Lessons from my baby daughter #13.
We all have sad songs every once in a while. Today Miss L had her turn in the car on the way to the station to pick up her Dadda. It started out innocently enough, just a quiet little “Mehmeh” from the back seat, but when I couldn’t turn around and fix whatever it was that she needed, it quickly escalated. The bottom lip quivered, the crocodile tears welled up and the injured look she gave me in the rear view mirror deserved a trophy. Then the crying began, great big gusts with an angry “Mehmeeeeeeeeeeh” in between. I sang the first thing that popped into my head.
Hey Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better
I only know the one verse, so I sang it on a loop with equal parts of weariness and desperation. It worked. Somehow Miss L’s cries mellowed out to a soft warble and then a sweet little melody of her very own. And then the blessed child sang herself right off to sleep.
I have a sad song, a bittersweet echo of the life I had before my heart happened, the life I had dreamed of having when I was blissfully pregnant. It is a song I try to tune out most of the time but every once in a while it creeps back into my head. In one of the many stored boxes I rummaged through last week to find something or other I came across the woven wrap I had bought around this time last year. It was the very first thing I purchased for my baby and it took me hours of research to find just the right one. When it finally arrived I tore open the parcel, pulled it straight out and tried out some origami moves with my hot water bottle acting as the baby. I dreamed of the little one in my tummy, not quite believing that he or she was real and trying to imagine how I would feel holding its warm weight against my chest.
It wasn’t to be. Miss L and I were only home for two days before disaster struck and by the time I came home once more I couldn’t carry her. After a few weeks I was allowed to lift her but I tired too easily to figure out the wrap and opted for a carrier instead. Then, once I was finally strong enough, Miss L had outgrown the wrap altogether and so I folded it neatly and stored it away out of sight. It belonged to a mother who never existed.
Today I pulled that beautiful woven wrap out of its box and decided that perhaps it could be a part of our new life after all. I drew up a pattern, ironed, pinned and made the first hesitant cut. By the end of the afternoon I had two legs, two arms, a pudgy body, one side of a face and one ear completed. The wrap and all the dreams I had for it may be gone but in their place sits the beginning of Bearington Bear, my first handmade gift for my daughter.
My sad song still plays quietly in the background but today I wrote a new verse and I changed the tune. Today I started to make it better.