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A Perfect Mother's Day

Janet Bowen
Blacksburg VA USA
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 22 No. 6, November-December 2005, p. 251

I had my daughter, Clare, in the fall of 2004. Since starting a family, my husband and I have paid more attention to traditions that we hope to establish with our daughter.

As my first Mother's Day with Clare approached, I thought about how my family celebrated my mother: my sister and I drew cards for her and, with my father's help, made breakfast in bed for her. Once, when we were very little, we begged my father to purchase a plastic geranium plant in a small wicker basket from the dime store so we could give it to my mother. This lovingly given relic remained on the top of my mother's refrigerator until her death at age 59.

For Mother's Day, I wanted to have a similar, simple tradition with my daughter, so I requested that six-month- old Clare, with her father's help (of course) bring me a card and breakfast in bed. Since this was my first Mother's Day, I did have one special request. I wanted the day to be celebrated at home with just the three of us. This year I did not want to share the day with extended family members. I wanted to feel as though I was the most important person in my family, if just for this one day.

As the holiday approached, I held my breath, crossed my fingers, and left the details to my normally forgetful husband. On the eve of Mother's Day I nursed Clare, said a little prayer over her, and lay her down to sleep in her crib. Normally, she would sleep until 2 or 3 am, but that night her hunger woke her much earlier.

At the sound of her cry, I went in to her room and brought her over to the rocking chair to feed her. I was gazing down at her peaceful little face as she nursed when I heard the cuckoo clock in the living room strike midnight. It was Mother's Day.

I realized at that moment that I'd been given the most precious gift ever, a gift I had never imagined -- an exclusively breastfed baby, healthy, plump, and beautiful, sucking peacefully at my breast in the still of the night. Tears of joy ran down my cheeks.

Since we had great difficulty establishing our breastfeeding relationship, this realization was such a fabulous gift. Human milk was something only I could give her. After I had given her life, my milk continued to give her the gift of good health, comfort, and security.

After she was full and fell back to sleep, I placed her in her crib and tiptoed off to bed feeling that I truly was the most important person in the world that morning. The pancakes in bed and the pretty card later that morning were wonderful, too!

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