Sunday, August 28, 2016

Just A Bit Of Pondering



I've been texting on and off with Jessie all afternoon, getting updates on the boy. He's doing okay, still running a fever and not very interested in solid food and wanting plenty of cuddles and nurseys. And as you can see, he's still, as Jessie said, being a goober.

It always seemed to me to be such a blessing when my babies were nurslings that if they got sick, it was me and the breast they wanted and as a mother of a sick child, all I wanted to do was to make them feel better, to comfort them, to give them what they needed to get better and so it seemed the perfect miraculous equation of fulfilling need and want from both sides. 
I'm not sure that in my entire life I've ever experienced anything else quite so simply perfect. Or so perfectly simple for that matter. 

Ah, but it's such a trick of nature which makes us love our babies the way we do and I gladly fell for it and even now, as a grandmother, still do. Last night Owen wanted the Mr. Peep story after I'd read him his new dinosaur book and so both boys settled down, Gibson with my arm around him, Owen with his back bared to me so that I could gently scratch it, as I did when he was such a little boy, and I started telling the story of old Mr. Peep, the turkey who used to live next door and all of his friends, the goats, the chickens, the cats, the dogs, the squirrels. In the story, everyone ends up taking a nap and I tell it in such a droning voice, slow and soft, that before long, eyes are closed and breathing is deep and regular and both boys fell asleep. I traced Owen's face in the light of the nightlight, thinking of how he'd fall asleep like this when he was a baby and I tended him and how much he's grown, his face no longer a baby face, but a true boy face, with angles and hollows all his own. I kissed him on his forehead and turned to Gibson and kissed him too. I wiggled out of my position between them and got out of the bed and pulled their covers up and closed the door and thought about how grateful I am to have had so many babies to love in this life of mine. 

Sometimes nature scores the right hit and it did with me. I'm so glad I was surrounded by all those hippie mamas when I started having my own children because by their example I understood that it was my own instinct (and I swear- I did have some) that I needed most of all to take care of my children, at least when they were very young. And when they got older and no longer nursed and problems sometimes seemed overwhelming and I could not comfort them the way I had when they were babies, at least I knew that all I really had to do was to love them and let them know they were loved, even in my own imperfect, damaged way, and that somehow that would get us through. 
That love has never failed me and I hope that it has never failed them. 

All right. That's what I wanted to say tonight. 


Here's Miss Trixie in the garden with me. We did some weeding this late afternoon and I was glad for her company although I have not heard her sing her song lately. She is a very old hen at this point and I love her all the more for that. She is still, I think, a beauty. 

Love...Ms. Moon



18 comments:

  1. This is so perfect and sublime and true.

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  2. I've been enjoying your photos of your grandkids so much. Thank you for sharing with us! Hope little Gus feels better soon.

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    1. I love sharing pictures of my grandchildren because I am a grandmother. It's in the genes. I think that Kodak inserted them into the human genome in the 50's. Gus is much better.

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  3. My words are all caught in my throat on this one. Mr Peep and Miss Trixie both did it to me.

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    1. Our bird friends- we come to love them, don't we?

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  4. I nursed my son for 13 months then got pregnant with my daughter and had to stop because I had morning sickness and was losing weight. (25 pounds!)

    When I had my daughter she was sick. A lot. In and out of the hospital all the time where they got to know us. And my beautiful baby girl would be scared and hysterical because she knew that they were going to stick her or do some like shoving a tube down her throat or bang on her back to empty her lungs of fluid. And the only thing I knew how to do was bring her to my breast. She would calm instantly. And so would I. And so it went. For 2 1/2 years. I got judged then and I still get judged now when to tell people how long she breastfed for. (She is 18 now.) I know in my heart that I did the right thing but very few people acknowledge what I did and how hard it was at times or say that I did a good thing. It troubles me still. :-(

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    1. Birdie, you DID do a good thing. If you were doing that today there might be less judgement because more moms are doing it just as a matter of course. It's so sad that anyone would judge you for comforting your little girl. One of my friends breastfed her son until he was at least three. Fie on those who judge.

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    2. Things are changing, Birdie, at least, what you did will be recognised retroactively! PEople understand so much more now. I stopped feeding my first child at 14 months because someone suggested (kindly) that I was doing it for myself, not her, and I worried about it. I deeply, deeply, regret that now, though I don't think I would have stopped if she hadn't been ok with it.
      Then my son didn't want to stop, so I went on for 3 and a half years. When people asked me when I was going to stop, I'd say 'ah, soon' and that worked for the last 18 months, or so :) Ultimately, the people who judge are massively ignorant about the benefits of breastfeeding and what it really means to do it. You did such a good thing.

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    3. Birdie- you did the exact right thing and if there was one wish I had for you, it would be that you know this to your bones and that you were proud of yourself for it and let what anyone else may have ever thought or do think to go fuck themselves. I love you even more, knowing this about you.

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  5. Well, that's a happy little sick boy :)

    What a beautiful post.

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    1. Thank you, Jo. I know you can relate.

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  6. Thank goodness for your "teachers," the hippie mamas -- but yes, I think your instincts would have seen you through. Fortunately modern medicine listens more to parenting instincts now than it used to. (Not always, though, unfortunately, as Elizabeth often reminds us.)

    Miss Trixie IS still beautiful.

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    1. I remember when my mother was trying to nurse my brothers and the doctor told her she had to do it on a schedule and she had to WIPE HER NIPPLES WITH ALCOHOL and every other sort of bullshit that made breastfeeding impossible. So I had that as an example of what NOT to do.
      Thank you for saying that about Miss Trixie. I actually heard her sing a little bit yesterday. It was so lovely.

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  7. You help me so much to remember that I can always just love my children and that that's enough. Thank you for this beautiful post.

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    1. Ah, honey. You already know all of this. But thank YOU!

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  8. This made me cry. In the most perfect way. And yes, he is an adorable goober.

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    1. Just...thank you, sweet sister-doctor. Thank you.

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Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.