Since I am only a son, grandson, great-grandson, father and grandfather [no “greats” there, yet], I don’t know that I’m particularly qualified to write about being a mother. But I’ll do my best.
A young woman once apologetically told me that she didn’t work outside the home, that she was “just a mother.” At once, I told her that no woman is ever “just a mother.”
A mother is the first, and perhaps the most important, part of a baby’s life. One of the very first things he or she must be conscious of is the nearby heartbeat of that one whose very body is involved in nurturing and protecting this new life within it. Lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub. The rhythm of life. For nine months, that sound is the background of existence, the assurance that all is normal.
Then comes the trauma of birth – for both the mother and the child.
For Mom, “Whew, I’m glad that’s over.” though it’s really only a new beginning. For the child….
I had a good friend in college whose home in another state I would occasionally go with him to visit. One time in particular I remember. I slept in a room where the air conditioner was. This visit they had turned it on at night. Tennessee can be hot in the summer. It was noisy, and I didn’t sleep very well. Then morning came and they turned it off. That’s what really woke me up – that deafening silence.
I wonder if that’s what it’s like for a newborn. All kinds of new stimuli, environment, lights, sounds, and yet….
Where’s the heartbeat?
I wonder what the newborn feels. Loss? Confusion? Panic? The one constant of the old life is gone. There’s no connection with this new life. There’s nothing for the baby to hold on to, so to speak. How does he or she feel at this turn of events?
the baby is given to the mother and she cuddles him close.
Ah! The baby relaxes; there’s the heartbeat. There’s the connection.
Do you know why mothers are so special? It’s their heartbeat…
Their love, their care, their concern. Their “thereness”.
If things go as they should, there will be other “connections” made in life: dad, perhaps brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, grandma and grandpa, friends, a special “other,” children of their own.
But it all starts with a mother’s heartbeat.