Linking up with Amanda at Habit of Being – November prompt-a-day 29 November’s prompt
My eldest child is a maker. An idea possesses her, and with a single-mindedness I can only admire, she decides what she is going to create, and she makes it.
This week when I unfairly stopped her from taking the coffee table up to the treehouse, she got out her tools and some scrap wood from the garage, and made one. When her brother asked for a submarine from cardboard boxes, she put one together for him and even hooked up headlights with some bulbs, batteries and electrical wire. When she can’t think of anything else to do, she gets out the sugarpaste and food dyes and makes models. A pom-pom craze hit this house mid-week, and she has now made five pom-poms and is currently partway through making “the World’s Biggest pom-pom” with what might be the World’s Biggest ball of yarn.
As I attempt to access those thin, flickering films in the archive of my mind those last few days of pregnancy in a November eleven years ago seem like a hazy, shaky memory. I try to visualise myself as a not-yet-mother, and I can’t quite see who she is. I’m so young. So green. So naïve. The birth took me by storm, as did the recovery. (Which I write about here) I mostly fumbled through new parenting and hiked my way up that steep learning curve, one uncertain step forward, two steps sliding back. I found myself at the bottom of the well of post-natal depression, and eventually clawed my way back into the light. I journeyed to the darkest reaches of my own heart as I experienced new and startling emotions: boundless love, desperation, rage, fatigue, connection like no other. I looked into the dark pools of my child’s gaze and within them beheld a reflection of who I really am.
As she kicked and squirmed in my ever-growing belly, I can recall wondering, “Who is this person going to be?” It seemed unreal to be giving birth to someone who would one day grow up and have a life of her own. When I finally gave birth to her, what would she be like? Who would I be getting to know?
I now know that the more pertinent question was, “When I finally give birth to her, what will I be like? Who will I be?” Because I am not the person I used to be. I am someone else; a new creation; a second incarnation of the woman that once was.
In the insect world, a larva might look nothing like the adult form of the animal (think caterpillar/butterfly). When the adult emerges, the insect sheds its old form and emerges unrecognisable from what it once was. I am sure that the people who knew me when I was a not-yet-mother will say I look much like my old self (perhaps a bit more wrinkly and wobbly now, to use the four year old’s endearing description of me), but pretty much the same in essentials. But somehow, I am not that person.
This week I presented my eldest child with a birthday pumpkin pie and watched as she blew out the candles and made a wish. Here I now sit, surrounded by partially-reconstructed boxes and balls of yarn. What a maker she is. Eleven years ago, she made something unique and rather special (not her easiest project, it must be said). She made a mother.
And together, we made a family.
Words and photographs ©Lisa Hassan Scott 2013.
Many thanks to Amanda for providing short daily prompts for writing and sharing them on Twitter with #writealm and on her WriteAlm Facebook page.