Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Youngest Child

This morning, I was thinking about one particular day when I was young. I remember my Gramma had come to visit from out of town -- always a special treat. On the second day she was there, I saw this far away look in her eyes and just the hint of a smile. When I asked her what she was thinking about, she told me, “Oh, I was just thinking back a-ways, that’s all, sweet girl.” Gramma looked happy and I thought at the time, that’s what it must be like when you get old. You think about the past a lot.

It’s funny, I’ve never thought of myself as being old, but this morning as I was enjoying my first cup of coffee, (light cream, no sugar, thanks), I caught myself doing the very same thing. My thoughts had wandered “back a-ways …” I had gone back to a time when I was a young mother, and I was thinking about my youngest daughter, Heather, when she was three.

At the time, we were living in Woburn, Massachusetts. What a sweet and outgoing little girl she was, and still is now, even more so. She was a beautiful child and petite -- actually, she was considered tiny, by height and weight standards in those days. At three, she had only a few blond wisps of hair, and with her diminutive size, she looked much younger than her age.

I remember one special visit to the grocery store. I had just delivered her two older sisters to preschool, and Heather and I went to the grocery to pick up a few items. I seat-belted her securely into the child seat in my grocery cart. We were giggling at the cart, the cart I always seemed to get. It had a wheel with a mind of its own, turning mindlessly every which way while making a whomp-wiggle-wiggle -whomp-wiggle-wiggle sound.

We were still giggling as we whomp-wiggle-wiggled into the line to pay. Then it was our turn for the cashier to ring up our groceries. The cashier was smiling, and watching Heather who was still giggling. “Awww, she’s so sweet! How old is your baby?” She asked me.

I was about to tell her, but Heather replied, “I’m Heather and I’m not a baby, I’m three. Mommy is 31. Did you hear our wheel? It’s funny! What’s your name?”

... and she's still precocious ... I love you, Heather!

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