Shortly after giving birth, sometime after the unearthly tide of profanities spewed out in the throes of agony has been stemmed, many a mother will utter words along the lines of “She is the most important thing in my life now” or “I would do anything to protect him. I would lay down my life”. And of course it is true. Mostly that is how you feel.
Of course it’s not true for everyone. For some it takes longer to experience those feelings. Whatever, those first few weeks and months after childbirth are going to be the hardest of your life so far. That I think is true. To access any feelings other than exhaustion, inadequacy and panic, as you cower under the shear weight of this new and incredible responsibility, is a bloody miracle.
Love grows. Now, that is true.
I loved Bibsey from the very first, but I am not sure that love was the overriding emotion then. I can remember being invited to a birthday party by neighbours when she was exactly a week old. We took her across the road in her moses basket and my first words to the assembled company were “I can’t believe that we have managed to keep her alive for a whole week!”. Fear was the dominant emotion. Fear that she would die and that it would be my fault and that everyone would blame me.
I am still terrified, of course, but the love has grown and now my fear is of losing her. The person that she is. Now I love the very skin and bones of her. Every golden hair on her head, every new freckle and every grubby little toe nail.
I also love how she clears away her plate after mealtimes and is fastidious about putting rubbish in the bin. I love the way she says “oh, thank you mummy” when she knows that I am making pizza for tea, and how she kisses her dolls when she puts them to bed. She makes me laugh with her silly walks (Monty Python eat your heart out) and her funny little ways. I love that she ‘gets’ Lego now.
She also make me want to smash things out of sheer frustration at times, but that is another post entitled ‘Sometimes I want to smash things out of sheer frustration’.
Now the overriding emotion truly is love. Now I probably would kill for her. It was true before, but it is truer now.