When I brought my third son Peter home from the hospital, my mom so generously came to help me as she had done in years prior when I brought home my #1 and #2 sons, Robert and Patrick. I watched as she lovingly changed Peter’s diaper and searched for something soft and cozy to dress him in. She reached for a pink kimono that I had received as a gift for my first born in the days when you didn’t know whether you were having a girl or a boy. As she pulled his little arms through the sleeves and swaddled him close to her she said to me “Let’s pretend”.
I am the last born of six children and I have five brothers. I, in turn, married a man who was one of three sons- and in quick step produced three sons of my own. I have been blessed with two wonderfully rambunctious grandsons, Boe and Bear. The numbers don’t lie. My mother and I have always been surrounded by male energy on the daily.
I assumed the “pretending” was her way of saying that she wished I had had a girl. It stung for a moment. But I understand more now. And I can appreciate how excited she must have been when after five sons she finally got to dress baby #6 in sugar and spice and everything pink.
I understand that this gender heavy blog may be offensive to some people. But in my 65 years, I have experienced the yin and yang of life, the masculine and feminine energies that are exquisitely different. And I would like to bear witness to them.
Last Friday night I had the opportunity to babysit my new granddaughter, Layla Rose. My son Patrick and his wife Nazaneen were celebrating their third wedding anniversary- finally getting out from under new baby chaos to have some valuable couple time.
The intoxicating scents of baby spit up and breast milk poop took me back to those early years of mothering. (The only thing missing was the acrid smell of desitin- thank goodness.) Layla loves lying on her changing table so I took advantage of the moment to sing to her and tell her a story about a Boa Constrictor. She listened intently.
I opened the dresser drawer to find something soft and cozy to dress her in. I instinctively reached for a pink kimono. As I pulled her little arms through the sleeves and swaddled her close to me I felt my mother’s nurturing arms around me and her hands softly on top of mine. Both of us gazed into little Layla’s eyes, welcoming her into the world of feminine energy and quietly baptizing her with love from all the mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers in her family tree, as well as all women through time who have nurtured and loved and provided a safe landing place for others.
The three of us had a moment.
My mother died at 61 years of age- a month after I turned 30. In the drawer of my dining room sideboard I have two precious cards from women who were my mother’s contemporaries.
The note from “Anne” reads- “Rosemarie, you will grieve and pray for your beloved mother and eventually you will realize she is immortalized and always near in your memories of love.”
Such a timely message.
When my mother died I missed her feminine energy so very much. I felt adrift in a world of men. (I know.. that sounds dramatic.) I have since then forgiven her for leaving me so early in life. And I have also forgiven her for wanting to “pretend” with my sweet #3 son.
Can I be so bold as to say that I know a lot about men? My experience with being outnumbered most of my life has been more than valuable and I wouldn’t trade any of it for all the sisters and daughters in the world! My five brothers have always been my combined fortress and protection; as well as my antagonists, making me a strong and robust woman! (I was told once that I am a force to be reckoned with! 😮) My three sons, Robert, Patrick and Peter, have taught me significant lessons
And now my granddaughter Layla… Sugar and spice and everything nice.
Thank you for bringing it all full circle.
You are truly a special messenger of love and delight-
and a gift of feminine energy for all of us.