Her & I
I’ve been reflecting a lot since… well, basically since January 3 when my first born entered the world. It was an out of body experience when I watch her carried from my operating table. It was truly like looking into a mirror 29 years ago.
It floored my parents - they couldn’t describe the emotion of meeting their granddaughter… who was the spitting image of their own daughter. When you look at our baby photos side by side it is almost alarming - was there a father, or did I unwittingly master cloning?! Over time as she’s grown up these past 8 months she has been showing glimmers of her dad as a baby - her dimple, profile and bright eyes. But I still look at her and see such a large piece of me. It’s an odd sensation. It feels like a very large, very important part of me, that was always there, is now outside of my body. I know that I have to be careful managing this emotion for fear of imposing expectations on her to act, speak, dream and perform a certain way to live up to my idea of who she is and ought to be. But I can't help but see myself in her.
The best way I can describe my bond with her is ‘soul sisters’. From the personality that has been showing itself, and the personality I sense as her mother, we have a kindred spirit. If you're into this sort of thing - we are both Capricorns. Every single description of my star sign has felt alarmingly true to my character. Ambitious, determined, practical, helpful. They are leaders and organisers, because of their single-minded focus on their work, sense of responsibility and sincerity. Unemotional and detached. Resentful, inhibited, and stubborn.
Perhaps it's projection, or maybe there is something to be said for mother's intuition, but I believe we already share a lot of these qualities. Stubborn at the very least! (I think this is a long line inherited trait on my mum's side). I try to look on the positive side of stubbornness - I never give up!
At 8 months old she is, quite obviously, unable to vocalize her needs, wants, thoughts. This week she has started slapping her arms up and down when she's upset. She even slapped my face when I was trying to change her diaper (she does not like diaper time - but it's OK, mom is of similar sentiment). I want to nip the tantrums in the bud, but I don't want to take away her desire and means to communicate. I've decided to give her the moment to express herself and then calmly fulfil the need (for example, if she's hungry, she starts hitting the counter and yelling at me). Let's just say... I am looking forward to her verbalizing rather than hitting and screaming.
I've been enjoying each and every single stage of her babyhood - devastatingly aware that it is fleeting and I will one day look back and wish I could live every individual day over again. That said, I'm having an easier time looking to the future with excitement because I plan to have a few more babies and can start over again and enjoy each stage. I think the final baby will be a really difficult one to let go of.