Monday, 12 May 2008

blood ties

Last week, Rosey had a mishap at supper.

She's just gotten to the point where she'll grab a bowl and wait for it to be filled up, then take it and sit at the table - beaming at the big kid duty - this time, something slipped and first there was a crash, and then a wail. Rounding the corner from the stove I saw her, spaghetti strewn about, a giant spot on her shirt, her little face going all red and twisty.

B was bending to tell her not to worry about the bowl when I shoved by him and knelt down.
'Baby, are you okay? Are you burned?'

She burst into tears. ' Is Accident!'

I had her out of her shirt and out of her footwear in seconds, (she had sauce all over her shoes as well) touching her belly gently, looking for any reddish spots. I didn't think it was that hot, but who knew? And now I had a half-naked crying little girl who needed reassurance that the sudden loud noise and the broken crockery weren't terrible things.

She was fine. B scooped up the spilt dinner in the dustpan (using it like a shovel - a smart move I wouldn't have thought of) while I rustled up some new jeans, a tshirt, and a (smaller and lighter) bowl for Rosey.

She sat, mollified, eating while B and I finished clearing up. "I didn't think to check her for burns." he said, upset with himself.
"I think it's a Mom thing. You're not the Mom - that's my job."
He still wasn't satisfied. "But I'm the Daddy. I should have known."

I opened my mouth to say (and quickly snatched it back) Why? She's not yours. She's mine.

Genetically, she is his - so much like him she makes me smile - but he didn't grow her. She is flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone, and the ties from that go deeper, are stronger.

I've been ruminating on this for a few days, trying to decide if this is a bit of mommy-rhetoric, or if I've always thought this and have just never had the words to say it to myself before.

But this isn't new. This feeling blossomed the first time I saw her, lines and tubes and smudgy black hair, wetly snuffling. Before she was born she was merely 'The Baby', something both B and I had made and that would grow (God willing) and develop because we had made it. It was a team effort.

But once she was born? When I was wheeled down to see her and I kissed her sleeping head and she yawned, fluttering those shockingly blue eyes at me?

She was mine. My baby. My flesh made.

And like flicking out a splinter or swabbing a cut (or any number of things that jolt us and make us sizzlingly aware of ourselves) her pain will always, ever, be mine.

15 comments:

blackbird said...

I'm so glad she was okay...
and I so completely understand your
feelings.

OvaGirl said...

Yeah, it's strange that. We're on the same team yet...sometimes I'm aware that C and I have a silent tug of war over Tricky...

I think this is a very interesting post...you've made me think...

Ree said...

You've summed it up completely. They're ALL ours.

witchypoo said...

If you were to see the energy field of a family, you would note that the mom is usually feeding the littles with her own energy. Boundaries are blurred. It is, indeed, a mom thing.
Happy Belated Mother's Day!

alison said...

Oh, I so agree. Those girls are mine.

jAMiE said...

I am so glad she is okay...and i'm sure she still enjoyed her pasta...and i think i understand what you mean..it makes total sense!

womaninawindow said...

Yes, it's there, that difference, always. Flesh of flesh. Makes me glad I'm a woman. That I'm a mother. What a ridiculous gift we have!

Amy said...

You've given voice to something I think ALL the time. But I feel guilty about it, because my husband loves her so much too. I know I can't explain it to him.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Wow. Very interesting. I am learning and taking notes.

Christy said...

I'm glad she wasn't burned!

I totally understand.

I'm now in the throes of acne with one of my girls. A different kind of pain, but when she is tearful over it?

It tears my heart out.

Hubby?

Not so much.

And I KNOW he loves her madly....

Anonymous said...

There's definitely a difference between a mother's and a father's relationship with the children. I birthed 'em, therefore, I call dibs.

Glad Miss R is okay!

Stomper Girl said...

what blackbird said

Major Bedhead said...

Funny, I was having similar thoughts the other day about Boo and The Bug. That Canadian Boy I Married was angry with Boo about something and yelled at her and I thought "How dare you?" Mind you, it's OK if I yell at her, but him? Not so much.

Very weird, that. First time I'd thought of them as mine as opposed to ours. It was a little unsettling.

Poppy Buxom said...

More proof that I'm a Daddy. I'd be cleaning up the crockery, too, and it wouldn't occur to me to check to see whether anyone was burned.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

That was quite sweet.

But I really feel for dad there too.