Monday, July 24, 2006

Love Carved in Clay

I'm driving down the freeway going north. Huge white, pink and magenta colored oleanders line the median, a riotous burst of floral display, offsetting the impatience of the drivers. My thoughts are focused on the girl who waits for my arrival. The girl who weighed 10 lbs 2 ounces at her birth, who clung to me throughout her childhood as if letting go meant I would somehow vanish and the daughter who's voice fills my heart. It is hot outside and my air-conditioning is blasting as I am passing digitally lit signs that say, "Flex Your Power & Reduce Your Use" I should feel guilty because I am traveling at least 8 miles over the speed limit, but I don't, because I''m one of the impatient drivers. I too, am in a hurry to get to my destination.
My cel rings and there is a squeal of excitement as I inform her that I am just down the street from her apartment. I look in the rear view mirror to check my lipstick and I am smiling....suddenly the more important reflection. I ring the doorbell and I hear that same voice loudly sing-song, "Mommy!..." as she swings wide the door and we embrace. I bury my face in her long hair and take a deep breath. She smells that same sweet, bubble gum sort of way and my heart is home. My mind automatically flashes back to the million times I have inhaled that smell, her smell, that is so much like mine, yet owned by her. She immediately starts informing me of all that is relevant in her life as she packs a quick bag for the weekend. She is an expert at packing, all swift hands and mindless actions, and little does she know, that the sound of her voice briefly fades as I momentarily mourn the fact that she has spent a good portion of her childhood packing overnight bags for days that she had to spend away from me. Her mouth is still moving, but the voice is silenced as my noisy brain tries to focus back to right now, instead of long ago yesterday's. I begin to assess her physically.......she has lost some weight (I hope she's eating enough) she's very tan (she must not be using sunscreen) she looks tired (too much going out with friends). I'm such a Mom.

We did what most girls like to do best. We shopped, ate out, watched movies, ate ice cream and cheese cake, and then we slept in. I had made her some jewelry and here she is deciding which one was her favorite, she had a hard time deciding. I never have a hard time deciding what to make for her because I want to give her everything. Only common sense keeps me from doing this, but it is an impulse I have to restrain.

We went to "The Cheesecake Factory" for dinner. Everyone was there...who wanted to cook in this weather? While waiting, I stared at people, their clothes, shoes, hair styles and my daughter watches me stare. Usually she elbows me and tells me to stop it, but I think she has now inherited this behavior. We stared at each other staring at other's (?) Our server was kind enough to take our picture amongst all of the chaos. Sissy looks beautiful, I look like I'm showing you that I still have all of my teeth. Actually, I was telling him which button to press, while trying not to move my lips, ventriloquist style :)

We stayed in a hotel, as she only has a twin sized bed we're she is living with 3 other girls. Our room had a small sitting area and a big king bed. We always inspect our space and Ooooo at the miniature bottles of shampoo, conditioner, soaps and lotion. We always do this ritual no matter how many times we have taken a trip together. Do all woman do this? Do we all just adore miniature versions of cheap cleansing products?..... We strip the bed of the top spread because we think it's gross and we move in. I organize my stuff (like the neurotic firstborn that I am) and she turns on the TV to look for something fun to watch (like 'the baby' of the family she is).

When our day is done, we have brushed and washed, turned out the lights and gotten into bed....we snuggle....the only way moma's and daughter's know how. We spoon and I am drenched in her aroma and feeling her warm, grown up body right next to mine. My little girl is inside this woman, same eyes, same heart, same love, just.....bigger...everything.

I hate leaving. We hold each other so tight hurts. She has a job, a home and a life, and so do I. We played in suspended time for a couple of days, slightly reverting back, remembering roles that are still very significant, but different now. I tell her she is still my baby and she looks deeply into my eyes and says, "forever." But I see the woman before me and I know that she will never be that baby again.....and I wouldn't want her to. She is carved out into the planes of my heart as if it were made of clay. One day, long ago, it was, but she came along and the warmth of her shining healed and renewed.

I woke up Monday morning and the room was absent of her presence. She had to get up early to leave for work. I moped around and began repacking my belongings. Just about the time when I was ready to feel that deep longing that happens when I'm missing her, I found a sculpture in the shape of a heart made with a bunch of those darling miniature hotel bottles, it was pointing to my side of the bed and I knew.....she still is my baby girl after all.
I had so many more pictures to show you, but Blogger gave me a 3 hour headache and would not print a! BAD BLOGGER! Maybe tomorrow ^..^


Blogger bb said...

Bad blogger, naughty blogger!
Still, it's something to look forward to as I bet the photos are as delicious as your words :-)
Glad you both had such a wonderful time. Can't wait to see the pics!
bb x

3:12 AM  
Blogger Romina Bacci said...

WOW!! you write delightfully Dar...
can't wait to see the pics of you two :)

good luck with blogger.


6:30 AM  
Anonymous your little one said...

Moma...thanks for making me cry (once again) at work! I'm hiding my head behind the computer screen while blotting my tears. I had so much fun this weekend too! You put our memories into such beautiful words. I love you more then anything in the are the strawberry of my eye. I am so lucky to have a Moma and best friend in one!! I can't wait to see you soon!

8:24 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I am sobbing a bit just like your little one! Such a beautiful story, Darlene.

And yes, we all swoon over the mini versions of toiletries! "Mom, look at the baby shampoo, the baby mouthwash!"

Beautiful weekend, beautiful you. I'm looking forward to those photos, too!

8:44 AM  
Blogger Turquoise CRO said...

Yeah, get some more off the cart when the maid isn't looking! LOL My daughter and I do that! Phew! This made me cry too D! I'm soooo GLAD you had a sweet time! Yeah, I've been trying to get a pic on of my mom and dad dancing, I'm kind of glad other peeps are having the same trouble, it's nice to know it's not just me and my pc! Can't wait to seeeeeeeee Sissy and YOU!!! xoxoxox

9:23 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

okay, i had a tear in my eye reading your beautiful words, and now i have seen your baby girl's comment, and the teardrop has morphed into a downpour :-) *sniff* mommys and daughters make my heart ache - in a good way. that love and connection is so special.. sigh. love to you, special one, can't wait to see those pics x

11:46 AM  
Blogger Yolanda said...

Such a lovely post and I look forward to the pics.Here's wishing you were my big sis.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Bohemian Girl said...

yummy you
yummy angela...

me in the middle.

delicious sandwich.


love you guys.

3:12 PM  
Blogger zorana said...

I guess we all cried a little reading this post. You express emotions in such a way that they have to touch everyone.

6:17 PM  
Blogger brittany said...

beautiful. Both of you are beautiful; your relationship is beautiful; your words are beautiful.

(it's hard to read when the tears blur you vision)

6:11 AM  
Anonymous susanna said...

Oh, I have tears in my eyes reading this post! What beautiful words of love to your daughter!

7:46 AM  
Anonymous susanna said...

Oh gosh, I just read your daughter's response and now my face is all red and hot and blotchy! Awwwww...

7:47 AM  
Blogger Bek said...

YOU are an angel heart. I cried when I read the part about how Mama's and daughters sleep. They spoon.

Yes ... and last night I went into take my daughter from her bed... and put her little 5 year old body in with us. She had been waking, and waking... my first night home after a week away to attend a funeral.

And when I read your words Darlene... I bawled.

I love you... and your words.
Your talent and ability.
Amazing to me.
AND reading her comment. GORGEOUS.

3:10 AM  
Blogger Bek said...

I wish I could edit comments.
In haste I loose half the words.

I meant... when I read your little gals comments.

You two are so lovely.
And Deni in the middle.
Cute as.

3:12 AM  

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