As I looked into her eyes, at her darling face, it was a picture I wanted to engrain in me until the end of time, like so many other times before…
I read a really sweet story online a while back, where a woman had a photograph of her first day of school at her parents house, and fast forward 20 or so years later, there was a photo now of her own daughter, looking similar to how she did, in the same house, and even wearing the same clothes, as she was going to be attending the same school as her mother did! What deja vu those grandparents would have had, looking at their sweet little granddaughter get ready for her first day of school, looking like a replica of their own daughter, like so many years ago.
I often have this thought, and I know Hubbie does too, with baby girl in reference to my Mum. Many people say she looks like me, but there are also many who think quite specifically, that she looks like my Mum – as I do too. And because of the striking similarity, I wonder how it must be like for my Mum at times, when she’s looking down at baby girl, playing, smiling, talking to her, and whether she gets lost in the moment and suddenly sees me, 30 years earlier (I was going to say 20 years but then I realised I was dreaming).
I don’t mean for it to sound self-obsessed, but my Mum has even admitted to it, saying sometimes she has to check herself from saying my name instead of baby girl’s. And because my parents are still at the same address, living in the same childhood home I knew all my young life, I know that a lot of those old memories must come forth in the light of new ones taking place.
Today after visiting my parents, we decided to spontaneously go to the park. You can be sudden in your park choice there, because the park is next door to my parents’ house. It is super convenient as a child, and super convenient when you have a child. We ran over, my Mum following, and we walked, played and ran around the playground.
Baby girl wanted to go in the swing, and I strapped her in. After pushing her a few times, I jumped into the adult swing beside her, and lined up my swing so that we were moving together, side by side.
And it was then. Then that I looked into her bright, smiling face. The wind was pushing strands of her hair around her face, and the sun was bright behind the clouds, making her squint slightly. Her smile was wide, so happy, so content, as we moved back and forth together. She was so thrilled to be swinging there with me. And there was nowhere in the world that I would have rather been. I was still cool yet angelic in her eyes. She was still my baby girl. It was a truly perfect moment.
I became aware of my Mum then, pacing slowly through the park. She was at a distance, and I remembered with a jolt, how I used to swing there. Sure, back then it was a totally different swing. The playground was wooden then, now it was metal. Back then the playground consisted of some swings, a slide, and a see saw that got burnt down one New Year’s Eve. Now the 21st century renovated park had walkways in between slides, climbing ladders and challenging chains, play-pretend steering wheels and rotating cubes for littlies to discover, and of course, the swings, amongst other park re-incarnations.
I was still at the park I grew up in… only now I wasn’t swinging alongside 1 of my 3 besties at the time. This time, this day, I was beside my baby girl. Mum was there, looking at two of her girls. And as 3 generations occupied the space, I couldn’t help but think how grateful I was for the moment, and how truly, life certainly goes around.
In the cycle of life.