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Warning: I wrote this draft a week or two ago, but couldn’t just post it right away. It’s actually a rather raw, intense post. Fun on the outset, but also dark, philosophical and maybe disturbing. I hope that if you do decide to read it, that you will find some of the whimsical beauty in it that I tried to convey.


One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love.

Sophocles (496 BC–406 BC)


It’s still dark outside. Hubby is in the shower. Baby and I are playing in our PJ’s on the bed. Tickles, giggles, squeals and kisses.

Tiny, dimply hands outstretched. Asking for more cuddles, more rough and tumble, more of life. Baby somersaults and Billy Elliot leaps test the mattress’s enthusiasm, giving the old thing a higher purpose.

The window is coated with winter rain on the outside. On the inside, it’s fogged up with sweet baby breath, with the warmth of our fidgeting, squirming bodies and the love in our hearts. Tickles, giggles, squeals and kisses.

Somewhere in Somalia a child is starving. Somewhere a few kilometers down the road, a baby is being dumped in a rubbish bin.

The time will come when blowing raspberries will lose their charm. Time will sculpt those fat cheeks into a sleek profile. Time will shape my back into a crescent. My arms will no longer be strong enough to make my darling jump like Billy Elliot and make her somersault through the air.

But on this rainy, wintry morning, I’m playing with my baby. Tickles, giggles, squeals and kisses.

And for some brief, heavenly moments we’re untouchable. Far out of reach of world hunger, Malema, misery and despair. Two small souls lost in a moment of pure, sacred joy – against the vast backdrop of time, space and eternity.

Something amazing happened just more than a year ago the first time I held my tiny, newborn baby in my arms. I looked at her and knew, just knew that she was perfect – that she would become the brightest, prettiest little girl ever. She had unlimited potential and could become anything she wanted, from a rocket scientist to a ballerina or rock star.

Inevitably, as I got to know my beloved baby angel, worries and doubts started to form. Shouldn’t she have smiled by now? Would having been born a month prem have a lasting effect on her? Was her head circumference at birth too small? Does she have enough trunk rotation (the silly paeds OT in me here)? Will she be OK in school someday? Am I doing enough to stimulate her? Is my full time work influencing her negatively?

I recently saw a blog where a mom had listed her little genius’s milestones and it went something like this:

  • 3 weeks 6 days: Smiles at mom
  • 2 months: Rolls over
  • 5 months: Crawls at 44 km/h
  • 9 months: Gets distinction for Applied Maths degree

OK not quite – but it was along those lines. (And of course parents brag about their babies! I really have no problem with that!)

I guess in the past year and a bit I’ve learned that a baby is like a wonderful gift, beautifully gift-wrapped. It will take many years to carefully unwrap this gift and to get to know this brand new little person.

Although my baby angel doesn’t give me (or her paediatrician) any reason to wonder whether she is anything but developing beautifully, I suppose it will be quite a few more years before we really know what talents, problems, limitations, dreams and fears my little girl will have to face during her lifetime.

Some things are already evident, e.g. she is waaaay too tall to become a ballerina, dancer or gymnast. (Not surprising of course, considering how tall her parents are!)

I suppose what I’ve learned since that first magical moment I’ve held her, is that she is unique and real – and human, just like me and my DH.

My greatest wish, having come to that realisation, is that I will be able to be there for her always – a guiding hand, a shoulder to cry one, a mentor. I hope that she will be able to trust me with her secrets, to share with me her joys and sorrows and to delight me with her achievements – whatever they may be.

Having been blessed with this wonderful baby, may God also grant me this wish: May I be able to be ‘there’ for her, through all of her winning, losing and trying – now and for the remaining days and years (God willing) of my life.

About two weeks ago I squeezed into my sexiest pair of jeans again. It was the first time I wore them since I fell pregnant with my ‘babaliefie’. I’ve been wearing most of my old clothes again for some time now – sadly, including my tiny bra’s. (How I miss those exuberant breastfeeding boobs!) My weight has been back to my pre-pregnancy weight for a few weeks now.

When I looked at myself in my trusty pair of jeans, I realized that my body felt as if it had never been pregnant. It’s a strange thought. My baby angel is living proof that my whole life has been turned upside down, yet my body had forgotten all about it already. (OK, all those spider veins that appeared on my legs during pregnancy tell a story of their own, but still, they don’t make my body feel any different.)

I guess I’m lucky. On the other hand, I miss the softness of my post-pregnancy body. Since I’m thin as a rake, I felt wonderfully sexy and curvy during pregnancy and breastfeeding. And yet, it also feels nice and familiar to have my own ass back again. To be ‘just me’ again.

Later on that skinny jeans day, I almost forgot to pick up my baby angel at daycare! It’s the first time that my mind was so focused on other things that auto-pilot driving caused me to miss the turnoff to the daymother. I felt guilty for a few moments, but then I realized I didn’t have to. It was as wonderful as always to see my baby’s face again when I arrived at the daymother. It’s just that I finally seem able to immerse myself in my own life again to some extent – that is my life away from my precious baby.

Someday I hope to teach my baby angel how to fly high, high, high and as far away as she needs to in order to reach her dreams. It’s the most beautiful, but also the saddest thought.

It’s reassuring to realize there should still be a ‘me’ left behind on the day that my beautiful baby leaves the nest. A doting mother, yet someone with some hopes and dreams of her own.

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