I Miss Those Cheerio Moments

by Sherry Riter in Alyssa,Memory

cheerio moments
There are minutes of your life that are etched into your brain. Not only do you remember the activity and location, but you can feel the moment…the smells…the sounds…little details about the activity. These moments are not man-walking-on-the-moon moments, but to you they are of equal importance. Something about them was so meaningful that your brain recorded and retained every aspect.

As I read your blogs, many are written by young mothers with beautiful small children. You talk of diapers to change, outfits to buy, places you must scurry to for lessons, school plays, toys to pick up and the fingerprints that are on everything in your homes. By now you know that my daughter is sixteen. Those things that fill your days passed me by many years ago and since motherhood is the only thing I ever wanted, I cherished everything about Alyssa’s childhood…the poopy diapers, the taxi service to ballet, tap, jazz, karate and gymnastics, the sippy cups, the barbies that overtook my living room at least once a week as we made an entire city and dared anyone to move our stores and houses… I could go on and on and on.

Maybe it is because I came across a blog that had Cheerios as the header or because I have a brand new box of Cheerios in the kitchen, but there is a memory that I cherish that has been in the forefront of my mind for days now.

It was a hot summer day. The air conditioner was cranking, the fan overhead whirring and the sun was shining with full gusto through the living room window. Alyssa and I were sitting on the couch side by side. Her little legs stretched completely out, but still so short that they barely reached the edge of the cushion. She was a little more than three years old and held a tiny orange Tupperware cup on her lap ever so carefully so as not to spill any Cheerios which I had filled all the way to the brim.

Alyssa was a delicate, feminine, prissy little girl with white blonde hair, big brown eyes and porcelain white skin. On that particular day she had her hair in pig tails, decorated with white bows and was wearing a turquoise and white striped, sleeveless knit dress. I remember thinking how perfectly her little body was formed. Little arms, little legs, little fingers and little toes. She took two fingers and reached into the bowl to retrieve a Cheerio. Slowly she brought it to her lips, but just before she opened her mouth, she looked up at me and said, “Do you want one?”

Before getting an answer she was aiming the little round cereal towards my mouth. She placed it just barely between my lips. As I chewed it, she just watched me.

“Is it good?” she asked.

“Yummy” I said.

She smiled and then picked up a Cheerio for herself. Her fingers were so tiny that the Cheerio looked huge in comparison. We sat and ate her Cheerios. She ate one and then fed me one. She was content to just sit quietly, talking, eating and feeding me Cheerios.

When we had finished every morsel of cereal, she looked directly into my eyes and said, “I love you Mommy.” Then she stood up on her tiny little feet with the red polished toenails and put her arms around my neck and squeezed. I couldn’t help but cry then just as I am now.

Everything was perfect.

The silky strands of her hair on my face, the smell of sweet skin, the soft little arms around me…

This is surely how perfection feels.

I miss those Cheerio moments.


This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Morgan July 28, 2009 at 4:05 am

Aw, your post brought tears to my eyes. Whenever I think about my kids hitting the teen and adult years, I cry. Sometimes life is so overwhelming with just trying to survive and get things done, that moms of little ones (including myself) forget to think about life in the big picture. That maybe it's not such a big deal if the barbies fill up the entire living room on a Saturday afternoon. Someday those dolls will be sitting in a box, or maybe in someone elses house. We have to enjoy the moments while they last. Thank you for the reminder.

p.s. how did you get the music notes to appear in your comment on SITS?!? Very cool!


2 philly5113 July 28, 2009 at 4:20 am

nice going. This is my first visit and I like what I see. I'll be back.


3 Jen July 28, 2009 at 4:20 am

What a beautiful memory! SO sweet! Thanks for the recent comments on my blog! I look forward to getting to know you better too through yours.



4 Sugar Boogers & Tantrums July 28, 2009 at 4:24 am

I feel this way about my son. I love his way of loving me. He is such a good boy. Love your story.


5 Melodie July 28, 2009 at 5:02 am

That's a lovely story. I cherish the surprise of special moments my girls create for me like that too. Thanks for sharing.


6 Melodie July 28, 2009 at 5:03 am

I so cherish those surprise special moments my girls create for me too. Thanks for sharing your lovely story.


7 Lee July 28, 2009 at 5:29 am

I have to give you an award! Check it out at wanttomakethat.blogspot.com.


8 Alexandra, The Techy Mom July 28, 2009 at 5:45 am

Such a sweet story. I can't stop to think about my 5 year old and how he tells me he loves me so much every day. I know one day these sweet moments will also end. Tomorrow I will be sure stop whatever I am doing… listen & hug a little longer.

Thanks for stopping/commenting on my blog. : )


9 Lisa Petrarca July 28, 2009 at 6:21 am

That was Beautiful…I miss my Cheerio moments too! Thanks for the reminder of the small important things…cherishing EVERY moment!


10 SugarandSpice July 28, 2009 at 6:34 am

Those are the moments life are made of. Yes I agree. TRUE PERFECTION:)


11 Saffie July 28, 2009 at 7:20 am

I missed so many moments like those with my eldest daughter and am determined not to with my youngest they are so incredibly special. thank you for sharing xxx


12 cgw @ accidentally, kle July 28, 2009 at 8:29 am

what a beautiful memory ? what would we do if we couldn't store memories, hm?


13 Yaya July 28, 2009 at 9:33 am

This is a beautiful memory! Thank you for sharing!

Congrats on being the first sits commenter today!


14 Cindy @ Chalk it Up! July 28, 2009 at 9:58 am

What a beautiful memory and "ritten" so eloquently. I know, those simple moments are the most special, the quiet moments, just being together. Thank you for reminding me to cherish them all and soak them in.
Have a great day!


15 Oh Sew Good July 28, 2009 at 10:02 am

I know those "moments" you are referring to. They are precious and ones that no one can take from you. Does this mean that Cheerios is your favorite cereal ever since then? 🙂


16 Nessa July 28, 2009 at 11:39 am

What a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing this lovely memory with us!


17 Suzann @ Lavender and Roses July 28, 2009 at 12:06 pm

I have goosebumps. This is a beautiful post. Oh how I miss those little moments when they are small and precious and mommy was amazing. What I wouldn't do to have that time back with all three of my babies.

Okay, now I'M going to cry.


18 MommaYoung July 28, 2009 at 12:19 pm

What a beautiful memory…


19 Suzanne July 28, 2009 at 12:34 pm

That was sweet…and I totally miss those mooments too. I am so happy you found my blog as I am now looking forward to reading every post you write. Your "about me" cracked me up and then your post brought tears to my eyes. You're good, you're good!
P.S. I nominated you for the mom award.


20 Red House Happenings July 28, 2009 at 12:35 pm

I Love this post. Makes me want to go wake up my girls and squeeze them to pieces.


21 ...Mrs. Southern Bride... July 28, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Wow! What a beautiful post!

Stopping in from SITS!


22 Kim Milius July 28, 2009 at 12:50 pm

What a beautiful story; thank you for sharing! When I get caught up in the daily grind of things I try to look for at least one of those Cheerios Moments during each day.


23 confused homemaker July 28, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Darn it, you went & made me cry. Thank you for sharing that memory, it was beautiful.


24 Peterson Family July 28, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Thanks for sharing such a beautiful moment with all of us! It's a nice reminder of what is important!


25 Collette@Jesuslovesmums July 28, 2009 at 1:48 pm

beautiful post !! moving stuff! we need to cherish these moments !


26 Scrappy Girl July 28, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Ok now I am boo hooing all over my keyboard…as a mom of 2 preschoolers there are days where my mantra is…"one of these days I will miss this." LOL!


27 Kim July 28, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Yes, I truly understand the feeling of losing those tender moments. When my son was 5 he announced one day that he couldn't wait to be a teenager. I said, "Oh, I can." He had a really confused look on his face & asked "why", (why would I deny him such a great thing?). I explained that when he was a teenager that he would realize that "mommy & daddy aren't as smart as you think they are". He hugged me & said, "don't worry mommy, everybody can't know everything". I laughed & gave him a big hug! Now he is fast approaching 11 years old & I still laugh when I think of that…but with a few tears mixed in.


28 Navyvet July 28, 2009 at 3:44 pm

me too baby girl, i have my own of both of you. once you were tiny and had your own little cup

your mom


29 Robbie S. Redmon, LPC July 28, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Well, your mom's comment just put me away. Being a mother of grown children with children, I understand the feelings between the lines. It looks like she is just starting her blog, so I am her first follower!


30 Robbie S. Redmon, LPC July 28, 2009 at 5:06 pm

Oh, yeah, Lady…congrats on being #1 AGAIN at SITS. Are you getting any sleep? LOL.


31 Kelly's Ideas July 28, 2009 at 6:15 pm

What a beautiful story and I have many cherrio memories too. You have a way with words that brought tears to my eyes… Thank you.


32 PictureGirl July 28, 2009 at 6:35 pm

What a beautiful memory to share with us. Thank you


33 Cindy July 28, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Sniff Sniff…. Beautiful


34 Debbie in Nashville July 28, 2009 at 8:29 pm

What a beautiful memory. This reminds me of when I was young. Thanks for sharing!


35 Together We Save July 28, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Me too !!!


36 Tammy Howard July 28, 2009 at 10:04 pm

oh! *gasp* oh…



37 Kelly July 29, 2009 at 12:53 am

What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing it.


38 valentine July 29, 2009 at 2:48 am

i am not a mom (yet) but what a sweet story. i will try to keep it in mind when no doubt i am forgetting the cheerio moments.


39 Kimberly July 29, 2009 at 5:05 am

That is such a precious memory! Wishing I had some tonight.


40 Jen July 29, 2009 at 6:11 pm

this post speaks volumes and it so important to remember. I am going to bookmark it and read it again when they are making me crazy.


41 Navyvet July 30, 2009 at 12:52 am

I have had to buy stock in Kleenex. There is more to be said but I need to go out and buy ANOTHER BOX!


42 Life with Kaishon August 20, 2009 at 1:41 am

This made me cry. And cry. It is so beautiful! And I feel the same way as you do about being a Mom. No matter what I accomplish in my life, my best achievement is being Kaishon's mom. It is my favorite thing. I love it so much. And these moments just fly by. In the blink of an eye! Your blog is so endearing.


43 MaryB September 11, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Oh, man! This one made me cry, too! We're just at this age with my daughter and I cherish every single moment. Beautiful.


44 Lynda October 21, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Oh, friend, how very sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. I hope time heals quickly for you. My Dad passed in 2002 and I still grieve for him and as sad as it still feels, it is a good cleansing grief for me that leaves me smiling with a warm glow in my heart. I wish and pray the same for you. How appropriate to have your Cheerio section and how fitting it is for me to comment on this post. "Cheerios" are special for me too as it helps me re-live the special moment of watching my Dad watch my daughter (who at the time was just learning to pick up and eat cheerios one by one) trying to eat a cheerio that was stuck to the back of her pinky finger AND trying to figure out how to get that cheerio to her mouth. The beauty of this moment was not only watching her attempt this, but watching her keep her mouth open the whole time anticipating that cheerio! Her mouth was the shape and size of a cheerio and that was the magical moment my Dad dubbed her "his little cheerio". The beauty was watching the joy my daughter brought to my Dad and the special bond they had then and continued to have until his death. My heart is glowing as I type and my tears are doing their job of cleansing. I am smiling as I tell you that you too can anticipate the warm glow in your heart. I sense it is already there and will be magnified a hundredfold as time heals. I will pray for strength for you and family, for we have the hardest job of moving forward in life without our loved one.

Thanks for letting me share my "Dad" moment with you and would like to also share the following as it always brings me comfort knowing "he's" okay. I hope it does the same for you.

Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free
I’m following the path God laid for me
I took God’s hand when I heard the call
I turned my back and left it all

I could not stay another day
To laugh, to love, to work or play
Tasks left undone must stay that way
I found that place at the close of day

If my parting has left a void
Then fill it with remembered joy
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss
Ah yes, these things, I too, will miss

Be not burdened with times of sorrow
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow
My life’s been full, I savored much
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief
Lift up your heart and share with me –
God wanted me now, God set me free


45 Teressa Ryan May 3, 2012 at 11:18 am

As you can see I have gone back and read a few of your earlier posts. This one in particular is a fave. I can definitely relate to it. It reminds me of one of my own blog posts about reading one of my son’s favorite books to him when he was small. Such a vivid memory as if the recalling of it transports you back to that place and time for that moment.
Thanks for reminding me. Those are the sweetest of memories to recall.
As you know by now you are my favorite blogger. I so enjoy your stories.


46 The Redhead Riter May 3, 2012 at 11:59 am


Yes, those are the sweetest memories of all. Thank you so much for your kind words and I feel honored that you enjoy my blog. {{{hugssss}}}


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