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Hearts and minds

February 15, 2012

Hope spent Valentine’s Day wearing a pair of trousers that were a little too large over the top of her white vest baby grow … they were given to me in a bag full of clothes that his daughter had grown out of by an old friend, they are white with pink and red hearts on and a large embroidered red heart over her bottom. Have I gone totally insane? I would never dress my child in something so ‘cute’ (I hate that word) … the answer is most defiantly yes! I dressed her in them and I loved it .. I must regain my mind, I must I must!

Hope LOVES her Granby & her Valentine's Day outfit!

I was also overwhelmed by the urge to send friends and family text messages wishing them a Happy Valentine’s Day love from Hope. I better get over that one or she’ll really be unimpressed when I am still doing that and she’s 18. She is her own person and not me.

It’s silly really, I tell people things like, “oh this is her favourite outfit”, and “she loves Me & My Teddy Bear but her favourite song is Dirty Old Town by The Pogues”. What do I know? She is pretty much oblivious to most things apart from when she’s hungry … but I guess somewhere inside she is hearing and registering all around her and slowly likes and dislikes will appear. I feel more confident saying, “Hope loves baths” because even if she is crying when I put her in the bath she stops and just gazes around wide eyed and slightly surprised (until I get water in her eyes). I can also say, “Hope is very impressed with her elephants on bicycles mobile” … who knows maybe she is or maybe she is so horrified she can do nothing but stare at it.

I was pregnant about 15 years ago and had a miscarriage, at the time my partner showed me a poem by Kahlil Gibran which has stayed with me and is eminently sensible …

On Children
 Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

I must take note of what he says … specially the “give them your love but not your thoughts” bit.

In the meantime, I should just say that Hope absolutely loves her new white outfit scattered with tiny pink rosebuds, I know she does!!

Anyway …

Yesterday, Hope and I went to visit a lovely friend who we got to know when I was in hospital before Christmas and The Spaniard (Hope’s name before she was born for those new to the blog- she was made in a Spanish IVF clinic hence the name) wasn’t moving inside me.

Little Hope and her friend

So, I was in hospital for the 10 days before Christmas. This friend was in the bed next to me, she was the glamorous one and I was the scruff but we hit it off and compared bumps and revelled in our lack of stretch marks … anyway – yesterday we went to visit her and her absolutely beautiful new baby daughter who is a fortnight older than my little Hope (and twice the size with incredible eyelashes). It was lovely, we chatted, the babies slept, cried, then stared at each other … we pondered what they will be when the grow up and the mischief they might get into … it was fun having been through the whole experience at the same time as someone else and knowing them before and after the big event. Interesting too how different we are, I am breast feeding, she isn’t, Hope is wearing alot of cast off clothes, new hand knitted cardigans and gifts (thanks to many friends)  and her little daughter is in beautiful new perfect little designer outfits, she adheres to all the rules, I don’t, she always looks flawless (and is a lovely person too how annoying is that!!), I don’t … our personalities already projecting onto our babies… shaping their worlds and maybe their little minds, until they’re old enough to tell us to stop it and let them think for themselves and choose their own clothes!

It’s been a funny week … the local newspaper (@cambridgenewsuk) have been (unbeknown to me) following my blog here and asked if I’d write for them on motherhood (as if anyone would be interested in my waffle), I agreed to and they then said they’d like to do a feature on Hope and I. A lovely journalist came (@ellaewalker) and Warren Gunn a wonderful photographer, they interviewed me and talked and talked and took about 500 photographs… and then, at the weekend I dashed to buy the paper (10 copies!) and felt rather overwhelmed to see two full pages had been dedicated to us. Was that the right thing to do? I wanted to thank the staff at the hospital and also to mark the fact that in life you should never give up on your dreams … I hope that one day when Hope reads the piece, she is happy with it and doesn’t mind that her birth was celebrated quite so widely. This is the piece they published http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Health-and-Beauty/Family/A-tiny-bundle-of-Hope-13022012.htm and if this blog isn’t enough for you this is the blog I am starting for the Cambridge News.

In the News - page 1

In the News - page 2

Right then, time to give her a 1am feed, and to rest my tired eyes. It’s been a wonderful Valentine’s Day, it was special to write a card to both her Daddy and her Granby and sign it ‘love from Hope’. I know she loves them …and I also know she loves Bruce Springsteen … of course she does!!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Linda permalink
    February 15, 2012 8:14 pm

    Laughed at your description of your friend who is always so…together. I had (and still have) a wonderful friend who, despite having three children, made clothes for them AND for mine, cooked and baked every day….and STILL had time to make a papier mache model of Tracy Island. I told her fairly often, point blank, that I hated her 🙂 She knows I love her.

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