31 October 2007

My Baby Caterpillar

Last night Morgan fell asleep on me as usual and as I stroked her back and head I realised that I could feel every tiny bone of her little baby spine. It all flooded in – how fragile she is and how temporary, how even tomorrow she will be fractionally less mine. It almost crippled me for a moment, a brief second of mind numbing terror, a crushing weight of responsibility. It would be impossible to parent at all if that thought always loomed so large.

This afternoon Jenna climbed into my lap for a cuddle and fell asleep. How long has it been since she last did that? Months, at least. She outruns me; as soon as I catch up with who she is, her needs and thoughts and dreams, she is already further on, further off. When I was very barely pregnant with her and had just started feeling her move I wrote a simple little poem. I think of it often at the moment.

My Baby Caterpillar

I am a chrysalis
I will be cast off
I am just a mother
You will be a butterfly

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