My Son, My Family
The Alex and Ronni Show: Family, Cancer, Pets and Two Old Bald People


By Jeanne Parvin

My husband and I brought our new baby home to our little furnished apartment. We were inexperienced – how to lay her down in the crib, how to cover her properly. And she cried so loudly.

I paced with her in the middle of the night to keep her quiet so my husband could get the sleep he needed to get up and go to work the next day. The visiting nurse said she had strong, healthy lungs. (Loud!)

My mother-in-law came by to pick up the baby’s laundry and brought it back all clean and fresh. She loved folding those tiny garments. She loved her first grandchild.

Now my mother-in-law is dead. My husband is dead. My first-born daughter is in her 50s now. She gives me hugs on a regular basis to make sure I still feel loved.

* * *

EDITORIAL NOTE: You are a prolific bunch of writers and there is now a backlog of reader stories to carry us almost to summer. So for awhile, I am not accepting new stories until we work through some of the ones already on the list.


We are so lucky to have our kids and grandkids in our lives as we grow old. If nothing else, they are our reasons for being. If you're like me, though, you're still trying to figure out how your daughter got to be so old while you've hardly aged at all.

Today's few words (First-Born by Jeanne) fostered in me a zillion thoughts about my first-born. Today she is in her 60s, living too far away to visit more than once a year. We E-mail, we sometimes talk on the phone for an hour. Too many days, I wish I knew how to tap into enough love to send her, the love I know too well she craves. Jeanne, your story led me to re-live so much between Then and Now. Your short-short story grabbed me !

Hugs and touching...a gentle and meaningful reminder of love. We all need to be givers and receivers. A great reminder to do our part. Thanks for the wonderful story.

My how time flies.

When my daughter was born I was the talk (probably laugh) of the maternity ward because I kept saying, " I got my girl. I got my girl." I was ecstatic and am still so happy that I got my girl because she is now living with me and she is such a blessing. I honestly do not know what I would do without her. She is 57 years old - soon to become 58 in January.

Yes, memories make time seem so short.

So much to learn with a first born. How fortunate you were to have other family present to provide assistance. Memory-triggering recollection.

A beautiful story. It says so much in only four brief paragraphs. Thanks for sharing.

Simple, eloquent, and true. A reminder to those of us who try to capture our thoughts in words that the briefest of essays can pack a punch. Thank you for this - a perfect reflection of my lived experience.

A great story, that first child is such a profound change.

It's a lovely little vignette Jeanne, and sums up many of my own feelings and experiences when my husband and I brought our first child home. Thank you for sharing this.

Though those days often seemed so long at that time, and especially in that first year, I could not have imagined him as an adult, my own first child is now 45 , which hardly seems possible. Time is so fleeting. One of my favorite quotes was one left on the desk of a woman with whom I worked more than 30 years ago. We were employed in the development and college relations offices of a local small private college at a time when it was struggling with extreme financial challenges. Many staff had left and those who remained had to work very hard and long hours to keep things afloat. One day a co-worker's son, who was a student at the college, came by her office to say hi. She was away from her office on yet another of what I'm sure must have seemed to her endless meetings and tasks.

Her son left a small piece of paper on her desk. On it he had written the words: "Remember, if the day seems long, 'from the clock's chime to the cock's crow is but an instant.' " I did not know until much later that the "from the clock's chime. . ." quote is from a campy martial arts movie, "The Last Dragon," but ever since that day, his words have stuck in my head, and often come to mind when I'm either working wearily through something, or reflecting on how quickly time has seemed to have passed since come significant event. Such is life.

This is such a lovely story. Thank you for writing it for us.

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