I sat in the same place almost a year ago to the day, celebrating my birthday at forty one weeks pregnant, unable to fit any clothes, unable to sit still in a restaurant or a cinema or able to enjoy the usual birthday treats. I sat there with the farmer on a scorching Sunday eating a bag of salty chips watching people come and go like the waves behind me, to-ing and fro-ing in their usual manner. Forty one weeks pregnant and utterly miserable. Have you tried walking the hills people asked in their are-you-sure-you’re-not-just-holding-the-baby-in way! Yes, I walked hills, why on that very hill, the hill to Ballybunion’s Ladies beach, I thought I was going into labour on more than one occasion that very week I’ll have you know. A year ago. Almost to the day.
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What a year it’s been. Everyone takes to motherhood differently you know. I’ve taken to it each time like the only undignified swan of the flock in shallow mucky waters. What an analogy. You see, I start out wanting to be graceful, gliding, swanlike but end up stuck and I’m sure in what is a very tiring situation, covered in mud and squawking as that swan would in the messy post storm pond. Where am I going with this? Beats me, I don’t particularly like swans. And there you have early motherhood for me. Messy, confused, undignified. And the little signets do well enough but it’s taken me on three different occasions almost a year after the birth to pull the mind, body and soul back into some proportion. And yet, it always does in the end you know.
So, there we sat earlier today in the same spot, me and this darling boy as he smiled at me in all his perfection, my gentle, sweet baby. Sitting there on that same hill, under the same brilliant blue sky, a tad cloudier mind you and I saw that steep hill, the year that had past, tides that have come and gone and left me this beauty in their stead and me an utterly transformed woman, yet again. Anthony a year old, me a year older sharing a moment on our hill overlooking the Atlantic under a dramatic blue sky and might I add, gliding.