I checked out the reviews in the paper, because that’s how you did things in 1997. We packed a bag of hovering parent necessities: The Triumverate (her favorite blankets), a soft toy, a sippy cup of water, training pants. She was two and so tiny in the giant plush seat, it seemed to swallow her, pulling her back into its clutches with the charm of an overzealous third aunt twice removed.
I watched little of the movie: I was riveted by this little person, riveted by the screen. Mamas love to watch their babies.
At home, we flipped through our big picture book of the Tarzan story, complete with a robustly physiqued Tarzan and a prim and doe-eyed Jane. She quoted parts of the movie back to us. Our favorite part was to lie on the ground with our feet toward each other, planting soles to soles. When Tarzan finally figures out he is not an ape (because, um…yeah), he has placed his palm to his adoptive mother’s hand, and says, “different.”
Then the mother gorilla, in a touching moment of movie magic, places his palm to her heart. She says, “The same.”
I repeated this little dance with all of my babies. We giggled on the floor and rolled around in our bare feet, pretending to be apes, counting out toes, matching our fingertips.
When I was a young mom, to younger people, I would tell myself and anyone who cared to listen this truth:
The days are long, but the years are so so so fast.
This weekend we found some old photos and videos on a computer we rarely use. We’ve spent a good portion of hours clicking through all the sweet baby faces we see, remembering. Never has that truth about the quickly passing years seemed more true.
We declared this to be reading and math week at homeschool, and so today, we three homeschoolers curled up under blankets, with big mugs of hot drinks and read. We shifted in our seats and shared portions of the books we were reading. We took breaks to lunch, and play, and talk.
After lunch, my youngest child curled up on the couch with me. He slipped his bigger than I remembered them feet under the blanket and pressed his sole to my sole. I buried my head in my book, and pressed my toes to his. He pressed back, quietly. No words. Just a touch. I don’t know if he was thinking about Tarzan, and babies, and how fast he’s growing up. I do know that he pushed against my skin on purpose. He was telling me something. Telling himself something.
These little things parents do, they’re like totems. Ebenezer stones. They remind us and move us forward. They are the reason why Jesus spilled the wine and broke the loaf. They are the soles pressing to soles.