Before I became a mother, I used to think that there was something narcissistic about loving a child who is – in the words of my cab driver the other day – in your own image.
But as each day goes by, I realise how far this is from the truth as I am experiencing it anyway. Because as each day goes by, my daughter becomes less and less like me and more and more her own little person.
A shy, slightly terrified little girl myself, I could actually relate remarkably easily to my newborn’s terror – her need to be held, comforted and to feel safe. Now, seven and a half months in, she has become an extraordinarily vivacious, vocal, strong-willed baby with an exceptional joie de vivre. She has an exuberance that, most days, I can only wish for.
And so I watch my baby girl with a mixture of awe and love. She is both of me, but also alien. Each day, she grows more separate, and, each day, I strive to get to know this little person better. The more she emerges as herself, the more I discover that I do not know her – yet.
And if, by the end of the day, I have gotten to know her a little better, then the next day she may be different again.
Perhaps she is developing and changing more now than she ever will. Or maybe this is parenthood – knowing less and less even as you feel you should be knowing more and more. Looking at the familiar and finding it unfamiliar. Constantly oscillating between separation and Oneness – but knowing it will become increasingly hard to return to the latter. Each day.
Each day – I am confronted by the Life Force so vividly and strongly – my child, growing her own way, emerging as a totally new flower – delicate yes, but beneath it all, a certainty or surety – her will to live, to grow and to be whoever she is.
I was more aware of it than ever at points today. It terrifies me a bit – but it is an extraordinarily beautiful thing – this Life Force that flows through her. That flows through all of us. In her, I am learning to see it better.
New mum, old soul... Finding beauty, wisdom, spirituality, and opportunities for learning in the everyday (hopefully)...