Monday, November 28, 2011

Mourning the end of being a Mammy..............

We have a new baby in our extended family. My youngest brother and his wife had a beautiful baby girl earlier in the month and they named her Elizabeth after our beloved departed mother. Of course we are all wearing a path out to their door to ooh and aah and admire this tiny little creature. She's so incredibly beautiful and perfect. You forget how small babies are - and this lady was born a big baby, in fact the 0-3months baby clothes were no good to her, yet she still seems tiny. The whole family are besotted with Elizabeth. Oscar and Liam at eleven years old were up to this the youngest members of the family. They are particularly pleased at losing this title- now they are someones big cousin.

My sister-in-law bought a beautiful deep red pram for Elizabeth. I envied her. I always loved pushing the pram. I don't think I ever felt as proud as when I pushed my babies in their prams. I was important. Finally. I was someone's Mammy- the best thing in the world to be. Oh! I so miss my babies! I love the adults my children are becoming but I miss that incredible mother baby relationship. Molly - our new dog- has taken some of the sting out of the loss for me.. I love coming in the door now to be greeted with her going insane in a paroxysm of delight. Her heart beats so fast I'm afraid she will have a heart attack, she is quite beside herself with sheer unadulterated joy at seeing me desperate to get up in my arms and smother me with affection. This reminds me so much of the reaction I used to get from my babies when I would come back into their view after being away for a while. With no words the only way they could express how they felt was by laughing and using their physical selves, wriggling, lepping and dancing a jig. It is quite quite wonderful to be loved like that. And a privilege. And it is only for such a short while. As soon as the child starts school they start to walk away from you. They come back - but in a different relationship. Suddenly you're not God anymore - Teacher is God! Then  the peer group takes over and eventually down the line the chosen partner.

But despite the sorrow and the feeling of being not needed anymore I wouldn't have missed the experience for anything. There are certainly plenty of days when I could happily leave home and stay away for a very long time but I'd come back. Mammys always come back. I think that is why my favourite children's book is Martin Waddell's 'Owl Babies'. If you haven't read it to a smallie in your life get your hands on it - I guarantee you'll both love it.

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