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Corgis in the Rearview

Passing from one phase to another

If you knew Georgia even casually over the past 18 months or so, you would know she has a corgi obsession. 

I’m not sure exactly how or why it started, but sometime in early 2021, it became an all-consuming topic of interest. 

I designed her corgi-themed valentines myself – and it was a true red letter day when, driving home from school on Valentine’s Day, we saw an actual corgi walking along the neutral ground. Amid screams and squeals, I pulled over and she and her sister ran up to the dog and offered the owner a valentine. The day got even more thrilling when it turned out that the dog’s owner was the president of the New Orleans Corgi Club and posted a picture of Georgia’s valentine (which his dog promptly ate) on the group’s Facebook page. 

My mom, who always embraced whatever niche interest my kids had, bought Georgia a pack of corgi stickers and a corgi calendar. Two days after my mom died, a package arrived addressed to Georgia – a bathing suit covered in corgi faces; it was probably the last thing my mom ever ordered on Amazon. 

Georgia’s birthday last year had corgi plates and napkins, and her friend drew her a picture of a corgi as a gift. 

When she started school in August, she strapped on her corgi backpack.

For Christmas, you guessed it: a corgi blanket, a stuffed corgi, a book about corgis. 

And then, quite suddenly, it was over. 

Now, she informs me, she is into “cottagecore.”

This means, I think, gingham sundresses and flower presses and gardening and baking homemade bread.

All of which is fine. 

In fact, since our dryer has been broken since before Mardi Gras (it’s such a saga that involves layers of bureaucracy slow-churned with staggering incompetence), it’s actually convenient because apparently line-drying clothes is “very cottagecore.”

But I can’t help but be sort of sad. 

The corgis were the last phase my mom experienced with us. Watching Georgia grow out of corgis means watching her lose a connection she had to Gigi. 

If my mom were here, I know she’d be all about this new phase, particularly because she was truly the best gardener and bread-baker in the entire world. If Georgia wanted to grow anything, my mom would’ve shown her how. They would have had carefully cultivated window boxes and beds full of strawberries. If Georgia wanted to bake bread, my mom would’ve been thrilled to show her how to make sure the water was the right temperature to not kill the yeast and the ideal kneading technique to develop gluten.  

It makes me realize how sad I still am and how much I’ve lost. 

But it also makes me grateful for what I had – which was a mom who tried to share all of my childhood interests, even when she didn’t understand them at all, and who went on to do the same for my kids. 

My mom isn’t here to buy Georgia seed packets or gingham sundresses or a flower press. But I will honor her memory by paying it forward – by being the best mom I can, by respecting my kids’ phases, by letting them grow up and move on, celebrating the people they’re becoming while still feeling a twinge of sadness as they leave childhood further and further behind. 

And if I’m being honest, I’m personally not all that sad to see the corgi obsession fade.

The past is gone, so bring on the cottagecore!

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