Saturday, March 3, 2012

Little Pieces

I was in line to pay for
your balloons yesterday
when the toddler on her
mama's hip in front of me
turned and caught my eye.
Hi she said in a clear, high
little voice.  Then, Hi! again,
before I had a chance to
greet her back.  It was her
second birthday and she
reminded me so much of

Happy Birthday.

She smiled in response
to this story, birthday
glow lighting up her face.

My girl.

An older song drifted from
the radio with a lively beat
and she said, This reminds
me of the summer we lived
in an apartment....picking
blackberries, my goose
girl Playmobile set and
loving smooth jazz on the

I nodded my head.  She was
three and I could see that
summer so clearly in 
my mind.

Shyly she asked, Does it
bother you that I don't
remember more than little
pieces of my life from
when I was small?

No, I assured her, a tiny
 smile playing around my
 lips.  All those memories ~
the ones you do remember
and the majority, which you 
don't ~ they are all sitting 
here next to me.  The very 
fiber of your being was  
woven from those early, 
sweet moments.

Reading, reading, reading
blowing bubbles
leaf piles
swinging at the park
impromptu twirling
strawberry picking
cuddles and lap time
boxes of rocks, shells, feathers
tea parties after naps
trips to the grocery
make-believe with Pooh 
swimming lessons
visits to the zoo

All part of her and the
beautiful soul that she has
become.  Even if she doesn't
remember those snippets 
in time, they were integral to
the young woman that exists, 
right now.

And I remember them all.
I hope I always will.

What is your earliest memory?
Do you recall those budding
years of life and the fragments
of memory that made such an
impression you carry them to
this day?

Maybe it was a touch.  A
fragrance.  A feeling.  Or
maybe it was something
more specific. 

Little pieces.

As my daughter prepares to
blow out seventeen candles,
I send you the happiest of
wishes, too.  May you truly
see those small things that
add up to this big, beautiful,
often mystifying and equally
magical thing called Life.



helen tilston said...

What beautiful memories you have of your daughter. Wishing her a very happy birthday and may this be her best year ever. I have early memories of a joyful mother who played skip rope with us and was full of love, generosity and fun.
Have a great weekend


Debby said...

Sweet post. Happy 17th to your daughter.

Stuff and Nonsense said...

so sweet to be
the keeper of your daughter's
early memories

i must think about mine

about what i really recall
versus what i have heard about
or seen in photos
and therefore made mine

happy birthday
to your little girl!


Biz said...

I can't imagine how I'll be feeling in 16.5 years when my baby girl is 17!
Doesn't sound so far off and yet I know there is so much that will happen between now and then.
So many memories will be made!
So many things to do and see and be!
I'm so excited!
Happy Birthday to You little one!
She's amazing!


NanaDiana said...

Suzanne- What beautiful memories you carry with you...for you and your daughter. I can remember many things from the time I was about 3 on. I think I am a memory keeper, too.

Blessings to your sweet 17 year old love! xo Diana

Low Tide High Style said...

Those memories are gifts she will carry with her always, like a big bag where she will find small treasures when she looks inside it over the years!

Happy Birthday to your beautiful and oh so talented daughter!

Kat :)

Hindsfeet said...

Just beautiful.

Hindsfeet said...

Just beautiful.

Anonymous said...

So beautiful, Suzanne...I, too, have a new 17-year-old daughter. And my 22-year-old daughter surprised us with a visit home this week--such a joy!

Reminiscing is always a part of these visits...I'm always struck with how vivid my memories of her childhood are--and how spotty hers are of the same things...hard to believe. But, like you said so beautifully, I'm not sad about it, I just make even more sure those special moments are never forgotten...ever.

Enjoy all those precious moments, dear friend...have a beautiful, beautiful weekend...


A Vintage Chic said...

That last comment was me--for some reason I accidentally hit "anonymous"!


Olive Cooper said...

I think I remember being in the back of a boat as it was motoring across the lake and I caught my first fish by dangling my pole in the water wily nily. Happy Birthday to your fine girl.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

I can remember a moment when I was 6 months old. I even have a photo of that day that my mother took. It was the only recollection I have of my maternal grandfather. In the photo, I am on the floor on a blanket, my grandpa sitting on the couch, embracing my 5 year old cousin. I remember crying BECAUSE I WANTED HIM TO PICK ME UP. I do remember that; and in the picture you can see his face a bit contorted and looking at me. I remember what he said. "SHUT UP" said he, in Spanish. It has stayed with me all these years.

Lovely words dear friend! Anita

Hartwood Roses said...

I'm sitting here smiling, remembering the memories of when my own daughters were little. Our youngest turns 25 in two weeks ... where has the time gone?

Linda in AZ * said...

*** This is sooo beautifully stated, directly from your warm heart... HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your 17 year old Young Woman!!!

Hugs to her, and keep one for yourself, dear Suzanne!

Linda in AZ *

Lisa Scibilia said...

Happy birthday to lovely Elizabeth!
Wishing you more happy memory making in the year ahead!

Beach House Living said...

Happy Birthday!

Beatnheart said...

your daughter is a lucky girl to have such a warm and loving mum.

Kat said...

Simply lovely! Your beautiful words always bring a smile and a tear. You have a knack for expressing yourself beautifully.

Leslie said...

Happy. Birthday to your daughter! This is such t touching post. The older I get the less I seem to recall about my childhood. My own children - those seem to be at the for-front of my mind. I'm so glad we took lots of pictures and videos!

Farmgirl Paints said...

Happy birthday Elizabeth. Can't believe you are 17!!! Holy cow. Loved this post Suzanne. Your writing moves me. My earliest memories are of birthday parties, picking strawberries from our patch, rainy day gift bags from my mom, sweet friends spending the night. Good things. Thanks for reminding me of them.

SuzyMcQ said...

Happy Belated Birthday to the beautiful Miss E!

All the best to you, always........

Stitchfork said...

Hope E had a fabulous birthday! The balloons made me of our family traditions was to tie the birthday number of balloons to the bedpost after they went to sleep, so the first sight in the morning was a bouquet of balloons - one for each year.
xo Cathy

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

OH so lovely, have such a beautiful relationship with your daughter! I hope her birthday was truly special! My earliest memories are when I was three years old and living in very HOT El Paso Texas...swimming in a little pool my father made of lumber and a tent canvas, and of my little sister and I sitting on a blanket in the shade of a bush, having the cold milk and graham crackers that our mother brought us. It is so sweet to remember memories of being so new in the world...

Palomasea said...

Suzanne, I have tears in my eyes from this exquisite post (and also from Anita's story about Grandpa!)...
What a beautiful love letter this is..A Very Happy Birthday to your darling girl! Those precious little moments of every day activities when they are small, oh how cherished they are. Just lovely!!
- Irina

Jemsmom said...

Suzanne!!! You always bring me to tears! I mean that in such a good way!!! Happy Birthday to your sweet girl!

I have two very young memories. At the age of three, I tormented my mother with my sass so much that she called my father (he was a police officer working the night shift), told him to come home, and locked herself in the bathroom! I decided I should just run away so I packed my little blue oval suitcase with soft padded sides. Pulled on wool knee high socks with my nightgown. I added a sweater and my three foot Raggedy Anne doll to the mix. I remember knocking on the door and informing my mom that I was running away. She walked me out to the garage. I can still see her face looking out the back door of the garage at me. I got to the edge of the garage and remember that the night was as black as ink. I was terrified of the dark and I asked my mom to drive me to grandma's. My dad got home then and I don't remember much after that!!!

I also have a memory and I couldn't have been more than 2 or 3. We used to go to Bluegrass Festivals way way way out in the woods of east Tennessee. I can remember laying on a bench with my head in my mom's lap and she was stroking my hair. I was looking at the fire and listening to the music. I got sleepy and rolled over in her lap. I remember the small v patter on her shirt. It was a very popular pattern in the 70's and when I see it I go right back to that moment. Most of all, I remember her stroking my hair.

Ahhhh, you make me remember so many wonderful things!

lisaroyhandbags said...

happy birthday to your sweet girl! You've created so many beautiful memories for her that she'll treasure all her life. As I get older, I remember less about the earliest years but there are always little snippets here and there xo

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Happy Birthday to your very lovely daughter. Birthdays are always special to both the child and the mother. This is such a lovely post and you will have many, many more memories to share.
Happy Birthday, Elizabeth!

Teacup Moments said...

Oh, all choked up right now. I love all your memories, little pieces you call them. But then what s that they say - the small things ARE the BIG things, in the end. Happy Birthday to your sweet daughter! She's all set in this life, having YOU for a mom. Cheers! xoxo T

Mary Timmers said...

Some of my earliest memories come from our small house in a small neighborhood in Red Wing, Minnesota. I would get up on a cool June morning and cross our narrow street to our nieghbor's house. There I would sit on their front steps in the sunshine and WARM UP and just BE.I still love to have the sun warm me up when I'm cold. Thanks for sharing your memories and evoking mine!

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

Oh I think mommies miss the little people we once knew. Everyone else we know stays the same or are basically adults but our little ones grow up and change so much that the little person is gone. So wonderful to watch them grow and blossom.

paige said...

beauitful poetry my friend
& yes, even if she doesn't recall some of those precious moments in her mind, i bet they're tucked in her heart & soul.
that & she clearly feels your love for her.

happy 17th to your sweet sweet girl


pollydove said...

Boy, my earliest memories are from kindergarten, and most of them were traumatic, not pleasant! Wouldn't it be so fun to be able to replay those snippets of happy little times in our lives and in the lives of our children? Sigh!

What a sweet tribute to your darling girl. Happy birthday wishes to her! I am loving these photos today .... especially the balloons! Have fun!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Thank you dear friend for your comment today! CELEBRATE!!!!!! Anita

pretty pink tulips said...

From one Elizabeth to another....Happy Birthday!!! I love the little bits you've shared. The best memories are usually the simplest. A smell, a touch, a look. My birthday is a few months away and this has me thinking about the little bits that I want to capture before I turn another year older!!!

xoxo Elizabeth

michele said...

happy birthday to your sweet girlie!

my childhood memories are sweet. lots of swedish pancakes, always barefooted, singing a lot of solos in church, and sitting next to my mom at the piano.

thanks for reminding me, lovely lady.


Bonnie said...

Oh yes, Suzanne I have many lovely memories. You write so beautifully and delight me with how you share your memory and give me some of mine to mull over again. Happy Birthday to your sweet daughter. What a treasure she and you have together.

Tiffini Kilgore said...

happy birthday to your sweet daughter! hope it was a beautiful day.
just getting a breather. missing you and wanted to check in.
those are precious mommy times..remembering all the years. I STILL can't get over how fast they go and I STILL would love to have a day of them back:)

Julie said...

A beautiful post Suzanne...I so smile and agree with you...When I was younger, I think I wondered how much my kids would remember about their childhoods because I couldn't recapture all of MY OWN childhood days, weeks, months...but as a veteran I know it's not about what they can recall in memory so much - as you so eloquently state! :-) as it is that their lives were being woven together bit by bit and thread by thread to make that beautiful and valuable and cherished person that they are today. AND I KNOW the photograph slowly developing in the dark it all comes together until the finished picture is crystal clear and what you see is all of that process finished...from the days spent with mom and the nest...changing - learning - growing - BECOMING. I love this post. It was good for my heart. HUGS to you Suzanne. Love ya! xo

Jeanie said...

What a thoughtful question for her to ask -- if it bothered you that she didn't remember much from back then -- and your answer is as mine would have been!

My earliest memories are being about three or four -- one of my dearest friends moved away then, but we remain friends to this day. I remember bits and pieces of that time, more after school started, but more like fragments of a dream. And that's OK, though there isn't anyone to remember them for me -- I remember so very much more!


Hope the birthday was as beautiful and fun as the cool balloons.

I do believe that our world is becoming a bit of a scary place at times ... so I am grateful for every moment I spent with our daughters, giving them wonderful memories. Memories to sustain them.

I love your joy in motherhood, Susanne. I share it.


Lili said...

You are such a beautiful writer Suzanne. xoxo ~Lili