There is nothing that puts a glow in my heart as to see a baby/child smile or hear a child laugh. It really warms my heart.

Whenever I see a man or woman pushing a stroller or buggy or holding a baby, I always smile and say, ”Hello, Baby.” Sometimes the mother/father will stop and let me get a closer look, which pleases me so much.

Such as one morning, the mother paused and uncovered the blanket so I could see the baby. I smiled at the baby, who was several months old, and said, “Hello, Baby,” and he smiled back at me. I felt that baby gets a lot of love and it responds to the speaking voice.

Children respond and react to voices. I remember when my oldest nephew was six months old and his mother/father was carrying him while in the living room, and when I walked into the room and said, “Hello, Jeff,” he would turn his head toward my voice and smile.

(When Jeff, my sister’s oldest child, was born, I helped her and even gave Jeff his first bath. I would talk to him while I held him, fed him and changed his diapers. I know he knew my voice.)

One day while walking home, I saw a mother with an adorable little girl across the street. She appeared less than 3 years old. I smiled and waved to her. Her mother stooped down and said something to her. The little girl then smiled and waved back two or three times as we went our opposite directions. It just made my day.

When I see a little boy/girl on top of the shoulder of his/her father, I think of the time when I was about 4 years old. Papa would get on the floor and I would climb on his back and he would lift me to his shoulder. I would be gleeful with laughter.

I still remember this and think of Papa every time I see a child on the shoulder of his/her father. I look up and ask, “How’s the weather up there?” I always get a smile or chuckle from the father.

Children are treasures of the earth. We must treat them with love, and yes, discipline them so that they will grow up to be good and faithful and loving adults. I love children because they are not hypocrites. They speak their mind and are honest, although sometimes their honesty can hurt your feelings.

I spent a lot of money on a hat I wore because in San Francisco in the early ’50s all the ladies wore hats and gloves when they went to church or shopping. I was teaching a third-grade-level Sunday school class when one of my boys said, “I don’t like your hat.”

During the span of over 60 years, I have attended five mothers’ weddings and some 20 years or so later, their daughters’ weddings.

1.The first of such weddings occurred in 1947, mother’s in San Diego.

2. March l956, mother’s in San Francisco.

3. September 1956, mother’s in San Francisco. (I cannot recall the year of the daughter’s wedding for the above three).

4. October 1961, sister’s in Los Angeles and February 1993, niece’s in Alhambra.

5. December 1969, mother’s in Riverside and December 2013, daughter’s in Riverside. (This mother became my sister-in-law.)

You may wonder why I mentioned the above. It just goes to say that the daughters have grown to be beautiful adults who now have children/grandchildren of their own, and I am “Auntie Maggie” to all. It gives me great joy, but regrettably, I have never been called “Mom.”

In the movie entitled “Gigi,” which came out decades ago, there is a song called “Thank Heaven for Little Girls.” I say “Thank Heaven for Little Boys,” too.

I have a few friends, thank God, only a few, who don’t care too much for children or animals. My prayers are with them. What would we do without children or pets?!

I hope you had a happy Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day represents love.

Amen and Meow.

Maggie Ishino is a Rafu typist. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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