I loved being Mama Fish to my children's friends. As much as I had to prepare myself for having an empty nest, I also had to steel myself for the day that I was no longer Mama Fish to Hayfield's Cross Country and Track Teams. Tony and I attended nearly every running event and cheered for all the athletes. They became our children too.
I loved photographing them so they could see themselves in all their athletic glory. My favorite dinners were when 40 or more of our "kids" showed up for Pasta Night before a home meet. Their sweet faces filled the house with laughter. I loved those days.
But life does go on and all those sweet faces are grown up now. Some have graduated college or grad school. Others are in the military. Some are stumbling along, but I know they will find their way...we all need to make our paths. So when those "kids" remember to wish me a Happy Birthday or send me a message, it melts my heart. I am such a sap that even a comment on a photo or Facebook post from one of them makes my day.
It is especially nice to get to see these "children" of ours. I hope they all have fabulous, wonderfully successful lives and that they stop by to see us and to give Mama Fish a hug.
But wait, there’s more…
Before Tony and I were married, he was stationed in Korea so our romance was confined to letters—good old fashioned letters (no email, SKYPE, OVOO, text messages or Facebook in 1983). In one of my many letters to Tony, I whined about not having a nickname. His reply letter greeted me with, “Dear Flower,” … “Flower?” I thought. Ok. Not exactly what I had in mind, but I can roll with that. So I signed my next letter to him, “Love, Flower.” The next week a letter from Tony arrived with, “Who the Hell is Flower?” So much for a nickname!
I did have a nickname for a while that I did not like from my brother-in-law: “Jude the Prude.” Surely he was kidding….right? J