There isn’t a lot of time for writing with a newborn and yet now is the time when I have the most to say.
I’ve always been open to wonder, but Miss Maisie has introduced a new kind of wonder I hadn’t anticipated. With her in my life I will never again doubt that the world is a truly amazing place. I’m looking forward to showing her and I wonder how she will respond to it. The beautiful thing is she has plenty of people to act as tour guide. It’s important to me that she gets her stimulation from as many people as possible and that she is exposed to cultural and biological diversity. I don’t think that will be a problem since there are plenty of people who love her and we live in a city that celebrates difference. I just need to pick a place to start . . .
It’s been a busy but wonderful time since Maisie was born. She’ll be 3 weeks on Wednesday and already she’s showing signs of being a genius. Okay I’m a bit bias as are all parents, but I have visions of great things for this little one. Being a mama has surpassed all my expectations and I’m sure this adventure will lead to many happy moments of writing.
Here are a few photos of my little wonder.
Smiling - no it's not wind
Having a kick
She looks like a baby koala when she sleeps
The moment they put her in my arms I knew I had arrived at a place I was meant to be – I was home and I understood my life would never be the same again. The delivery room was filled with doctors and midwives on standby because her heart rate had dropped during labour. I didn’t notice any of them. Every cell in my body was focused on the little person that lay across my chest. My daughter, my little wonder. Everyone who was not a medical professional was crying and there was a sense that something extraordinary was taking place. I’ll never forget the enormity of the first moments of Maisie Rose’s life. She came at 1:47 pm on Wednesday 8th September weighing 7 pounds 3 ounces, with strawberry blond hair and a moon-shaped face. She is the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen. It’s true what they say about pregnancy and childbirth – all the pain and anguish are worth it. We’re home now after an extended stay in hospital, but mama, papa and baby are all doing well, if not a littel exhausted. I can’t wait to unravel this delight.
Week 38. 38 weeks and 4 days to be exact. At this point every minute is a major deal. I’ve had a couple of signs that delivery is imminent, but nothing definitive yet. I don’t know how much more nesting and resting I can do. I am surrounded by family members who are all as anxious as I am to meet the little one. All the women have gathered around me in a protective feather-fluffing huddle and my dear sweet husband is on high-alert. He’s about to be a daddy for the first time so I imagine every instinct is engaged right now. Even my dog is watching me with a protective eye. There’s something primal about bringing new life into the world, but also something deeply satisfying on a spiritual level. I feel blessed that I get to be this little ones mama. We’ve been through a lot together already and now I just want to feel baby in my arms.
Apologies for the gushing post today, but the maternal instinct has me feeling sentimental. This might be my last post before baby’s arrival. I will endeavor to post news of delivery as soon as I’m out of hospital.
At almost 37 weeks pregnant I don’t have much energy for anything more than resting in a big comfy chair with a good book – typing has been difficult because my hands are puffy and sore – but I have been thinking a lot about writing from the heart, and most especially writing with openness and authenticity. Mostly my recent reading has led this thought process. Currently I’m reading Salman Rushdie’s The enchantress of Florence, and though his style is not exactly fluid (frankly he seems to gallop in and out of lucidity across a single paragraph), he has not failed to capture the human condition. Sometimes humanity is less than charming and Rushdie isn’t afraid to make us cringe with this reality. To me, a good writer will make you recognise something of yourself in the character’s, even the less agreeable ones.
While it is true almost anyone can tell a story, create a scene or invent a character, not all stories are created equal. I used to believe that writing was an innate talent that you either had or didn’t. This is what set me apart from all my friends – I had been chosen to be a writer and all I had to do was string a few clever words together and voila! a literary masterpiece would issue forth from my brain to my fingers. After I grew up and went to university I decided that writing was an acquired skill and that anyone could do it. I no longer believed in talent, but hard-earned skill. I worked hard and, I believe, improved, but I began to develop an indifference towards writing that was hard to shake. My recent reading has re-awoken the question of nature v. nurture and I find at least two fingers are tiptoeing back towards the former, while my feet remain strategically placed on the other side. I realise this is not the accepted philosophy of today’s writers and I may be committing heresy by suggesting that writers are anything but slaves to their profession, but I have a sneaking suspicion there is more to it than learning a few clever phrases or building enjoyable dialogue. In order to be a good writer, or a musician, or an artist of any kind, one must first have the propensity. Many musicians have a natural ability for tone and pitch, making them better equipped for the role of musician. Some children seem to show a flare for creating realistic sketches of everything they see. Is it so far-fetched to believe that some humans have a natural receptiveness for language related pursuits? Essentially, all humans are born with the creative instinct, but whether a person will excel at a creative endeavor might just be determined by something more than environment.
Recent twin studies are revealing the importance of nature in determining who we are, what we like and what we do, right down to aspects of our personalities, which have previously been thought to be determined by environment. It would be interesting to be able to compare the brains of established writers with non-writers to determine how much of our bodies and minds are engaged in the craft.