Saturday, January 02, 2010


A few weeks ago my dearest girlfriends arranged a unisex baby-shower picnic for us in one of our favourite places.
It was a Sunday morning and sweltering hot. Luckily the Gardens have ample shade and so we set off loaded up with picnics and blankets and champers and the biggest lemon meringue pie I've ever seen, in search of the Ultimate Spot in which to spend the afternoon.

Frieda had been a bit snotty when she woke up but seemed happy and bright enough. Once there she trailed behind me, assuring me she was fine, but just as we plodded up the last hill she suddenly said, in a tiny voice, 'I'm finished Mum' and when I looked down at her, she'd turned an ashen grey. Like grey, a colour I'd never seen on my child before.
I dropped everything and picked her up, carrying her to the closest bit of deep shade. And there as I cradled her, she swooned, going limp in my arms for just the shortest of seconds before opening her eyes again and looking up at me with a brave little smile. I got a big fright but managed to keep my voice steady and calm, mopping her forehead with a damp cloth and reassuring her that she'd be fine.
She recovered quite quickly, I think she must have had a touch of heat stroke, but wasn't interested in sitting anywhere other than On Mum for a good half hour, despite the arrival of many of her friends, and I was perfectly happy to hold on to my baby, feeling a rush of tenderness and love, and a re-awareness of her fragility, despite the big girl she seems to be these days.

On an afternoon which was was all about our New Girl (who was fabulously spoilt with some beautiful things), I was ironically more acutely focused than ever on my current and only baby. And thereby reminded and affirmed of what it means to be Mum, the person who can right the world with a soft touch and a comforting word, a lap (albeit getting more crowded everyday) to seek refuge on, a warm embrace which can ease most discomfort.
Maybe that was the most valuable gift I was given that day, confirmation of my Mum-ness. Welcome affirmation in the last few months before I have to learn to expand that embrace, to be that person to more than one.
I'm finding that thought less scary these days, I'm starting to get excited.


MissBuckle said...

You have such a wonderful talent for putting feelings into words. Ive experienced that feeling quite a few times myself. He'll always be my baby.

Unknown said...

What a beautiful feeling!

jane said...

:)... and i wanted to wish you a happiest of new years. un beso-jane