To be in mama’s lap – being held, being read to, being loved, being hugged and being reassured that you have a place in this world means everything.
I don’t have memories of being in my mama’s lap.
I don’t have memories of being sung to, or read to.
I don’t have memories of being hugged or kissed by my mama.
I don’t have memories of my mama telling me she loves me.
I don’t have memories of my mama soothing away my numerous fears.
I have memories of being yelled at.
I have memories of being sent away when I was around.
I have memories of soap in my mouth.
I have memories of being told I didn’t clean the bathroom enough.
I have memories of being smacked across the face, once so hard my glasses flew off.
I have memories of being told to stop daydreaming…to get my head out of my ass…to grow up.
I have memories of being told I’m too messy, too lazy, too absentminded, too emotional.
I have the distinct memory of my mother’s words to me when I was 34 and I told her I was pregnant with daughter number 3 (the one in the picture above):
“You’re kidding right?” says my mother.
“No, we really are pregnant again” I say.
“Well, you’re stupid if that’s true” she said. (yes, she really did)
It turns out that daughter number three blessed me in many ways. She’s my giggler, my optimistic, outgoing child (she can make friends in an instant), my silly little bird, and my only baby not fussy as an infant. She nursed for 3 years and 1 month, and restored my broken heart after having very little success with nursing daughters 1 and 2.
I’m 39 years old and it still hurts to remember. No, more than that…it made me very angry that it affected my connection to my children for a while and confused what was important for me in this time in my life.