The cord is cut and the doctor announces over the silence that follows the din: ‘It’s a baby girl/boy.’
After nine months or more of waiting anxiously, your little one and you are two separate entities. Your carefree life changes overnight, if this is your first baby. You have to schedule your needs and wants around this new entrant’s whims. Your days are never the same again, and mostly neither are the nights. You take on this delightful new life with certain ups and downs, misgivings amidst the zillion highs of motherhood – the first smile, the first word, first steps and so on. Every time the baby becomes less dependant, another invisible cord is cut.
Three or four years down the line, your child is ready to go to school. From the moment, he or she held your hand, you have never let go, unless someone you know well and was responsible enough was taking over. For the first time, you let go of those tiny fingers and hand them over to a total stranger. Another cord has been cut.
The first signs of the child turning independant go unnoticed. By now, they are going down to play by themselves, travel by school bus or walk there on their own, go away for several days on school excursions and finally one day they walk out of your home to create their own life. And you never saw that coming, even when you knew from the first moment that it was a given.
So now what? Waiting for them to visit you so that you can relive the old glory – mothering, pampering, fussing and pretending that the invisible cord still exists and binds you? For even when the child is free of that bondage, once a mother, you are bound for life. That in its stead will nurture a new kind of love – a selfless one. And when you gave up your carefree life, you also gave up a part of yourself. For it wasn’t just a little human being you gave birth to. It was a tiny bit of your heart that took on life and went on its separate way.