This morning as I was giving the girls their breakfast, and telling them I needed to sit and feed Johann, Julie asked me “Mama, how do you make his food?”
“My body makes it.”
“Yes, but how?”
As I walked away to tend the baby, I hurriedly explained. “Milk ducts inside me make it.”
As I cuddled the hungry baby, I could hear her in the kitchen exclaiming in a tone of disbelief, “Milk ducks?!”
And for the record, no, I do not have waterfowl inside me. I did get a good chuckle out of that one, though.
There are many signs of motherhood. Today I wore, for a while, a badge on my shoulder and reflected about other badges like it that I have worn and will wear through my life. My youngest banged her head, and as I held her in my arms and murmured to her, she buried her face in my shoulder and sobbed. A few minutes later, after I had put her down and she was playing happily, I realized she had left a patch of tears and snot on my shoulder. One more in a succession of such spots. They started with the spit-up from my babies, and will progress to lower marks of banged knees and elbows, from cuddles at an age where they are usually past such comforts. Hopefully, when my daughters are teens I will be mother enough to shoulder their tears over every little heartbreak in a way my mother never did. And when our lives have come full circle it will be spit-up again, from their babies. All my life I will be proud of my badges of motherhood, but I prefer to wear them invisibly. Pardon me while I change my shirt.
I think my children are actually beginning to think about their father. They had real ideas on what to get him for Christmas this year. Glady made a beeline for what she wanted, and Juliet was very disappointed that we could not find the chef’s hat she so badly wanted for him. Pippa, of course, had no idea, but I pointed her at a couple of things and she latched on enthusiastically. I even saw what I wanted to get for him, although it was out of my price range tonight. And they were sold out of Lord of the Rings Risk. But the point is that we want our daughters to be considerate, giving and loving little creatures, and I saw glimmers of that tonight. They had reasons for what they chose, and told me exactly what they had in mind. There may be hope for our little monsters yet. But don’t get too excited, I had to be very firm with Juliet about the Care Bears Movie.