Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Maternal Separation

We miss our babies.

After just two days away we are missing them. Last night I thought we would be taking advantage of our rather nice hotel suite and the lack of little ones walking into our bedroom at just the wrong moment and catch up on the old “hot-n-heavy” action, but no. We did try but it was clear our hearts were not in it as we both missed the children, and so in the end we called room service and had them send up two truly enormous ice cream sundaes, a pot of tea and some cookies. Our impromptu meal was not the most well balanced, containing as it did two of the worst food groups possible, sugar and fat, but it was very therapeutic mentally. As we set about eating the ice we started up the laptop and called home. For over two hours we chatted to the children and my poor parents who had kindly volunteered to take up residence in our house and look after them for a week. I always love hearing about the children’s day at school (the oldest two) each afternoon when they get home. I consider it a high point of my day as they show me their books, drawing and paintings, while going on all the time about their various friends at school. The earnest feelings and passion behind everything they say, the wonderful expression by sign language of all the feelings that the day have crammed into their little hearts wipes away all my worries at a stroke.

After Hilke and Nicholas finished chatting to us my mother and father filled us in on our two little ones. We learned how they had played, what they learnt and what they managed to knock over or break. We heard all about the new books they bought the children while shopping, and finally how tired they were themselves after their busy day. It was well past the children’s bed time by the time when we finally signed off for the night and as we did my dad asked Nina and I if we felt better for our long chat. It seems history repeats itself with each generation. They used to miss my sister and I when they had to be away from home for any reason, so they had known right away the reason for our call when we asked to talk to the children on the computer.

Just as we were about to shut down for the night Jette, our god daughter, came online and so we told her about our day and heard about hers. Then we watched a few short videos she had made of herself learning sign language (NGB). They are lovely and I think we will work them into our web site as soon as we get back.

Sissi - Ears & Eyes

Sissi - Ears & Eyes

Sissi, my ears and eyes guide dog, sensing an opportunity came up onto our bed to comfort us. It was either to comfort us or try and get at the cookies, I suspect the latter more than the former. Sissi has a very sweet tooth and loves cake and cookies. She cornered the plate of cookies and with a glance to us for consent (probably just for the sake of good manners!) she set about reducing four hundred grams of crunchy delight to just a few crumbs on the porcelain plate, then not being one to waste a good thing, she finished up the few remaining crumbs as well. Normally we are quite strict about the dogs not sleeping on the bed. That right is traditionally reserved for cats and kids in our household, but this night she was allowed to stay. I am sure she enjoyed the one hundred count Egyptian cotton sheets as much as we did. Sometime around one am we all fell asleep on the big hotel bed. Tucked up tightly against Nina I dreamt of the children and in my sleep I missed them even more. In my dreams I can always hear them talking but once I wake I can never remember what their little voices sounded like. It is a terrible frustration because I have never heard my own children and my heart so yearns to, so much so that for me even the dream of their voices would be as wonderful as hearing their real ones.

Maternal Separation has a powerful draw on our hearts so we will be very happy to get home next week.

Author: Judith.

Reflections On Love, Part I, II & III

Reflections on LoveThe day is ending, and mercifully cooling. The afternoon was so hot that everyone was short of patience and quick to temper, but with the gentle cooling of the evening has come cooler heads at last. Our dogs, which are so important to Hilke and Judith, were utterly exhausted by the heat today. The moment we got back from town we got their harnesses and coats off and they shot out into the garden to cool off under the garden sprinkler. Now here I sit out on our lawn under the shade of the maple tree watching our youngest. He is six months old, naked and discovering new and fascinating things in the grass. Sissi, Judith’s guide dog, is watching him from the shade, she is a dog with a natural mothering instinct and will keep an eye on him at all times. Somewhere in the bushes and vines to the side of me Hilke, Nicky and one of their friends are devising some new game, I can hear them arguing out the “rules” !

Reflections  On Love Part I

Across the lawn on the green wall, where she grows salad produce Judith is picking salad leaves with Mariakse, our three year old, the first born of my womb. Those leaves will go into the bowl to go with our meal this evening. She grows an amazing range of herbs and leaves there, many of which have a medicinal quality but all of which go to make some beautifully fragrant salad combinations. She is wearing one of her white linen summer dresses that mark the line of her slender frame so nicely. I am reflecting on the beauty I see. Mariaske is sitting on her shoulders to reach leaves at the top of the wall. I could hear Judith giving her instructions, always so very patient with the children, to me it is part of her beauty. The dipping evening sun was shinning through that white dress showing another aspect of her beauty. The funny thing is that I can see her naked form any time I wish but as I watched her there the covering of her long white dress seemed to be all the more erotic. I know that many couples on becoming parents feel a loss of their sexuality but watching that lovely form I wondered just how that could be because for me becoming a mother has enhanced the sensuality in my life. The more I watched the more I wanted to slip upstairs with her for a few minutes, and with those rather tantalising thoughts in my head I dozed off in the evening sun.

Reflections  on Love Part II

Reflections on LoveAfter school yesterday we had collected the children and taken to the park for some games. It had clearly been a long day in stuffy school classrooms because both Nicky and Hilke were very irritable with each other, nasty irritable. Hilke has an especially sharp tongue which she can use to slice and dice to good effect and was doing so liberally with Nicky. Judith and I watched from our park seat when just as the mutual abuse reached a pitch Hilke’s legs gave out and she pitched face first to the ground. It is a characteristic of her Spina Bifida that sometimes the signals down her spine misfire and take her legs out from under her. Judith was about to jump up and rush across but I stopped her and watched as Nicky dashed back to help his sister as Jos (Hilke’s guide dog) fussed about her. As we watched all trace of anger at her had vanished from his face as very gently he brushed some leaves and dirt off her face and checked her for injury as he had been taught. All the anger and frustration with his sister had left his body language to be replaced with………………………complete concern. The spinal misfire had also caused her to loose bladder control briefly. He could have have easily teased her about that in revenge for her savage tongue, but instead he reassured her and helped her cover her embarrassment. Later at home, all cleaned up, she came to her brother as he sat at the big table doing some drawing and wrapping her arms around him gave him a kiss. They exchanged no words or signing, but all nasty words of earlier were wiped away. It was a moment that makes all the hard work of being a parent worthwhile. As they grow up they will always have their disagreements but the understanding they have of each other’s worlds as shaped by their respective disabilities has given them a bond and a deeper love.

Reflections  On Love Part III

Reflections on LoveYesterday, despite the sun having set it was still hot and the air still. We had set up beds out under the patio vines so that we could all sleep outside with the hope that a good sleep in the night air by candle light would help re balance everyone. All the children were restless and having trouble trying to sleep in the still humid air. Our youngest, Joost (six months old), was the most discontent. Just after midnight he tucked up beside me on the double hammock that Judith and I occupied and I put my breast to his mouth in the hope that he would finally fall asleep as he suckled. Initially he was just as restless at my breast as he had been before, but slowly he started to draw on me more deeply and soon I felt his little body relax against me. I will never cease to be amazed by this incredible thing we call motherhood. As he had suckled and my milk let down I felt my love for him surging through me as my milk flowed out. It was as though all my own frustrations and annoyances of the day were being sponged, perhaps sucked is a more apt expression, away. This wonderful sensation was of course the hormone Oxytocin. It is an amazing and incredible feat of nature, with Joost latching onto my nipple the hormone was released into my blood stream further sealing the mother /infant bond and causing another hormone, prolactin, to kick in and stimulate my breasts to make milk. I knew that this amazing dance of chemicals was going on inside me to produce these feelings, but it did not matter. I was away on a cloud of love, remembering the icy winter night of his birth, remembering the way his little body had filled mine both physically and spiritually before bursting forth orgasmically into the dim light of dawn.
The more he drew on my breast the greater my recollection of my complete rapture upon seeing him in those first few moments of his life. By the time I was reaching down between my legs to pick him up and hold him to me I was wondering how much love was needed to actually stop a human heart because mine was so full at that moment I was sure it would stop at any moment. At my breast Joost was utterly content, maybe even enjoying his own recollection of loves first moments perhaps, I would like to think he was. In the end I do not know which of us fell asleep first.

My absent parents thought parenting was a matter of throwing money and goods at their child was a good way to raise them while leaving out time, attention, love and affection. When I was a teenager I had made my mind up that I was never going to inflict the experience of childhood that I had on by never having children of my own. I was very certain of that, rock solid certain. It is funny how chance encounters can so completely change you but I am so very glad a chance encounter I had changed me because I would hate to have missed out on all of this.

Author: Nina.