Once upon a January, somewhere in Greece, a beautiful baby girl was born. She had dark brown hair, so thick that her mother could recognize her right away among all the newborns in the maternity hospital.
-My little miracle, mom said every single time she held her in her arms.
The first day at home was chaotic.
Grandparents, aunts and uncles had gathered to welcome the baby.
«What is all this fuss about? It bothers me. I want calmness, I want my mom» the baby thought.
«Ah, it should’ve been just you, dad and me, without all this noise. It’s such a special moment for both of us» mom thought.
-The baby is hungry, feed her!
– She is crying, maybe she pooped? We have to wash her!
-Let’s go to the bathroom, open the water!
-Oh my! It’s hot! Adjust the temperature, you’ll burn the baby!
«Mommy, take me away from here, I only want you» the baby thought.
-Okay, I can take care of her myself, mom said annoyed and closed the door behind her.
Suddenly, the noise stopped and everybody looked at each other surprised by mother’s reaction.
-Finally, it’s just you and me my baby girl, mom whispered smiling.
The baby ate and fell asleep. It was getting late when everybody had left the house. Absolute silence and calmness prevailed.
-Oh my God, it’s my first night at home with my baby girl. What am I going to do now? How am I going to manage this new reality? Am I going to be a good mom? Well, I feel wonderful, but at the same time, so strange. How will things be from now on? mother wondered talking to herself.
During the night, mom and dad jumped out of bed when they heard the baby crying.
-The baby! The baby is crying! Turn on the lights!
-I know, I know! I can’t find the switch! Ah okay, found it!
-Take her in your arms!
-Come here sweetie. Let’s see, wow the diaper is full! Okay, there you go, you are clean now my baby. Are you hungry? Yes, of course you are. Let’s have some milk.
Thirty minutes later.
-Is she still eating? dad asked.
-I guess so, she is moving her lips, mom said.
-I think she fell asleep.
-Hold on, I’m going to tickle her cheek to see. You’re right, she is sleeping. I’m going to hold her up for a few minutes so she burps.
A little later.
-What? What happened?
-You fell asleep with the baby in your arms.
-Oh, I didn’t even realize how my eyes were shut. I will put her back into the cradle.
They turned off the lights and all fell into a deep sleep.
But after a while, they woke up again and again and again, until dawn.
Mother went to the kitchen to throw away the dirty diapers.
«I’m so tired. Everything changed so quickly. Won’t I be sleeping anymore?» she thought to herself yawning and rubbing her red sleepless eyes.
As the days went by, mom got used to her new routine. She felt happy, although, she lacked sleep and rest. The baby was also very happy that mom was always by her side.
«My mommy is the best! She takes care of me and loves me. She cleans me, sings to me, hugs me and feeds me. When I’m sleeping, she slowly walks into the room to see if I’m okay. She gives me a big kiss and gently caresses my hair» the baby thought happily.
Winter was over, while spring arrived. The flowers began to bloom while the wonderful chirping of the birds made the atmosphere even more beautiful. Every day, mom was trying to go out for a walk with the baby, but the baby was serious. She didn’t like the walks outside, at all. Every time they went out, after a few minutes she would start crying out loud.
Mom was trying to calm her down with hugs and kisses, but that didn’t help the situation, at all. Poor mom made a quick turnaround with the stroller and was running back home in panic.
«Much better mommy, I like being at home more. It’s quiet and nice here. I’m scared outside. Various creatures with large and small wings fly around, there are sounds from some weird machines with wheels that pass next to us all the time and there are many unknown voices» the baby thought satisfied.
-How can I make her get used to the outside world? mom asked grandma.
-Babies need time and patience. As she grows up, things will get easier.
Every day, mom took the baby out to the yard.
-Look at those beautiful birds sitting on the tree! Wow! Do you see the colorful butterflies as well? Without them, nature would have half the beauty, mom said.
«Hm, so those weird flying creatures with wings that I constantly see outside are birds and butterflies. They are nice after all» the baby thought.
«Drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr» the deafening sound of a motorcycle made the baby shudder and cry, while the birds flew high into the sky.
-Oh, my poor, sweet baby, don’t be afraid. It was just a motorcycle and when it runs fast, it makes that sharp noise. I know it’s annoying, but it won’t harm you my little strawberry.
Sometimes, mom called her strawberry, because of her red cheeks, since she was born.
After a while, the baby calmed down and buried her little face in mom’s neck.
Over time, the baby began to like the morning walks with the stroller. Every time they went out, she made happy noises and moved her feet back and forth. As they walked, mom described everything she saw around her, while the baby had her eyes fixed on mom’s face and watched her in a serious manner.
«Mommy, it’s so nice being with you. I love you, you are the best and you smell so good» the baby thought happily.
One night, the baby woke up crying incessantly.
«She’s probably hungry», dad said.
-Let’s see, come here my baby girl, let’s eat. No, she doesn’t seem hungry. Should we change the diaper? Hmmm …. it’s clean. A! Maybe she’s hot, let’s put on something lighter.
Mom and dad did everything possible to calm her down. They even cleaned her tiny nose, in case she couldn’t breathe well, they gently caressed her belly and back, in case she hurt somewhere, but the baby kept crying loudly, without stopping.
Instinctively, mom took her in her arms and began to sing her a favorite song. After a while, the baby’s eyelids got heavy and she immediately fell asleep. Mom had found the solution. Every time the baby cried incessantly, she sang that song to her and the baby calmed down right away.
Thus, six wonderful and exhausting months went by.
One morning, the baby woke up calling for her mom, with the wonderful baby sounds. Instead of mom though, grandma appeared in front of her.
«Not you grandma, I was calling for mommy. Where is mommy? Hey! Where are you taking me grandma?» the baby complained moaning.
-Come to grandma my sunshine! It’s time for your fruit cream!
«Mommy is probably in the kitchen preparing my fruit cream. No, she isn’t here. Ok, I’m going to moan a little more and maybe then mommy will appear. Good plan. Mmmmmmm …… Eeeeeeee …..Maaaaaaaa…….»
-What is it sweetie? Why are you moaning? Shhhhhh, hush my child, hush.
«I don’t see mommy coming! She is nowhere! Did she leave me? Mom? Mommy? Where are you? Are you playing hide and seek with me mommy? No?»
«Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa» the baby started crying, as soon as she realized her mother’s absence.
-Why are you crying my sunshine? Hush, hush, hush, mommy will be back from work soon, grandma reassured her.
The baby stopped crying abruptly.
«Work? What work? Why did she go to work?» the baby wondered.
Until mom returned, the baby was constantly sad like a grey cloud. So sad that it started to rain outside.
Suddenly, the door opened and mom came in.
-Babyyyyyy! My sweet baby! she exclaimed.
«Mommy is home!» the baby moved her legs back and forth happily and laughed out loud as if someone was tickling her.
-Oh, I missed you so much! mother said giving her a huge kiss and inhaling the wonderful baby smell from her soft hair.
The baby curled up in her arms like a sparrow.
-Look what I have got for you, a teddy bear!
The baby grabbed it and happily started shaking it up and down.
«Ok mommy, put me to bed now. I got very tired today waiting for you to come home. Grandma fell asleep, but I was awake waiting for you».
Mother wasn’t there the next morning either and the next morning and every other morning. Every day, she was anxiously rushing to work to be there in time and after work, she was rushing again to get home, as soon as possible, to see her precious baby. The baby was waking up and facing her grandmother. She loved her grandmother a lot, but she preferred to have her mother around. Every day, mom would bring her a new toy, but she didn’t care about the presents.
«I want you mom, not the presents. Don’t leave, stay with me» the baby complained silently.
Time flew by so fast and gradually, the baby stopped waking up late at night. She began to crawl touching everything on her way, got her first tooth, started pronouncing her first syllables that later became words and celebrated her first birthday. One day, she managed to get up on her own by resting her hands on the couch and after ten seconds she took three steps. But her mother wasn’t there to see it.
«I am walking!I made it! Yeah!» and boom she fell down.
On the next day, mom had evening shift at work.
-Do you want to go to the playground sweetie?
-Yes! the baby said aloud.
-Yes, my sweet little strawberry, let’s go!
There were many children. Some of them were running up and down and others were sitting in their strollers watching the rest children play.
-Fly! High! Up to the sky! mom said enthusiastically.
The baby’s laughter echoed throughout the playground.
-Mommy! she shouted happily.
-My baby bloom! Let’s go slide! I just hope I don’t get stuck ha ha!
«Mommy you are funny!» the baby thought silently.
-Now let’s do some teeter totter! Hooray! Oh no! mom said disappointed looking at her wristwatch.
The baby looked at her with a serious gaze.
-We have to go sweetie. I will be late to work, but I promise to bring you a nice toy, mom said with a sad smile on her face.
The baby frowned.
The time passed at an incredibly fast pace. The baby grew up. She also got a name, Helen. She stopped wearing diapers and using pacifier and she learned to eat on her own. Then, her second birthday arrived. It was winter time, when she had gotten high fever for a week. Mom and dad took her to the hospital in the middle of the night. It’s just a virus, it will pass! doctors had said back then. Until she got well, mom was continuously taking care of her and waking up at night to see if she was okay.
After a few weeks, the first otitis visited Helen’s left ear. Sitting on the wooden floor, mom had put a warm towel on the ear to relief the pain, until the medicine would do its miracle.
«It hurts mommy! It hirts so much!» she complained crying out loud.
When Helen got three years old, she started going to kindergarten and made new friends. On her fourth birthday, she got a surprise party at kindergarten. Mom had gone there earlier to leave the Peppa Pig cake and all the party decorations.
Next year, Helen began ballet and swimming lessons. She was having a great time, but she was missing her mom when she was at work. She wanted to go home after school and find mom there waiting for her, so she could show her all the crafts she had made in kindergarten. That same year, mom got ill and was hospitalized for three days. Helen was told that she was at work, so she wouldn’t get upset.
«I wish mom’s job didn’t exist. Now she won’t come home at all, she will sleep there. I guess she loves work more than me» Helen thought saddened.
When mom returned home, Helen ran towards her falling straight into her arms.
-Mommy! I missed you! Don’t go to work again!
Mom sat on the couch and put Helen on her knees.
-My sweet strawberry, you mean the world to me and I love you sooooooo much! High up to the sky and the stars! I missed you too!
A huge smile formed on Helen’s lips.
-I don’t want us to have secrets from each other, that’s why I want to tell you something.
-I wasn’t at work all these days.
-Where were you?
-Well, I got very tired at work and I got sick. So, I had to go to the hospital to get well.
-Then both the job and the hospital are bad, because they took you away from me and I was looking for you.
Mom smiled overwhelmed and a tear rolled down her cheek.
-You know what I should do sweetie?
-I will try to work less hours to spend more time with you, how do you like that idea?
-So we can play all day long?
-Ha ha! Well, maybe not the whole day, but most of the day, yes! Until we get totally tired!
Mom grabbed Helen and filled her with kisses. Helen’s laughter was heard throughout the house. The cloud disappeared and the sun came out.
Eight years passed. Helen and mom have been doing many fun things together all that time. Their favorite moment, was to sit on the couch in the evening, drinking hot chamomile tea, talking to each other or reading a favorite book.
One morning, Helen was rushing to school. She took a small bite of butter croissant and ran towards the door.
-Mom! I’m leaving!
Mom hugged her tightly and gave her a huge kiss.
-Bye my little strawberry, take care!
-Mom, I’m not a baby! Bye now!
The door closed. While mom stood at the window watching Helen walking down the street, until she couldn’t see her anymore.
-Ah, my little girl has grown up. She doesn’t need me anymore. I feel like I didn’t get enough time to enjoy her as a baby. I was constantly occupied with so many things that I didn’t realize, how the time flew by, mom said, overwhelmed by mixed feelings of sadness and joy.
-However, she will always need you, because you are her precious mother and all the beautiful memories will always remain in your hearts, grandma said reassuringly resting her hand on mom’s shoulder.
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