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For the first time since 22 month-old Summer was born, I’m now really getting to spend time with her.  Each morning. Just Summer. And me.

There are no morning naps to contend with anymore.  She’s outgrown them. There is no big sister racing around, spinning with energy and chattering away in an endless stream of nonsequitors.  Instead, Dylan is racing and spinning and chattering happily at preschool.

Just simple, present, precious time. With Summer.

A chance to know my baby, who really isn’t a baby at all.

And I had time with someone else this past weekend. My mother.  My fascinating, puzzling, passionate mother.

She is plowing her way through an aggressive social work program to earn her masters, so my time with her lately has been quite limited.

But she came up for a visit and the two of us were able to focus on each other.  This is always a challenge for us. Because frequently we are like two acquaintances, awkwardly stuck in an elevator together, who struggle to find common ground.

But this visit we made it work, made it click.

We went to yoga class together, had lunch and had conversations that went like this…

“Mom, why do you keep your money in a plastic ziploc bag?” I asked.

“It’s just easier. I keep the cash in one bag and credit cards in another,” my mom explained.

“But wouldn’t it be easier to have a, oh i don’t know, A WALLET.”

“No, I tried that. It didn’t really work for me.”

“Really? Because it works for the other 6 billion people on earth.”

“No, I like this better.”

“Ok. That’s cool.”

And we had substantive conversations too that focused less on ziploc bags and more on parenthood and relationships and life.

I’ve always been a girl on the go. I’ve got stuff to do and I want to get to it. But sometimes I can stop. Connect and just be.

The being can be the hardest part. But it’s also the part that ends up meaning the most.

mama bird notes:

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A fellow mummy needs your help in the kitchen. She’s completely bored with what she’s serving up for her little girl. Click on askamama and give her your best kids meal.

For you New York mamas, a Fresh Direct giveaway worth $50! With crazy gas prices and a tumbling stock market, who couldn’t use some free groceries? Just leave a comment on the mama bird diaries this week and mention Fresh Direct. To win, you must live in New York City or surrounding areas where Fresh Direct delivers.

This offer is only for web orders. Limited time. May not be combined with any other offer. Offer is non-transferable and void where prohibited. The lawyers made me say all that stuff.

31 Responses to mothers and daughters

  • Damselfly says:

    “The being can be the hardest part. But it’s also the part that ends up meaning the most.” Oh, so true, friend! I have friends who are happy their older child is in preschool so they can spend time with their younger one — something I never thought about as the mama of just one.

  • Jennifer H says:

    I loved the time with my girl when her big brother went to school, and I love it now when I have either one of them to myself, one at a time.

    And it’s great that you had that kind of time with your mother…

  • kelsey kleiman says:

    Summer is so ridiculously adorable. As a second child, I imagine she loves this time with you too.

    I really wish I knew your children better live and not just through your blog. Perhaps 2009 will bring with it more opportunities for playdates even though we’re brooklynites now.

    The ziploc convo made me smile (and then cry but still….any smile feels good)!!!


  • Cathy says:

    Great post. I remeber when Ethan went to preschool and I could do stuff with just James–so nice. I can have a lot of bizarro moments with my mom, too, but sometimes we can connect and it’s great.

  • Milena says:

    uh… I’ll make a little confession of my own here. I hate wallets too. I like ziplock bags also except that they loose that nice shiny, unscratched look to them rather quickly and so I go through boxes of ziplocks like you cannot believe. The thing is, you can see everything in a ziplock. It’s transparent! I want a transparent wallet but as yet, I’ve never been able to find one. I’m #2 with your mom and against the 6 billion who use wallets. Hooray for Kelcey’s mom!

  • sam says:

    i too am challenged by my relationship with my mother. i love her but she really pushes my buttons (being that she’s the one who installed them!) But the moments we can just be and not be mother/daughter are good. And there is some healing in the grandmother role she now has. Love that little Summer, who’s cuter than that?!

  • Aimee says:

    I can imagine having a 2nd child that it is a different experience, since you had all the time in the world with your first just to focus on her for the first few years. Sounds like a great gift that you get to enjoy Summer now and have her all to yourself!

    As for your giveaway–sadly they do not deliver in my part of CT–I know this since when I moved here from NYC to CT I prayed, hoped, and found…NADA. I SOOOO enjoyed that service in NYC and all of their labeled packages and different maranaides–awesome.

  • Robyn says:

    My mother is quirky as well. Although I’ve never noticed any zip loc bags. She’s more of the person who packs the world largest purse and then complains about it carrying all this stuff.

  • Lanie says:

    Summer is soo cute – I am really glad that you are getting to spend some alone time with her. I am not sure how to work out alone time the twins but I will let you know if I figure it out. 🙂

    We have some friends with 3 kids who let each child pick a place to go for an alone weekend with the parents. Teh kids are older but it seems like a good idea. If we start that we Fletcher and Alyssa maybe one will pick NY! Miss you. xoxox

  • Ikene says:

    Sounds like a great time for all the mothers and daughters. Enjoy all the moments. Great picture of Summer,but she is even cuter in person.

  • I have mornings alone with my youngest this year too- she’s in afternoon kindergarten. I love having her all to myself for a little time each morning! Being the youngest of three she never got too much of that. At the grocery store yesterday she told me that she likes being home with just me in the morning ( : It brought tears to my eyes- especially because I know my oldest would never utter those words right now ( :

  • Shannon says:

    Glad you and your Mom connected…So know what you mean about not knowing my baby – he’s not even a baby anymore. I’m hoping our time will come.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Fresh Direct rocks. ‘Nuf said. I’ve taken to using a hideous canvas Mickey Mouse bag b/c purses weren’t “working” for me. Since it is obviously a slippery slope to Ziplock wallets I think I will dig a purse out of my closet.

  • ewe_are_here says:

    I try to make individual time for my boys… it’s so precious and they love my (or their father’s) undivided attention so much when they can get it. I think it reminds them –and me– why they’re so uniquely special.

    But I have to admit, I cringe at the thought of no more naps at 22 months… that’s only a few months away, and I’m not ready!

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kelcey kintner