perspectives

By CAROLE BAILEY,
Springtime. It’s that time of year. Emotions are high. School is out for the summer; or forever. Graduations. Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. A song comes to mind. If you are a lot younger than I, you may not recognize it. But for people of my generation and older, this song will bring back so many memories.  
Where are you going, my little one . . . little one? Where are you going? My baby, my own. Turn around and you’re two. Turn around and you’re four. Turn around and you’re a young girl going out of the door. Turn around, turn around, turn around and you’re a young girl going out of the door. 
The song was from a commercial for Kodak. But the memories it leaves have lasted a lifetime. Visions of a baby, of a two-year-old, a four-year-old, of graduation, getting married, and having babies of your own. A marketing gold mine. Genius, really. I believe it aired in the ’60s and I was pretty young at the time, but still remember it vividly. A tearjerker for older folks at the time. The passage of time. I remember my parents used to say how quickly time goes by the older you get. No question. Funny how right they have become over the years, on so many levels. Just wish I could tell them. 
So many things come to mind with Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, really. I lost my Mom to Alzheimers eight years ago, but had really lost her years before she actually died. Most of my mourning I did while she was still alive. Might sound strange to someone who hasn’t been through this, but for those of us who have - we get it. My sister and I were laughing awhile back about how our Mom used to call us every afternoon about four o’clock and want to come over and have a cup of coffee. It used to drive us crazy because we had little ones and our homes were chaotic, at best. But for her, her home was very quiet, and I think she loved the craziness of little ones under foot. She had had four children under the age of seven, so she knew a thing or two about parenting. What I would give to sit down with her now for a cup of coffee and conversation when she was healthy. Introduce her to my sons-in-law, her great-grandchild, so many, many things to tell her. I had always heard that it didn’t matter what your relationship was like when a parent was alive, that when your parent was gone, you would really, really miss him/her. I have found this to be so true. 
Where are you going, my little one . . . little one? Pigtails and petticoats, where have you gone? Turn around and you’re tiny and turn around and you’re grown, turn around and you’re a young wife with babes of your own. Turn around, turn around, turn around and you’re a young wife with babes of your own. 
 
This great commercial can be found on YouTube. I had to look it up because I couldn’t remember all the words, but could definitely remember the melody. Harry Belafonte sang it, along with many others. The images are there. My children as babies, toddlers, going to school, graduations, leaving the nest, getting married, and having babies of their own. The passage of time. You have to embrace it, or lose the lesson there. And remember - your kids are growing up at the same time your parents are getting older. Cherish each little moment and major milestone. As I tell my now adult kids, you can’t take too many pictures. But you can take too few. And make sure to get the photographer in some, too. My father is hardly in any pictures because he took them. It’s a loss you won’t think about until it’s too late. My Miss Middle used to make my life so hard when she was in high school. I would try to take her picture with friends, and she would not cooperate. I finally had to pull her aside, and tell her in no uncertain terms that she would smile at me when I took her picture or she’d be grounded and lose her cell phone. Guess what? It worked. And thankfully, now she has many photos to look at during those years. 
Where are you going, little one? Where are you going, my baby my own?
Turn around, turn around, turn around and you’re a young wife with babes of your own. 
So whether it’s Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or graduation, make the most of these moments. One day, you’ll look back and wish you had paid more attention. 
And taken more pictures. 
Carole Bailey is a Northsider.

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