Life…in Retrospect

I stopped by Mother’s the other day. She was sitting at her desk in her office. “Sometimes I wish I could do it all over again,” she said.


“Motherhood. Remember how it feels to bring a new baby home from the hospital? You put them over your shoulder and pat their little bottoms. Sweetest weight in the world.”

“And kiss their soft heads. People tried to tell me how fast it would go, but I didn’t listen.”

“Me either,” she said. “I just thought, I’m tired of folding diapers, getting supper ready, making formula, and feeding the dog.”

“Wish we could go back for a few days. I’d hurry less. Laugh a lot more.”

“I wouldn’t talk near as much,” Mother said leaning on her typewriter. “If one of you wanted my attention, I’d stop putting the clothes in the washing machine or reading the mail, or even writing, and be quiet and listen.”

I smiled imagining the thought.

“Another thing,” she said. “Making sandwiches. I’d cut them in half and trim off the edges. And I wouldn’t pinch y’all in church.”

I laughed. “I’d forgotten about that.”

She turned from her typewriter to face me.

“And never in a million years would I scream unless the house was on fire,” she said. “I’d make homemade Christmas cookies and let ya’ll decorate them. I wouldn’t care that the kitchen got messy. I wouldn’t make you and Jennifer sleep in tight pink sponge rollers every Saturday night. I’d never lock y’all out of the house and make you drink out of the hose while I was writing. I’d smile every time I looked at you. No more frownie faces.”

“You’re smiling now,” I said.

“You are too.”

“Anytime we talk we’re making a memory. A memory happens when hearts connect.”

“And when someone really listens,” she said.