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Only Yesterday

It was only yesterday you would run to me when you were upset or hurting. It was only yesterday you held me tight. Rib crackingly tight. For no other reason than that you felt like it. Only yesterday would you share every discovery. Every happiness. Every fear. Every dream. Good or Bad. Every new step. Each fall.

Was it only yesterday you kissed me goodnight for the last time. Telling me gently, but firmly. It wasn't necessary any longer. My heart missed a beat. It isn't? Where is that written? Show me. I wish to silently protest. I'm not ready. Not yet.

I think it was only yesterday when I listened furtively for your each sleeping breath. One to follow after another. So then I too, could breathe.

It was only yesterday you tied your shoes. You buttoned your shirt. You zipped up your coat. First times. By yourself. Beaming with pride. You. Me.

This week you have been on work experience. You've been surprised by the joy and the satisfaction you felt. A class of six year olds called you Mister Watson. Three little giggling girls told you through trembling hands they loved you. A boy asked you if you could be best friends. Life learning. Experience. It has begun.

It was only yesterday I stood paralysed and cold. My eyes following your every step. Every fall. Trip and tumble. On a frozen concrete playground. I stood. On duty. Seemingly, ignoring each other. Balancing the thin line. Secretly comforted by each others presence.

Only yesterday you played in your band for a parents 50th Birthday. I watched you try to hide the emotional squirms and flinches. You asked if we were going. I knew we could not. It is your time. (shhh! I can catch you on youtube)

Your wide dimpled smile sits comfortably in your malleable face. Daily it appears to morph towards manhood. Giraffe like you saunter. Finding you way. Over six foot you tower over me. Man child.

Next week you go away with your history class to WW1 Battlefields in Europe. To the Somme & Ypres. Then a few days later you leave again. For the Duke of Edinburgh award trials. Overnight. Four lads. On the Lakeland fells. Alone. Now I squirm and flinch. My skin itches. I waken suddenly from my thin sleep. My mind is pacing. Across the ceiling. Back and forth. Your bed is empty. Your room is still. My hands sweat and I blink back tears. I try to swallow the fear. My throat tightens. My breath catches deep in my heart.

How do I let go? This is the hard part. The part I have kept boxed away. How not to see them. Nor touch them. Not to reach out every day. I will dehydrate. I will shrink. Visibly smaller. I am less. Lost. To thirst for the smell of them. To breathe them in. Let them go. I know. I must begin. Or else they will tug and pull and rip themselves from me. I am told they will return.

I will sit on the periphery of their lives. On the edge of my own. Watching. Wanting. Waiting. For morsels and cake crumbs. I will drink deep from the well of memory.

She is seventeen. He is almost fifteen. How fast it goes.

And it was only yesterday...

Post of the day
Post of the Day winner. Thank you David. Awarded by David 'authorblog' McMahon.


  1. Saz, this is poignant and heart-touching - So wonderful - Your boy is a beauty, and you say he is giraffe-like, towering over you even at this young age... My lord, girl, what did we feed our children on!

    I have caught your google missive, and am still searching for where our Teen Mothers' (not in that sense, thankfully!) blog is residing, my treasure...

    My love to you and your giraffe tribe, or is it herd - They are beautiful, in any case xox

  2. Oh, absolutely perfectly gorgeous.
    And that picture too.
    I've few words left after that.

  3. How beautifully cpatured Saz!
    I have been where you are... and now they are 25, 24, 21 and 18.
    How do I feel?
    Amazingly ok - I am enjoying their adult lives and learning to let them go.
    How did I feel about suddenly acquiring three little grand daughters? Astounded... it begins all over again! But this time -less worry and more pleasure.
    Hugs to you

  4. I cried through the whole thing; read it twice. I want to memorize these words because they tell every mother's story, every mother's dilemma. You speak the words for all of us.

  5. I am right there with you...what universal can yesterday be so clear in my mind, and heart and easy to remember the weight of the whole child in our arms.
    The first time my boy put his arm around my shoulders like a man, I knew it was a monumental moment.
    Thank you, as always.

  6. Oh Saz. I've been emotional all day and your words have brought me the release I needed. Tears welling up and falling. You are not alone. I'm grieving the lack of a second child since the beginning of this year. The One and Only is twelve and I know I have a few years left. But I also know it's only a few.

    I hope you will hold that tenderness that's been aimed their direction and aim it toward your own heart.

  7. I'm finding comfort and kindred from posts like this, and the comments they attract, as I begin to get used to an empty nest. It seemed to happen so suddenly. It seems to be so full of pain, fuller than I could have imagined. But finding some beauty amongst the poignancy helps.

  8. has anyone ever told you- you are a brilliant writer? What a fabulous post. Really. This really rang true for me- I know exactly what you mean.
    I am going to direct folk to this post on my blog later.

  9. You make me so proud. You make me smile. You make me laugh and cry.Still you do all this, still you are close, still you surprise me, still you grow. What an abundance of riches you and your siblings have given and continue to give me.

    Love, given so freely is always returned.

  10. OMG Saz...I started out smiling and ended up in a puddle of tears...beautiful post...just beautiful!
    hugs big warm ones

  11. I must add - I love the picture of you! You are a beautiful woman!

  12. Poignant and so true. My mum wasn't always but is now my best friend...your love will be returned Saz. My dad can't believe I'm 23 - he still remembers me toddling around the garden at 4! You'll never stop thinking about them in 'yesterday' terms; it's a mother's perogative to see and treasure how much their child has grown x

  13. I came back to read it again. Sazzie darling,the pain we feel is the price we pay for the gift of motherhood.

    Your very proud mum.XXX

  14. I began reading this and stopped; too honest, too true, too much emotion. When I was finally able to finish it, I read through a veil of tears, and asked myself, "Why do we do this? Why do we long for motherhood, which will ultimately bring on this type of heartbreak, the heartbreak of letting our children become adults, leave our homes, and begin their own life journeys, which, of course, have nothing to do with their poor mothers."
    And of course, I know the answer: Yes, with motherhood comes unavoidable tears, but also joy, thrills, comfort, pleasure, and incomparable love. May our children enjoy the same feelings in their own times.

  15. As a father of three, Saz, I hear you loud and clear.

  16. Fantastic post, Saz. Both the words and the sentiments.

  17. beautiful post...true every word. father of two and they are shooting up like sprouts! cleaving can be yough. congrats on POTD!

  18. This is so beautiful. And so close to where I find myself. I love this, even though it's made me cry.

    Thanks for sharing.

  19. What a pure and poignant article. One I can relate whole-heartedly to. My daughter has been in London for over 10 years now and my older son is off to fend for himself at uni soon. I can still feel them cradling in and nuzzling at my breast. It's never easy letting go - even for brief periods.

  20. 'm so very very proud that you got named POTD...if any are, this one is

  21. I've been meaning to visit for a long time and this is the perfect opportunity to introduce myself, Eddie.
    This is a very moving post and full of goodies. I enjoed it very much and it left me thinking parent/children relationships.
    Very many congratulations on POTD - Best wishes ~ Eddie

  22. Scary isn't it? My 'baby' is 21 and getting married early next year and I don't know how we got to this point! My youngest is now 14 and I was widowed 3 years ago - torn between wanting them to have their independence and my dependence!

  23. Hi, I came over from authorblog. This post is beautiful. Congrats on the Post of the Day Award!

  24. Hello!

    Is that you? I liked your scarf.

    Lovely post, too:)

    Banksy blog post soon!!

  25. aaaagh, David didn't say anything about coming here for a good cry!

    LOVELY, really wonderful post.

  26. OMG! Bravo to you, dearheart. speeds by. I only wish I could go back in time and experience it all again....the good, the bad, and even the ugly!

  27. Don't believe him Saz, he hasn't been yet!

  28. Late as always .. but congrats none the less .. and my advice? Keep breathing! xo

  29. I have tears dripping down my face! This is beautiful, absolutely beautiful. You have captured the pain of it, the shock of it, the loss. I'm so glad I found you here! Mine is only nine years old, and already I gaze wistfully at her baby pictures, and quickly put them away when I hear the nine-year-old coming, afraid the here-and-now will feel jealous of my love for the persons she used to be. But good lord, how I loved that baby girl! Thank you for writing this.


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Thanks for stopping by!

Take the weight of your feet, draw up a chair and pour yourself a cuppa. Leave your troubles at the door and together we shall ride out the storms.
I will walk a while in your shoes...

Saz x

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