Tani du Toit.
Tani du Toit.

Time flies when you're a mum

FOR something that doesn’t actually exist, time is a powerful entity. When we are in pain, it lingers like bad weather. When we are at our best, there is never enough of it.

As I see my little girl grow into her fifth month, and I am amazed at how time has flown since I found out I was pregnant until now. I started a journal for her when she was born but in the haze of those first few weeks and the whirlwind months that have followed I have managed to add only a handful of entries.

As we sit and wait for news on the remains of Daniel Morcombe, I try to think of something apt to say, but words fail me. I cannot fathom what his mother Denise has been through but I can imagine to her, the sound of time dragging its feet must be deafening.

Because time doesn’t stand still and we certainly can’t turn it back I ask you to bear with me as I attempt to remedy my journal tardiness by writing this for my little girl. Because right now I have the time and what I am learning quickly about being a parent is there’s no time like the present.

Jade,

When I found out I was pregnant with you, I was shocked ... because I was scared.  I didn’t ever think I would be so blessed, lucky and worthy to be someone’s mother.

When I finally got used to the reality of you growing in my belly, I named you ‘peanut’ and spent a lot of time staring at my stomach, wishing you to hang in there for the magical week number 12.

You did … and when my belly became a big round ball, I hugged it, hoping you could feel what I was doing.
When I first saw you, just after sunrise on a Monday morning, it felt like my entire being was on fire with joy. Your little eyes looked up at me as if you knew me from some other time, and I knew then you had so much more to teach me than I could ever teach you.

Later that day, when I had a chance to have a good look at you, I couldn’t believe how big your feet were. If I turned them upward they were the length of your calves!  I asked your dad if he thought it was normal and he said, with some concern, that he didn’t know. When the paediatrician said nothing, we looked at each other and winked an OK and accepted that some babies’ feet just looked like yours!

You were five days old the first time I put you in your car seat and I drove somewhere. I stopped three times to check if you were breathing.

That same week I took you for your maiden pram ride and you were so small, the pram seemed to swallow you.  I called a friend to tell her how much I loved you and bawled my eyes out past many staring strangers for a good three quarters of that walk.

Jade, I never expected because of you I would become the person I am. You have made me more patient, grateful, humble, joyful, and you have brought me peace.  No day goes past that I don’t pray for you to have a healthy, happy life and to be safe from harm’s way.

When you read this and you ask me who Daniel Morcombe was, I will tell you about him and explain it is because of him that children like you can grow up in a safer environment.  His parents spent a lot of time making sure his life and his death was not in vain. And for that, parents like me are forever grateful and in awe of their courage and strength.

Special Delivery is a weekly column.


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