[Come summer heat, much of my blogging momentum melts away. Hence an experiment until Labor Day: fifty minimalist posts about whatever.]

I recently came across a box in the basement holding the white leather baby shoes in which I learned to walk in 1932. It was then the fashion to bronze outgrown baby shoes and keep them in the living room. However, these had been carefully cleaned with white shoe polish, stuffed with tissue paper and put away as if being saved for another day. I look now at these very small white shoes with stiffening laces and try to imagine the baby who wore them, the baby who was me. I can’t. I can’t even remember how it felt to take first steps among kindly giants in a world where everything was high above.

The reason I was in the basement was to find a large red-rope folder containing all my older son’s school reports and college applications. They’re his property really, to do with what he wants; it’s time they left my safekeeping. In the folder was a notebook labeled “My Diary” in which, as homework, he was supposed to write something every day for his first-grade teacher. I leaf through the careful block-printed entries on its wide-lined pages: “Ap.(ril) 8 Today we took Mommy to a doctor. We know him. We took mommy to t(he) doctor because she had some wax in her ear. It was keeping water in her ear.” That little boy I do remember. He had just turned seven. He and his younger brother were the center of my universe.

My older son is now a forty-eight year old man with some gray in his hair. Where is my mother’s baby? Where is my little boy? Day by day we change and disappear. The dead aren’t the only ones who are gone from us.


14 thoughts on “WRITING SHORT: 12/50

  1. How sweet is that..and you were very brave !! I saved almost everything my 2 children wrote in their K-6th grade years. I had quite an emotional time condensing those boxes to just one file box for each of them. They let me know, they would never want that stuff that I’d saved for so long. I did keep original compositions, and some art work. They will appreciate it, I’m sure of it. Nice post, Nina. ☺ Van

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rita Stewart

    Nina, you do have the gift of touching the nerve of people. This entry was incredibly moving. My daughter, 58, is visiting me and we were talking about her birth, which seems so long ago, and then seems like yesterday. Time plays those tricks on us. When my daughter’s childhood friends pop in to see her when she’s in town, I am startled by the gray haired,
    bald and stout middle-aged people I knew as children. Its very sobering………

    Liked by 1 person

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