I’ve been suffering from self-diagnosed blog-block. All week I’ve known I should post, but I didn’t know what to write. I didn’t think you would want to know about the vomit I’ve been dealing with (a bug has been rampaging through our family), or about the new radiators that I have chosen, or that I watched ‘Still Alice’ and cried nearly all the way through, or that I have to get new front tyres on my car before the MOT, or about my dog-walking, or the new way I cooked the sweet-potato the other night. You see, my life has been simply ordinary. Mundane. Routine. And I am so, so thankful for that, because it lets me see the miraculous. It allows me to wonder at the little things. Take the word BOY. Three letters – doesn’t get much smaller and yet within it it holds my whole heart. Twice.
For me, the word is too small. Only one syllable! It can’t describe the life, the sparkle, the laughter, the wit, the willy-shaking, the bottom-burping, the football loving, the wrestling, the power, the maddening, the joy, the gigantic huge massive largeness of the boy (s) I have in my life today. Nine years on and I still can’t define the contradictions of my ‘motherlove.’ Today, I stumbled across this. I wrote it in October 2007 just before my eldest son’s first birthday.
It’s nearly 365 days since I became two. Since William was unceremoniously pulled from me and placed bloodied and screaming on my chest. No longer was I charged with carrying around my bulging bump. I was free again from the prods of strangers and the restrictions of having the girth of a small pony. I could see my own feet again! Time to reclaim my life and resume where I left off… or so I thought.
Little did I realise that my bump was fairly co-operative compared to the baby it produced. My life has inconceivably changed and will never again resemble what it once was. I’ve learned that Mother Nature is so-called for a reason. When a baby is born us women have all sorts of wonderful hormones and clever instinctive pheromones racing around our knackered, bruised and maybe even sliced up bodies. These permeate love and nesting instincts. Motherhood has made me incredibly resilient – I have to be. Suddenly I am last on the list. My baby is my priority now. I find myself leaping to his every whimper and bowing to his every need. The first few weeks were like a trance as my body learned to cope with less sleep than ever before. An educated, independent and capable woman; I became a milk machine at the mercy of leaking nipples and intimate with the wash cycle of my machine.
And yet, these long days: caring, nursing, cleaning, bathing and drawn out nights, soothing and shushing, have been the fastest of my entire life. Days have flown into weeks, weeks into months and before I feel I know it, I have a beautiful boy who is walking, smiling, shouting and babbling. I have someone who has changed me inconceivably and yet remains totally unaware. I have someone who loves me, but whom I have never heard speak. I have someone who can take away all my troubles with one smile. I have someone whose breath I can listen to for hours. I have someone who gives me joy that was inconceivable to me before. Three hundred and sixty-five of the hardest, but the very best days of my life.
Said baby is now almost eye-level with me and tells me I’m either ‘so embarrassing’ or ‘an idiot’ with bored regularity. (he also gives the best hugs in the business & his smile can still melt my troubles away.)