Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Mother's Hands

I was sitting and rocking my baby yesterday morning in the early light, watching the first timid rays peaking out from behind the misty mountains and something strange happened. I looked down at my hands and saw my mother's hands. In one split second I was taken back to my childhood when my mom would lay her hands on me when I was ill, reach out for me when I had gotten hurt, massage my legs when they ached so badly.
I saw skin that is growing older, no longer the hands of a young girl, tenderness in the fingers, felt the energy of loving, experienced hands. But these were my hands on my baby, not my mother's. It was surreal to be encompassed in that moment realizing that I truly have a Mother's hands. My hands are now the ones who reach out and offer comfort, rub pains away, nurse lovingly to sleep,  hold and rock children. My children.

These moments of motherhood come along rarely, the ones that transport you back to when you were young. These aren't the kind of memories stamped in time by a photograph for your viewing pleasure. These are the kind of memories that hijack a moment and take you by surprise, yet offer profound realizations. My mom was firm and strict. But we knew she loved us, and although her hands were not always gentle, they offered a comfort and security that fulfilled us, made us know in our hearts where our place was in the scheme of life, connected us to our roots. Her hands offered guidance, discipline and love.

Looking down at my hands I felt the deep connection between my mother and myself, the crossing of generations, the passing down of true mothering in every sense of what that word truly means. Years of picking up and carrying babies, nursing wounds, hugging and wiping away tears, all the things that a Mother's hands govern.

A Mother's hands are earned, like a medal of honor that can never be taken away.

eta: this is a photograph taken when Serenity was only 4 weeks old, my mom's hand is on top, mine on the bottom...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Baby Radar

Is this the sweetest face ever? Yep. Do I love him with all my heart? Naturally. Do I know how lucky I am to have him? Everyday.
This sweet thing is pretty zen, most of the time. Only cries when he needs something. Sleeps well. No longer fussy, like the nightmare days of colic.

Except while shopping.

It seems that my baby boy has a sixth sense, a radar if you will, and it is strictly tuned into entering deptartment stores, malls, grocery stores or anywhere else that I may need to go and purchase things. Stand in line. Follow a list. Think coherently.

Almost instantly upon entering any of said locations, Charlie takes this as his cue to scream like his butt is on fire, like no one loves him or feeds him, ever. Those of you who have had to take children shopping know what I mean when I say that attempting to shop with a screaming infant makes me feel like I am on crack and unable to put one foot in front of the other, let alone shop from a list and actually remember to get things we need. I wander the aisles like a lost five year old fighting back a torrent of tears. But that isn't the worst of it, if you can believe that.

The stares from people, the looks I get are enough to send me into the tailspin I am teetering on the brink of anyways. People assume that because your baby is crying, you have either done something to it, are ignoring it b/c you suck as a mother, or else you have no clue when it comes to parenting. The best ones are the people who follow you trying to catch you in the act of the abuse they are sure you have committed against your child. Hmmm...didn't I just see you in aisle four? I thought so. Let me just say that I look forward to grocery shopping like I would having my toenails slowly ripped off one by one.

Which explains why I am still sitting here in front of my computer at 9:30 on Sunday morning, when I should be on my way to the store.