Friday, March 16, 2007

Blue suede shoes and rose colored glasses

Sit back and put your feet up. I've some stories to tell.

Jenn surprised me last night with a lovely look back at some of my finer maternal moments. Thank you, dear heart. The pleasure was all mine. I don’t quite remember the bologna incident but do remember the Lone Ranger accompaniment on the organ. Since I’m the birthday girl here, I might as well wax a bit nostalgic. (You started this, Jenn.)

One of my favorite memories in raising Jenn and Joseph is draping my mom’s afghan over some furniture so that the kids had a “tent” and could make an imaginary campfire and roast marshmallows while “camping out”. We spent many an afternoon under our tent discussing kid things and life in general. I’d like to think that living-room adventure added to the creativity and whimsy they still embrace and give to their own children.

Another much loved recollection is the hosting of the Animal Olympics where the kids catapulted their stuffed animals down our long hallway to determine who won the gold, silver and bronze medals for broad jump. The competition was stiff as both kids had quite a menagerie. I remember the excitement and the tiny stuffed athletes scattered about the hallway floor. Somehow there were always winners on both sides.

There were also the more trying moments of scientific discovery. At one point in time Jenn had a real menagerie of guinea pigs in our basement segregated in several large glass aquariums. She built wooden mazes and observed to see if males or females were the smarter of the species. We had a confounding variable when one of the boys managed to leap out of his glass house and take up with one of the girls. We then got to observe the miracle of birth a short time later. Cleaning those darn aquariums out back usually fell to me. The neighbors just looked on and twittered and shook their heads. As a proud judge for the PA Junior Academy of Science, it was the least I could do for scientific advancement. Joseph did his own kind of research on secondary smoke. He was ahead of the game and won an award from the Cancer Society of America. Unfortunately, what he discovered didn’t stop his dad from smoking but it may have contributed to his later goal of becoming a doctor.

I never think much about this kind of stuff but it’s good to look back. I like that Jenn finds some of these moments endearing too. I like that she is appreciative of little gestures, like treating her to those blue suede shoes which she spied in a shop window in Brighton. I remember my mom squeezing some money into my hand when I was a young mother and saying quietly “go, buy yourself something”.

I think Jenn is right when she says that I may have contributed the happy DNA which points her to the light at critical moments. She told me recently that I’ve an overload of serotonin and should feel grateful. It may be true, all this talk of brain chemistry and how neurochemicals and hormones help to shape our moods. I have always been a fairly optimistic and upbeat person.

Lately, I see a lot of me in Hannah. Her favorite phrase is “Isn’t it beautiful?!” This can be just about anything she’s seeing – a mountain, the rushing river, the colors on her dress. Jenn bought her a pair of sunglasses and she was so excited and happy. They have an appropriate pink tint.

As feisty and stubborn as she can be at times, Hannah is also the sunshine kid. Life is good. The beautiful is bee yoo ti ful with the accent on the second syllable. It warms the heart. Pink is her special color. She loves pink. She loves life. She is three years old.

Blue will come later, probably in the teen years. Blue will have to share time with pink. Blue will be a part of the palette too. And maybe her mom will treat her to a pair of blue shoes. She’ll learn to walk the walk between joy and sorrow as we all must do.

For now, though, let her delight in pink.


slouching mom said...

Aww. Such a mellow mom you were, and such a mellow lady you are. Jenn's right, I think. You are bursting with serotonin -- care to share a little?

Oh, and Hannah in her rose-colored glasses? Bee-yoo-ti-ful.

Birchsprite said...

Happy Birthday again Mater!

May you have a fantastic day.

My MoMtra said...

You never cease to amaze me with your wonderment and words. I think you and my mom are clones. I feel as lucky as Jenn does.

geogirl said...

You guys are killing me here...

Gah! Why didn't I buy stock in Kleenex!!

Bee-YOO-te-ful indeed!!

Terry said...

Happy Birthday! thanks to the wonderful internet I get to say that to my cyber friend.

Spot the Wonder Dog said...

Guess Jenn's little guinea pig experiment determined which sex was smarter, eh? ;D

velocibadgergirl said...

Happy Birthday, Mater!! I hope it's a fantastic one, and here's to many, many more! xoxo

moxiemomma said...

happy birthday, mater!!


kirsty said...

More birthday wishes for you, Amazing Seratonin Girl, from a Fellow Seratonin Girl.

Deb said...

Happy Birthday Lovely Lady!

This was such a generous share, thanks for the reminder it's it truly the little things that make memories.

Daphne said...

Elaine, you write so beautifully, I love the way you capture moments of emotion with words. What a gift you have! Keep painting the sky. I admire you greatly.

pogonip said...

Slightly belated birthday wishes and a big hug! (At our house we figure late wishes just extend the celebration time.)

I loved both mom and daughter posts--I'd forgotten the coziness of living room tents

Jennifer said...

You are such a beautiful lady. Thank you for sharing. I aspire to think the way you think; gratitude, humility, generosity, encouragement, appreciation of the small things (and the small people.) Serotonin or not, I can also think these things - even when I don't feel them. I'm so glad I found you and Jenn. The more I read, the more I find myself appreciating my Mom and forgiving her for scolding me when I fall off my bike. Thanks much.