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My Baby

            A mother is a bit like a modern appliance; even the best have built in obsolescence. In fact, the better you are, the faster you become obsolete. The little man was put in my arms and there was true love at first sight, though for me it was love, sight unseen the all-encompassing love had started before he arrived in the world. My whole life turned topsy-turvy by this little man who looked so much like my husband. This scrap of humanity, my scrap of humanity, but even from that first moment his own self, mine but not mine. My child, only a few minutes old, helpless in my embrace but whose gaze holds my attention in a vice-like grip. I thought I would take control, I had read all the books, knew all the theories, I had a plan, I knew my goal. But I had not taken into account the unquantifiable effect of this baby. This was a planned pregnancy. I had expected that I would take control of this small life, this new entrant to the world. I would mould it, create its future, set its boundaries, and widen its horizons. How quickly did I learn differently. This was no empty canvas whose shapes and colors I would decide. This was a tiny person, fully formed, character in tact, personality glowing. The feeling of love was a tangible presence. I believe in mind over matter, but now I have to learn a new motto: never mind, it doesn't matter. Surviving from one feed to the next becomes the focus of my attention. I worry over how much milk has he consumed, how can I tell? My actions are centered on him, my timetable centres on his needs, his demands. And yet, the sense of fulfillment, the intense dependence on another being who is totally dependent on me. .
             Babyhood goes by, in a haze of sleepless nights and gurgling days. Juggling becomes a new skill - not just man management, finance management but emotional management, never truly achieved. I return to work, I need to re-focus, to resume "my life". But yearning sits inside me.

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