Bookish Words of Wisdom #2 – On Watching Your Children Grow

For all parents who look at their children and wonder where the time has gone and how it is possible that the child standing on a stage and singing so proudly in the school choir can possibly be the tiny baby who used to fit in the crook of your arm,

These words and pictures are taken from Someday, a book by Alison McGhee that I could never read without choking up. It recounts a mother kissing her baby’s fingers and toes and then watching as that baby learns to ride a bike, goes to school, leaves home, has her own children, and then reflects upon her own mother at a long distant time in the future.

Someday, a long time from now, your own hair will grow silver in the sun.

Someday, a long time from now, your own hair will grow silver in the sun.

And when that day comes, love, you will remember me.

And when that day comes, love, you will remember me.

14 comments

  1. Glen Hunting

    Awwww….
    I don’t think they know it yet, but I’m at that stage already with my own parents. And not just because I have a few silvers of my own (they’ve been there since my early twenties)…

    • But you see the poetic quality of having silver hair? It just wouldn’t sound the same if it said, “Your own hair will glow brown in the sun”!

      • Glen Hunting

        Yeah. I meant it in the sense that Bonnie Raitt meant in the song ‘Nick of Time’:

        “I see my folks are gettin’ on, and I watch their bodies change,
        I know they see the same in me, and it makes us both feel strange…”

        Wise lady, Ms. Raitt…

  2. Louise Allan

    I had a similar book that I read to my kids, but I can’t remember it’s name. I will have to dig it out. It was my favourite, but they didn’t go much on it. I would be crying as I was reading and they’d be bored witless …

    • Glen Hunting

      Hilarious! “Youth is wasted on the young.” Don’t worry; they’ll be more ‘real’ in a little while…cue Skin Horse…
      My twenty-first birthday key has a note from my father saying, “Can’t believe it’s 21 years since we brought you home.’ That was fourteen years ago…

    • Don’t you just hate it when they don’t appreciate the beauty and wonder of a book as much as you? But then, if they’re anything like my kids, they get a book out of the library, like we had last week, called Vesuvius Poovius, about the man who solved the effluent problem in the Roman Empire by inventing a Vesuvius Loovius, and they think it’s the best book ever!

  3. Louise Allan

    Very funny! I must go find that book. Now, if only I can remember which box labelled ‘Children’s Books’ I put it in …

  4. That’s really beautiful. Thanks for sharing it, Natasha.

  5. I was just marveling at how my tiny piece of pudge got to be a big Lego-building about-to-start-school-year-old.

    We have an old copy of the book Love You Forever, which sounds similar. The boys have zero interest, but I’m in pieces just thinking about it.

    • Glen Hunting

      “my tiny piece of pudge” (laughs uproariously)
      I think I’ve heard of Love You Forever. Be prepared to one day walk in on one of your almost grown-up sons bawling over ‘The Princess Bride’ or something…:)

    • I remember when my first child was born and the midwife telling me that everything would settle down with sleeping and feeding by around 3-6 months and I thought how far away that sounded and how impossible it would be to have little to no sleep for so long. Now I know that 3-6 months goes by in the blink of an eye and I’m scared by how quickly the time passes sometimes! I haven’t heard of Love You Forever. I will have to go and find a copy now, just to put myself to the tears test, which I’m sure I will fail miserably!

      • Glen Hunting

        The tears test, indeed. I have to say I’m loving all these Mummy expressions!!!
        I’m having visions of unquestionably deep and meaningful children’s books of the future carrying the ‘no more tears’ label on the front cover, just like Johnsons’ Baby Shampoo. What a relief for Mum’s and Kids alike…

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