in what New York had to offer. Bright lights, noise, pollution, people always-in close proximity to one another. Now, it makes me cringe. My anxiety starts to build just thinking about using the subway or getting lost after dark. I know I never would have made it out there. But, back then. Back then I was filled with song and spirit. Back then I felt like a piece of New York belonged to me. Bernadette herself had said she’s look for me one day. I failed her. I didn’t even bother to try.
It’s something I don’t think of very often. I’m happy. I have a life I was born to live. But every now and then, I see something on TV. The new Broadway cast of Wicked. I read about how a star was born. She took a chance. She moved to New York City. She auditioned for that new musical. She made it on Broadway.
I watch Ellie smile and bop around to the song on the TV. I watch her and those thoughts of regret are quickly pushed out of my head. I start to sing along. Ellie turns and smiles at me. And I know there’s really nowhere else I’d rather be.
*playing along with November’s Prompt-A-Day!
– morning cuddles from a sweet blond-haired babe
– hot chai latte’s on cool autumn days
– having parents who are always on your side
– listening to the practicing pluckings of a newly sharpened banjo player
– having my toddler warm and cozy against me in a woven wrap
– old timey records playing while I clean house
– antique markets and thrift stores
– evening walks and talks with my mister
– getting some time to read and write
– when Ellie’s eyes light up at something new
– a sassy french bulldog
– bookstores and fabric stores (and going into Anthropologie with some money)
– baby girl kisses
– hanging art in my home
– lying next to my husband at the end of the day and watching our darling girl sleep.
This is Happiness to me.
* Inspired words for November’s Prompt A Day!
This past Friday I finished the five-week creative writing course I took. It was a wonderful, challenging and engaging five weeks and I did things I had never done before with writing. I’m so glad I decided to go for it. I’m finding my writing practice has already developed into something new and different and I’m writing (mostly for myself) a whole lot more. After the course finished, Amanda put up a November writing challenge. To take the prompts here and write every day in the month of November. I went back and forth wanting to do this and not wanting to get involved in something else that required more time, but when it came down to it, I felt like after taking the wonderful course, I couldn’t just stop writing, I had to continue and with verve! This would be the perfect practice to keep me going (at least at a steady pace for one more month). So, I will share some of my work here and some I may just keep in my private writing journal. But, I will be writing every day, using these prompts, telling stories with pictures or just with words. You are welcome to join me. If you are interested, head on over to Amanda’s new website for more information. Happy November! Here is my first day of writing….
A first trick or treat for this girl. Dressed as a fox, she carried her basket down the sidewalk, watching the other children scurry past her in their costumes. The buzz of excitement filled the air and we watched as she followed the neighborhood children up to the first house. Laughter and shrieks of “trick or treat” from the older children, I thought for sure would frighten my little fox, but she was brave and curious and stepped up to the next house and the next house. Her eyes lit up as crinkly, multicolored mysterious objects were tossed into her basket each time she went to a door. She would grab one piece of candy out of her basket and then another, holding onto them, savoring their newness. The excitement only lasted maybe twenty minutes before her little legs were exhausted and her tired eyes told Mama it was time to head back home. It was an exciting first Halloween for this little girl. And a wonderful first Halloween memory made for this Mama.