Saturday, November 11, 2006

Mom In The Middle

Maya knows that when her Mama was a little girl she was called Julie, and her Uncle Richard was a little bit older than Julie, and called Richard and her Granny was just a young mother called Mom. They all three lived in California in those days, while Mom went to school, and they didn't have a car. Everywhere they went either they rode the bus, or they walked. Well, at first just Mom walked. Richard and Julie rode in a lovely two person stroller, Julie in front so she could see, and Richard in back where he could see over her head.

Eventually, Richard didn't want to ride in the stroller any more, and he started walking along with Mom. Now, Richard was always in a hurry. He was born early and he learned to talk early and he learned to walk early and once he was walking, he walked fast. Here he went to examine a rock; there he darted to explore a tree. He wanted to see everything, and he hurried to it all. That was ok with Mom, because he always stayed on the sidewalk (or, at least out of the street) where he was safe, and she could move as fast as he did. And Julie rode along.

Finally Julie got older and she didn't want to ride in the stroller any more, either. Julie started walking along with Richard and Mom. Now, Julie was never in a hurry (although she was born early, but that is really the last time she ever hurried about anything). She took her time when she learned to talk and she took her time when she learned to walk and once she was walking, she took her time. In fact, she took so much of her time that Mom used to call her Wait-a-Bit, because if you wanted to do anything with her you were going to have to wait a bit till she was ready. Like Richard, she wanted to explore the world, and she meandered over to the flowers and ambled over to the rocks and to follow a snail and moseyed over to look at a bird.

This wouldn't have too much of a problem for Mom if she had been walking with only Julie, since she could walk almost as slowly as Julie (no one in the world could walk absolutely as slowly as Julie). However, Mom was not only with Julie. They were with Richard. And Richard moved fast. And Julie took her time. And Mom spent her life in the middle, trying to keep the family together. It seemed to her that she was always in the middle of the block calling forward to Richard (who was racing towards the corner ahead of her), "slow down" and calling to Julie (who was just leaving the corner behind her) "hurry up"!

And so they made their way, down the streets of Berkeley, down the streets of Stockton, down the streets of Redwood City. Richard moving fast. Julie taking her time. And Mom in the middle.

And although Mom never took a picture of that, she did take this one of Richard heading off in the park while Julie stops to examine an acorn.


Joy Des Jardins said...

Oh these pictures J. They take me back to some very wonderful times in my life. Julie and Richard are so cute...and very sweet. You were a good "mom in the middle" J. I really liked this post.

J said...

Poor Mom. I think that would wear me out. :)

kenju said...

Sweet, sweet photos, Maya's Granny!