Friday, June 10, 2022

The Fruits Of My Labors


Forty-six years ago today at just about this time, I was holding this human being, albeit in newborn form, and my heart was cracking open and I was learning what love truly is. 
It is Hank's birthday. 
Oh my. I think back on that day (and the memories are still as sharp as they could possibly be) and I am dumbstruck at how young I was and how simply and purely I loved that child, how incredibly primal it was. I have told the story of his birth many times. I wanted to have him at home but it turns out that I am the slowest baby-haver in the world and after about 28 hours of labor I decided to go to the hospital and the trip there set everything in motion and within an hour of being there, he was born and it was ecstasy and then, as they did in those days, they took my child to the nursery. That separation was the main reason I wanted to have my baby at home because even at the age of 21, I knew that there was no way I would want to be more than a skin's thickness away from him. 
Sigh.
But. 
We defied all of the rules and regulations and signed all the papers about leaving against medical orders and my then-husband took us home which was about six blocks away, and we got into our bed and all was well. And all was as it should be. 
I was a mother and my child had made me one. 
I put my baby to my breast and we knew each other as if we had been together since eternity and perhaps we had been. 

And that child has continued to teach me his entire life about love in a way that no one else could have. Each of my children has come complete with his or her own set of instructions as surely as if they had been born with a manual in hand. But Hank- my first- was the one to teach me how all of that worked. He has taught me how so many things worked from writing, to the internet, to gender identity. 
I am sometimes a slow learner but my son is patient. And I have no doubt that he has so much more to teach me before I pass on back to that eternity from whence we all come. 
I am the luckiest mother in the world. 

My luck as a grandmother isn't so bad either. I had such a good day today. Somehow, last night, as I struggled to get to sleep after watching the first part of the special session testimony about the January 6, '20 capital uprising, I suddenly felt a wave of peace come over me and although I hate not being able to fall asleep, I recognized that it was a fine thing to be aware of this change of my heart and mind and to lay there in the dark next to my sweetheart and contemplate this. 
And I did. 

This morning when I woke up, Mr. Moon and Chip had already left for the Great Ferry Crossing Day and Lis was up and dressed and lovely. I went for my first cup of coffee and found a love note from my husband and the rest of the day has been pretty much like that. 
Lis had to leave, just as Lily pulled up with the kiddos and so she got to see them all and hug Lily whom she has known since she was about the same age Magnolia is now. I was glad to have that quick transitional moment because otherwise, I would have been so sad to see Lis go. She had to put up with me at a not-very-pleasant time and she sort of saved my life. 

I let the children direct me as to what our activities would be today. Maggie wanted a tea party with the mermaid tea set that May gave me so long ago. 
"Well," I said, "You'll have to wash it because I know it's dusty." The tea set sits on a shelf in the library in the "children's section" and I had not washed it in forever. 
Maggie loves to wash dishes, so this only added to the joy. 


She was wearing the flannel rooster nightgown I made for her a few years back, when she got here, so I concocted a dress for her out of a purple tank top. She loved it. Purple is her favorite color. She carefully washed the tea pot and plates and cups and sugar bowl and then she rinsed them. I made a pot of apple-cinnamon tea and set out four of the cookies I made last night and which I'd held back just for them. There were grapes too. I filled the sugar bowl and gave everyone a small napkin and a tiny silver spoon. The boys were so sweet and did not complain about being forced into such a situation. 


Of course, cookies were involved. 
I love that my grandchildren do not have pre-conceived notions about what is for boys and what is for girls. Nor do they feel the need to let their sister know that they think that tea parties are for babies, either. They are such grand, grandchildren. 

We were going to make slime but all of the recipes call for something with borax in it. Contact lens cleaner or certain laundry products. Owen and I researched all of this online and went through all of my household products but it would appear that I have no borax in my house. I promised to buy some lens cleaner on my next grocery run. They went with me to the dump- big Lloyd outing- and we stopped at the post office and they let me take their picture by the door which I've used as a back-drop since they were born. 


We had lunch and we played a game and although I kept suggesting that they give their old Mer a whole-body massage or at the very least, a foot rub, they didn't pick up the hint. 
Darn them. 
I was so full of energy and good mood until suddenly, while I was making them purple cows (because although it was not a spend-the-night, it was an occasion), I felt as if someone had flipped a switch and I felt some of the weight of the past few days come upon me but I was still in a very happy state of mind. This immediately reminded me of yesterday's (I think) "Pickles" comic. Here it is. 


Oh god. I am of the age where "Pickles" is my favorite daily comic. 
It's okay. It's my husband's favorite too. 

Lily came and got her babies midway through the afternoon. I had picked beans with Lis this morning and Maggie and I had collected eggs but I went out and found three cucumbers. Finally and at last. 


Will there be pickles in my future this year beyond green beans? 
Stay tuned. 

And speaking of tuned, Maggie has been playing my piano and although I know she has absolutely no knowledge of what she is playing, she somehow manages to create some extremely interesting and pleasing musical phrases. 


Children. They never cease to amaze me. 
Her talents also extend to jewelry making. Here's what she brought me today. 


I know her mama helped her but isn't it a rather beautiful necklace? 
She wanted to take home the Babar doll that Rachel gave me for the grandchildren and I told her that yes, she could, but to please remember to bring him back as all of her cousins might want to play with it. 
"I forgot to bring you back your telephone," she said. Of course I'd forgotten that she'd borrowed one of my Goodwill old-fashioned land-line phones. 
"That's okay," I said. "You can bring it back next time." 
"It's a little dirty," she told me. 
"Did you play with it outside?" I asked. 
"Well, I left it outside for a year," she said with all seriousness.
And I laughed and laughed. 

I need to go put my clean sheets on the bed and make myself a martini. Don't tell Mr. Moon but I am quite capable of doing that myself. 
Oh hell- let's be honest. He already knows. 

Happy Birthday, Hank. In so many ways I would not be here if not for you. I love you more than any words could say. But you know that. 

Love...Ms. Moon



 

40 comments:

  1. Happy birthday Hank! such a great narrative to go with the day. And the tea party! I'd love that, too.

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  2. Wishing Hank many, many happy returns of the day!

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  3. Happy Birthday Hank! Yes, Motherhood and then becoming a Grandparent are some of the most Memorable times in Life, aren't they? Now that we have Great-Grands it almost doesn't seem possible that we can see so many Generations extending forward! The things Children say, do, are... it's all so precious and authentic... I wish as we grow up so many wouldn't lose that authenticity and pure joy... and Love. The Love of a Child and of Pets is so Pure.

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    1. Yes. It is a beautiful thing to be loved by a child. It is something that I believe we crave. Or at least some of us do.

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  4. Happy birthday to Hank. I wonder if you could find a beginner's piano book and teach Maggie the fundamentals.

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    1. I have one. I should offer that to her. She'll probably tell me that she already knows how to play piano if I know her. But I could try.

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  5. A sweet day! I love the tea party.

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    1. The tea set should come off the shelf occasionally, at least, I think.

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  6. A sweet Ms Moon post and then that last picture was the cherry on top.

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  7. Happy birthday! I feel I know all your dear folks through your blog.

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    1. Yes. Sometimes I feel as my blog people are my extended family.

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  8. huge birthday wishes to Hank. I'm sure your day today was filled not only with your grands......but your heart full of Hank's birth day memories, and how sweet and momentous they are
    Susan M

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    1. Yes. It truly was. I call it time travel.

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  9. Hippie Hippie Birdy to dear Hank!
    That photo of the back of Maggie with her diaper pinned frock is about as sweet a photo as i have ever seen. She is such a delight! Well, all the children of course, Maggie is just at the perfect age where everything sorts of flows into everything and reality has not taken a front seat. I love her and purple is my favorite color too!

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    1. Ms. Magnolia is such a hoot. She had me make a video of her playing so that "other people can learn too." She has no lack of confidence. I hope she keeps it.

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  10. Happy birthday to Hank!

    I loved Maggie's comment about the telephone. So funny!

    I used to love washing dishes too, so I can appreciate Maggie's enthusiasm. I still kind of love it, to be honest.

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    1. Washing dishes isn't the worst thing, is it?
      Yes. When Maggie said that about the telephone I knew I was going to include that into my post. It was so good. She has promised not to take Babar out of the house. We shall see.

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  11. I still love washing dishes even after all these years, making things sparkle is a joy. You had an eventful day with the teaparty and Maggie playing music. I hope she keeps tinkling the ivories for you. my new grand daughters have older brothers from a different father and I hope when the time comes, those boys are as tolerant of little girl games as Owen and Gibson are. The twins are nine days old now.

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    1. Nine days old! Are they home? Ooh, I wish I could see them.
      Yesterday was an eventful day for me. And a good one.

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    2. Not home yet, still alternating breast feeding with bottle feeding and tube feeding. They have regained their birth weight now though, but the smaller one is still under 5 pounds.

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  12. Ha ha, she left the phone outside for a year! That's brilliant! And happy birthday Hank!

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    1. I wonder if the phone would still work if I plugged it in. It might.

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  13. Happy Birthday, Hank! Hope the year is filled with lots of love and fun adventures!
    Glad you felt better today, Ms. Moon. Hope all your days are happy ones!

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  14. Lovely necklace, and Happy Birthday Hank!

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    1. Isn't it just a stunning piece of jewelry? I think so.

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  15. Happy Birthday ,Hank! What a lovely photo of him. Love the tea party story!

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  16. Family is . . . . . . everything! :)))

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  17. Happy birthday to Hank and I'm glad you had a good day.

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  18. Happy birthday to Hank. First babies are special.

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  19. Absolutely. They are the ones who make us mothers.

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  20. 37 paddington here, happiest of birthdays Hank! You are beloved. And that looked like a grand tea party. I still miss the red of that door.

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