Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Late nights in the nursery

Late Friday night, I sat rocking my sad teething little baby in the dark. She was feverish, naked and whimpering, her little body curled up tight against my skin. Her hand stroked my shoulder repetitively as I rocked and sang to her. Her smell was sticky sweet and her face in the moonlight looked (for once) like mine.

It's a strange thing indeed to see your own face reflected in your child. I often note family resemblances in others and think nothing of it. Of course children should look like their parents. But it is strange indeed to see your own face, softer and rounder perhaps, in the features of this little being who you love beyond all telling.

There is a disconnect. I haven't yet learned quite how to love and accept myself, yet here is this child who I love and accept unconditionally. I am fallible and imperfect, I know all of my faults, all of my defects. And yet, once, my mother must have sat and rocked me, kissed my feverish brow, and loved me beyond all telling.


drdrA said...

I sat up many nights with my daughters when they were babies... feeling the weight of this enormous responsibility and privilege of caring for these two marvelous little creatures.

Oh, I better stop... or I'll be getting a call from Hallmark!

Day ByDay said...

I completely understand! There are so many things about myself I can remember thinking "Goodness, I hope I don't pass this on to my children" - and now, when I see those features in my daughter, I'm completely in love with them - and her.

It's also funny how surprising it is to see ourselves in our children - you'd think with our areas of research we wouldn't be so shocked - but it never ceases to amaze me :)

The bean-mom said...

This was so beautiful.

It is indeed strange to see your own features looking out from your childrens' faces. I think my children are so beautiful... and to recognize (some) of my own features in that beauty is so striking, and so strange.