Sunday, January 13, 2013

With Apologies for the Schmaltz:














My baby,

eight pounds, twenty-two inches,
born three weeks late.
Walked early – eleven months.
Talked early, and often,
the way they vote in Chicago.

By two years he was enamored
with dinosaurs.
By three he knew them all;
not just the easy ones,
T-rex and triceratops,
but pachycephalosaurus, deinonychus, compsognathus.
It was a pure, beautiful obsession.

Each day we would read
Where the Wild Things Are,
There’s a Nightmare in My Closet,
Then the Troll Heard the Squeak
and Babar;
Mr. Rogers would visit us;
we would go on walks with Maggie,
our best friend
who happened to be a Black Lab.

He was Super Dupe at two
and Bat Man at four
still lovin’ the dinos.
And when he was
five years, eight months and fifteen days
he lost his first baby tooth.

And with that tooth
a shiny, little piece
of my world
fell away.
And I cried.

He was no longer
my baby.


For Stuart McPherson's "Growing Up" prompt at dVerse with apologies for the schmaltz...but it's about my kid, I can't help it.

32 comments:

  1. so cool that he knew all the dinosaurs names...and what a lovely pic as well..and oh...letting go is not always so easy...they grow up way too fast, don't they...

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    1. Thanks Claudia, they certainly do grow up too fast (though, as I tell him, he is still my baby! lol)

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  2. ...wishing we could keep them from growing or from experiencing any pain..part of being a mother; and you told it well;)

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  3. awww....smiles...all those little bits do fall away over time...first tooth...first date...smiling at the dinos...we went through that....and batman for sure....cool write mary

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    1. Thanks Brian. I couldn't write about my kids for ages...maybe with some practice I can get a little less schmaltzy...maybe!

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  4. This is beautiful... I loved dinosaurs too when I was growing up! I really liked the significance of the tooth...it is something that never grow back, and teething, and losing teeth, is maybe one of the first signs of change we see in our children...the detail in this shows pure love

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    1. Thank you Stuart. Yes, for some reason that little mile stone really got to me.

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  5. This is so sweet. Bittersweet in ways I suppose but very well said.

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  6. This is so sweet, I really like the stanza
    "And with that tooth
    a shiny, little piece
    of my world
    fell away.
    And I cried."

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  7. I love "Schmaltz!" You have captured that moment that we realize no matter how much we want them to stay little, life keeps moving forward. I only have one child, and I loved every moment of watching him grow, and to this day still enjoy seeing the man he has become. Lovely capture, Mary!

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    1. Aww, thanks Ginny. It is good to see them grow into good people too, you're right. The best advice I ever got was from a friend with older kids. She said, treasure ever minute. They grow up so fast. That's hard to remember when walking the floor at 2:00 AM sometimes, but she sure was right.

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  8. Oh gosh...this is beautiful and brings back memories...I used to call my youngest "my little Jurassic Park Junky"...every morning I'd be greeted with "Dinosaurs"...that and the crocodile hunter. My husband and I were only talking about it the other day... we laughed because even now he's 11 if we put that movie on he'll be glued to the telly. :) Your poem is a delight...I think I'm going to cry now...priceless thank you.

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    1. Oh - thank you so much! My son kept his love of dinosaurs for the longest time too! I'm so glad this struck a chord with you. :o)

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  9. Sure captured the snippet of growing up indeed, and I remember Babar, forgot all about that elephant haha

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and reading Pat. Babar was quite an elephant. :o)

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  10. OMG, every mother in the world will relate to this poem. I remember Stephanie, at three, walking far ahead of me across City Park and me realising that it was only her first step away from my protection. So wanting to keep her close and safe.

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    1. Oh yes! That is a heavy realization.

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  11. This sure resonated with me ~ Yes, my boys went thru these and many more ~ Good and sharp example of growing up, the first tooth ~ Well penned ~

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  12. Thank you Grace. It's kind of a mom post I guess.

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  13. Oh the dinosaurs - that's such a boy thing! I went through it and so did a couple of my nephews. It's funny, I was just thinking about that earlier - a few potential lines arrived unbidden in my head (the best way). Stu's prompt is so rich - and there's so much that could be written in response to it by each of us.

    It's interesting that it wasn't his birth, but your son's loss of a tooth that brought you to a realisation of growing up...

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  14. Actually that was the realization of my son's growing up. I read your piece about your dinosaur experience as well. I guess it is a 'boy' thing, lol.

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  15. oh, my boy was a dino freak too, even those crazy named ones at a young age. the growing up is such a bittersweet thing....

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  16. Yes, that's what I was trying to say - it's bittersweet!

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  17. Aw, sweet. I get all scmaltzy about my kiddles too.

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  18. This ain't schmaltz, it's life - beautifully rendered.

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  19. (Sniff)
    MY Baby boy is 23.
    He still lives at home.
    He works where I work...
    He's still my baby boy....(Don't tell him I said that)
    Your Schmaltzy tale left me a bit Verklempt.

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