A poet I’m not. But listening to Maya Angelou read from her latest book, Mom, and Me, and Mom, made me wish I could craft words of poetry. She writes about her “terrible wonderful” mother who shipped her off to her grandmother at the age of 3 after a divorce. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/mar/30/maya-angelou-terrible-wonderful-mother They were reunited when she became a teen, and she learned to love and respect her mother, particularly after becoming a mother herself. I must read this book, because I can identify with being separated from my birth mother, and reuniting later in life. The Flapper let me go to live with her friends, because she was alone, widowed and finally crippled in that car accident, in our Year of Living Dangerously. It’s hard to imagine now, but a woman alone was not expected to work and raise a family in the middle of the 20th Century. There were no social safety nets at the time. If family or friends didn’t step in to help, often children would end up in an orphanage.
Still, Angelou called babies “Technicolor Stars.”
Yesterday I met the latest star in one of the sweetest young families in the Old Dominion. Born at 9 minutes after midnight, not even 24 hours old, MP’s mom asked me if I’d like to hold him. He had golden brown duck fuzz hair, his pink legs were still pulled up into his time-tested fetal position, and his umbilicus announced his newness to the world. He made little baby sounds that only angels can decipher, and his big dimple stamped his face with undeniable cuteness. I fell in love. 7 lbs, 7 oz. He’ll be going home today to meet his big brother and sister, and his grandmother and great grandmother from California. MP’s mom is an outstanding NICU nurse who is working toward her doctorate at UVA. She is a natural with a baby, and the dad is an ER doc who trained with the Bride. Lucky baby.
Between the polar opposite parenting types – the overly-attachment type vs the free ranging type – there is a happy medium. A sweet spot of consideration and caring. I’m thinking our friends could write a book, or a baby blog? How not to worry yourself sick with a newborn and prevent unnecessary food allergies! Believe me, with all the noise out there in parenthood land, a sensible, sane voice would be helpful. My friend Kath, although primarily a food blogger, does a good job with her baby blog. She has been my go-to for researching baby products and baby nutrition. Her son Maze is the same age as the Love Bug.