Saturday 18 February 2017

Eleven Years Ago

I can see clearly now
Time waits for no man or mother but I can still remember with perfect clarity, the struggles of babyhood as they applied to me.  

There are no babies in this house anymore yet when the sun shines a particular way, or a rain drop hits my cheek on a random Tuesday, I can be transported back to that time.   A smell, even a sound can open that Pandora’s box of not so nice memories.  

See, the really young baby years didn’t agree with me at all.   I like to think I have a certain perspective eleven years later because I have comparisons now.  Back then when the babies arrived back to back, I was still caught up in one vortex when the next storm landed.   Trying to make sense of a toddler and his moods and cognitive developments whilst grappling with a new-born and those dreaded, god awful sleepless nights.

This is the eve of Oldest Boy’s eleventh birthday.  As I write this I think about another Saturday evening eleven years ago in Kilkenny hospital when contractions forced me out of my bed at exactly 6pm having been induced earlier on that day.

He was born twelve hours later.  A short albeit extremely painful and scary twelve hours later.

I’ve always maintained that giving birth is the easy bit; it’s what follows that tests us and gives us pause to think.

Or drive us mad.  Or make us stronger.  Or wear us down.

There are those who say great things are born from pain.  I’m not sure I would agree.  Great things are also born from joy.     

I have a great deal of joy in my life.  I guess I always did but at times there was a cloud over it, blocking my perspective.

That cloud has moved on now. 

And like a random Tuesday recovering from a summer shower, my path is clear and the air bright.  There are also a few kids playing on it.

Four of them.  I know them by their movements, their laughter and the way they shout to each other.

Eleven years ago I was in labour for the first time.  The baby years are gone now and another era stretches out in front of us.  One of laughter and tears.  A time of learning and discovery. 

But if there are four kids walking that path with me, I know we will be more than ok.


  1. This is just lovely, I recognise so much in it. The baby years were, at times, more about coping and getting through, than savouring each moment. I feel that I've come up for air now...and it is a really wonderful feeling.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth! Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. What goes up must come down. It gets worse before it gets better. I often think that those ante natal classes don't cover the real basics - the stuff that no-one tells you. but I suppose we wouldn't listen. I know I didn't. Parenthood is quite possibly the absolutely only time in anyone's life where you have to be totally submerged in it to know what it's like. There is no other imagining.

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