Just Yesterday

Just Yesterday

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Tribute to Moms

Just Yesterday

A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.

Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Just yesterday . . .

. . . I was a twenty-six-year-old mother bringing my first baby home from the hospital. An enchanted pastel-adorned and hope-filled nursery welcomed our young family of three.

. . . I nursed my infant son as I inhaled his sweet scent and nuzzled the silky fine wisps of newborn hair.

. . . I’d tiptoe into his room and listen to his quiet breathing and imagine the boy he’d one day become. Filling barely a corner of his crib, surrounded by soft, powder blue linens and indescribable love, he’d sleep.

. . . I addressed cards announcing the arrival of our miracle, declaring his father’s and my unmitigated joy. I’d joke with my husband that this tiny baby would one day—in the faraway, faraway future—be part of the graduating class of 2003. How funny that sounded.

. . . middle-of-the-night feedings seemed endless and exhausting, a car seat was permanently in the back of my car, a playpen was occupying space in the den, and a nightlight was lit in the upstairs hall.

. . . chocolate ice cream with rainbow sprinkles distracted tears and fears and cured just about everything that ailed my preschooler.

. . . my five-year-old son donned a backpack filled with crayons, glue, and a brand-new lunch box and posed wide-eyed with anticipation for the initial photo that would begin a tradition of capturing those first-day-of-school mornings forever.

. . . I cheered for him on the soccer field, kept close tabs on him in the pool, and waited outside a dressing room while he reluctantly tried on clothes.

. . . I’d remind him to say thank you and please, do his homework on time, keep up with his chores, and get ready for bed.

. . . the calendar flipped to a time when friends, girls, hair, and clothes took center stage in his life. And chaperoning field trips, holding his hand at the dentist, bringing birthday cupcakes to school, and meeting him at the bus stop halted abruptly in mine.

. . . he drove out of our driveway on his own and sampled the independence and freedom that loomed around just a few more childhood corners.

. . . conversations about college and plans for a time that no longer seemed so far off began to dominate all others.

. . . I purchased his last yearbook, wrote his last school note, and made his last sack lunch.

Today, that little boy’s hairy legs dangle over the edge of his queen-sized bed, his whiskers tickle my face when he kisses me during a visit home, and a cell phone—not a baby monitor—alerts me with a deep, masculine voice that he’s safe and sound. The days I thought might never end, the ones I wished wouldn’t, the moments that I wore like a second skin, absorbed my every breath, infiltrated my every thought, were . . . just yesterday.

Lori Shaw-Cohen

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