fourzoas: (wee me)
[personal profile] fourzoas

My mother tells me that I spoke my first word when I was 9 months old. Every morning she'd come into my bedroom when she heard me wake. Every morning she'd greet me with a cheery "Hi," the same cheer, I imagine, that she'd greeted me with on my teen mornings, her voice ringing out to sing "Rise and shine and give God your glory." I must admit that there were truly unglorious things I wanted to share with God in those moments, but at 9 months old, I was happy to see, hear, and feel my mother's love and kindness all around me.

On that morning, the morning of the first word, I imagine that I awoke with the dawn, the warm sun filtering through the blinds to tickle me from slumber on a summer's day. I must have lain there for a bit of time as I blinked and adjusted my eyes to focus in on my surroundings. My tiny hands may have grasped the blanket, the same blanket my mother brought me recently, a special item she'd saved from my childhood to share with my son. My little legs probably kicked a bit, a final signal that it was time to get moving.

Come to think of it, I still wake in the same way.

I'll bet that I pulled myself up to sit, wanting to be prepared for her entrance. I'd been working hard on this gift, and I'm sure that even in my limited understanding, I was ready to do this thing for this beautiful person with the liquid light voice. She'd been moving a bit more slowly recently, and I could see her shape changing before my eyes. Her belly seemed to be expanding, and as I grew, so did she. There was so much about her and her life that I didn't understand and wouldn't understand and may never understand, but this I knew: that she cuddled, comforted, and caressed me, that she was the meaning of love and light and warmth. Surely I could show her how special she was.

I imagine that I heard her stirring in the other room, her lighter step markedly different from my father's. This was our time, the time we shared before he rose with his fuss and bluster, and I imagine that I began to bounce a bit in anticipation, perhaps clapping my hands or letting a small giggle escape as I heard her in the nearby bathroom. I must have taken that moment to make my move, to position my little body near the railing of my crib, to grasp the sides and pull myself up to stand for her.

I imagine her smiling as she entered my room, all of the difficult life that happened in other parts of that house forgotten as she neared the crib and opened her mouth to issue her usual greeting. I imagine the surprise in her eyes, surprise that carried a mixture of delight and sorrow, as her baby girl beat her to the punch and issued the morning "Hi!"

It was probably just a reflex, a learned response, a moment of pure coincidence that brought that sound from my lips at the right time, in the right context, on the right day. Still, I like to imagine that it was something more than that, my first step on a now-40 year journey of learning to talk to my mother. Even though I'm now at the start of a new conversation with my infant son, she still greets my phone calls with a "hello, little girl." I still respond with a "hello, little mama." In those moments I'm transported to a fresh morning with the sunlight coming through the blinds of that small Louisiana bedroom, and I'm bringing her whatever new thing I've learned today.

I like to imagine that it will be this way forever.

This post was written in response to Topic 3 for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol: Smiles. Thanks for reading!

on 2009-11-05 02:41 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] stormkitty.livejournal.com
What a sweet story! I love how you told this and the details you included. :)

on 2009-11-05 02:44 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com
Thanks! I had no idea what I was going to do for this one, but as soon as I sat down to write, I could see the whole thing.

BTW, I understand that birthday wishes are in order, so happy birthday!

on 2009-11-05 02:58 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] stormkitty.livejournal.com
Thank you! :)

on 2009-11-05 02:46 pm (UTC)
ext_3965: (10 M Animated Hug Sontaran Stratagem)
Posted by [identity profile] persiflage-1.livejournal.com
Aw... That's so sweet. I'm a bit teary-eyed now.

on 2009-11-05 02:55 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com
I'm a bit teary-eyed now.

I must admit to crying a bit as I was writing. I &hearts my mom.

on 2009-11-05 03:43 pm (UTC)
ext_3965: (Cuddle Ten Martha)
Posted by [identity profile] persiflage-1.livejournal.com
I ♥ mine, too!

on 2009-11-05 09:25 pm (UTC)
shadowwolf13: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] shadowwolf13
What a wonderful story! :)

on 2009-11-10 08:16 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

on 2009-11-05 10:51 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] sherriola.livejournal.com
I really liked this. I can imagine the scene. It's so sweet.

on 2009-11-10 08:16 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com
Thank you!

on 2009-11-06 01:19 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] karmasoup.livejournal.com
How precious! I hope you get to share this with your mother.

on 2009-11-10 08:17 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com
Thanks; I probably will share it with her this holiday season!

on 2009-11-06 01:34 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] alycewilson.livejournal.com
I really liked this one; it was sweet.

on 2009-11-10 08:46 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com
Thank you; I'm glad you enjoyed!

on 2009-11-06 02:36 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] bewize.livejournal.com
Awww, this was gorgeous. And my godson now parrots "hi" back, but he has no idea what he's saying yet. Still, he says it when the phone rings.

*adores*

on 2009-11-10 08:47 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com
I know I'm going to really enjoy watching my son learning language. Their little voices are so sweet!

on 2009-11-06 03:54 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] brand0new0day.livejournal.com
I love this story, you told it so beautifully. :)

on 2009-11-10 08:47 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com
Thank you!

on 2009-11-08 02:19 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] being-fulfilled.livejournal.com
Haha! My mom used to come in singing that song. Drove us nuts as teenagers!

She'd also wake us up with "Good morning to you! Good morning to you! We're all in our places with bright, shining faces. Good morning to you!"

on 2009-11-10 08:48 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com
Nothing gets your teen rebellion on like a cheery mom in the morning!

on 2009-11-08 02:50 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] java-fiend.livejournal.com
A very sweet, poignant story. And very, very beautifully written. Thanks for sharing this. :-)

on 2009-11-10 08:48 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com
Thank you so much; I'm glad you enjoyed it!

on 2009-11-08 03:26 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] onda-bianca.livejournal.com
Awwww...sweet. Well done! :)

on 2009-11-10 08:49 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com
Thank you!

on 2009-11-08 06:52 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] jenandbronze.livejournal.com
I enjoyed reading this, just absolutely adorable.

on 2009-11-10 08:49 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com
Thanks; I'm glad you enjoyed it!

on 2009-11-08 10:05 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] majesticarky.livejournal.com
very cute story. thanks for sharing.

on 2009-11-10 08:49 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com
You're welcome!

on 2009-11-08 04:47 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] cacophonesque.livejournal.com
This was so beautifully written.

I loved all the details of speculation, of the type of thoughts might have transpired in your baby brain.

You have a great talent with words, description, and mood.

on 2009-11-10 08:50 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com
Thank you so much; it was fun to imagine what I might have been thinking!

on 2009-11-08 08:42 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] johnmill79.livejournal.com
Ah, the joys of childhood. It must be quite sad for a parent to watch her child grow up past that stage. Not sure if I'll find out firsthand.

on 2009-11-10 08:50 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com
I'm already starting to dread my little one growing up. I hope that you do get to find out firsthand, if that's something you desire.

on 2009-11-08 10:43 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] so-small.livejournal.com
This was really sweet :)

on 2009-11-10 08:50 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com
Thank you!

on 2009-11-09 05:47 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] zia-narratora.livejournal.com
I call my father little daddy when he calls me little girl! This was so sweet!

on 2009-11-10 08:51 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com
Isn't that the best exchange in greeting? I can't help but smile when my mom and I have that bit of conversation!

Glad you enjoyed!

on 2009-11-10 08:57 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] zia-narratora.livejournal.com
It is! The other one I really like is my father asks me how I sleep and I tell him with my eyes closed.

on 2009-11-09 02:37 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] talonkarrde88.livejournal.com
Aww :) Well written, and lovely flow.

If I ever have children, I'd like to be there for this moment, even though I know it's usually a mom's thing :P

on 2009-11-10 08:52 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com
Thank you!

I think it's a mom thing mainly because of time spent in childcare; I hope that you get to experience the first word alongside your partner! :-)

on 2009-11-09 08:45 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] walkertxkitty.livejournal.com
You have a vivid way with words. Reading this aloud to catch the cadence was a pure joy. Good writing!

on 2009-11-10 08:53 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com
Thank you--and thanks for reading it aloud! I've thought about doing one of these as a voice post, since I tend to write for the ear (or from it, perhaps?).

on 2009-11-10 03:12 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] phoenixejc.livejournal.com
So sweet!

on 2009-11-10 08:53 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com
Thanks!

on 2009-11-10 06:46 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] baxaphobia.livejournal.com
Awww. This left me all warm and fuzzy! Very sweet entry!

on 2009-11-10 08:54 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com
Glad I could provide warm fuzzies; with the weather we've been having down here, they're sorely needed! :-)

on 2009-11-10 08:55 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] baxaphobia.livejournal.com
Oh yuck! You're in the throes of Ida?

on 2009-11-10 09:17 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] beloved-tree.livejournal.com
Oh, how sweet. I love the way you weave the childhood moment into the larger context of you whole relationship with her, and the imagined thoughts/motivations you have for your infant self. Lovely entry.

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