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I received lots of lovely messages on my birthday last Friday and have so much to be grateful for in the year ahead.

But there was no call, SMS, card or e-mail from my mom.

I called her on Saturday to check that they’re OK. And yes, of course they were. My parents were having fun at dad’s school reunion. I didn’t mention the forgotten birthday and Mom finally called yesterday to say she realized that she’d forgotten. I changed the subject to my little girl as soon as possible, as I didn’t know what to say and would rather talk about sunny, happy things (our long history taught me this survival tactic).

Surely it’s no big deal when your mother forgets about your 37th birthday. I’m a big girl. I have a husband who loves me dearly, a delightful baby girl and a tiny blessing on the way.

It’s just that my relationship with my mom seems best explained by these words of a Laurika Rauch song.

DIE BOOT WAT IN DIE SEE VERDWAAL
DIE WIND WAT DEUR DIE BRANDERS MAAL
SONDER SEILE TEEN DIE WIND
SKOMMEL ONS
SONDER OM MEKAAR TE VIND

IN DIE WATERS WILD KAN ONS VERSINK
IN DIE DONKER SEE SAL ONS VERDRINK
SONDER SEILE TEEN DIE WIND
SKOMMEL ONS
SONDER OM MEKAAR TE VIND

KAN ONS WEET OF SAL ONS RAAI
HOE VIND ONS OOIT ‘N KALM BAAI
SONDER SEILE TEEN DIE WIND
SKOMMEL ONS
SONDER OM MEKAAR TE VIND

SAL ONS OOIT DIE LAND KAN HAAL
IS ONS IN DIE SEE VERDWAAL
SONDER SEILE
SKOMMEL ONS

Woorde en Musiek: Pieter J. Swanepoel/Peter McLea

(You can listen to a snippet of the song here – select track 10.)

Now that I’m a mom who totally, absolutely adores my little girl, I feel even more distant from my own mother. It makes even less sense that I so seldom felt loved by her. Her journey through post-natal depression wasn’t tempered by anti-depressants, as mine was – but still, was I really such an unlovable baby, tot, child, teen, woman..? Or was I emotionally so warped that I was unable to recognize that she loved me?

After the birth of my baby, those childhood memories that still haunt me seemed to become more vivid, alive and taunting than ever. I so intensely remember the years of tiptoeing through our house and through my life, of being scared I would be noticed. Scared that mom might suddenly and without warning lash out and start screaming at me like a berserk banshee.

All I know for sure is that I’ve given my all over the years to try and make my mom like me – as pathetic as this might be. I’ve even named my beloved little girl, the most precious gift I’ve ever received, after her – largely because it was the right thing to do as per our strong family traditions.

Also, I know that in her own way, she tried to be the best mother to me and my (too many) siblings that she could be.


I choose to look at it like this: My mother might not be the best mom there is, but she’s the best mother I’ll ever have. Therefore I’ll try to always be the best daughter to her that I can possibly be.

Surely any other path could only lead to more regret.

Last Thursday evening I was busy cooking in the kitchen when ‘babaliefie’ came crawling towards me with her pink wide-brim hat in her little hand. (She can now also walk a few metres independently, but crawling remains her quickest and safest mode of transportation).

I put the little hat on her head and she was off again.

Next, she came crawling towards me with DH’s hat in her little hand. I put the hat on my head this time.

‘Babaliefie’ instantly broke into a wide grin and pointed towards the door.

She can’t say it yet, but the message was very clear: “Now that we’ve got our hats on, let’s go have fun outside!” 😀

The gynae is very happy with me and ‘babaliefie’ #2 – we saw the doc today at 14 weeks (what?? 14w already??).

Baby weighs almost 100g and is well on track.

I’m so, so grateful. So grateful that all is well with my precious LO #2 and with my beloved LO #1, that I get to look forward to the birth of this small little miracle, that my DH is such a wonderful hubby and daddy and frankly, I’m grateful to think I will most likely never need to survive the stress of another 1st trimester again.

I arrived for my appointment a little early and the gynae could see me early too, so it was a lovely, long scan. Baby was kicking his feet and showing that ?he’s doing well, but also seemed to try and show his tired mommy that he has a relaxed, laid-back attitude. (Unlike his sister who could never stop somersaulting and showing off during any of her scans! We could never even get a proper peek at her gender till the 20-week scan. And she still very seldom stays asleep for more than 4 or 5 hours at a stretch.)

The gynae had fun playing with his new 4D scan equipment, so it was awesome.

I always feel a bit as if I’m secretly spying on one of the greatest miracles in life during a scan, almost like I’m entering a sacred sanctuary where human eyes weren’t meant to pry. We’re so fortunate to be able to have such experiences.

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