As I was inserting a pacifier into my newborn grandson’s mouth, I caught my mother’s hand doing the same in the reflection of the mirror opposite him.
Myriads of thoughts happened in that instant.
But the first one, as I glanced down at my hands, was, Are these my mother’s hands?
Then, Yes they are, in more ways than one.
Hands that were once smooth and unfurrowed, now show creases and blue-veined rumples. Delicate fragility hides the strength they represent, and the hard things they have encountered. From the feather-light stroke on a newborn’s cheek, to the unyielding grip on a defiant teenage girl’s wrist, to the lively bustle of caring for the grown girl’s children.
By the time I leave my daughter’s home in this quaint Manitoba lake-town, I will have been here five weeks. Five weeks of cradling, changing, pacifying, and getting to know newborn twins. Five weeks of cuddling and entertaining their beyond-energetic three-year-old brother. Five weeks of filling in the gaps – those things newborn moms & dads need help with or don’t have time for. Doubly so when the baby is twins. Things like emptying the dishwasher, filling the dishwasher, folding laundry, sterilizing bottles, wiping counters, dressing the preschooler, or running back to the living room to quickly tidy up as we’re all walking out the door for an outing.
Besides the busy-hands type of help, there’s the being alert kind of help. Like understanding the half spoken sentences that trail off into nothingness from a foggy, sleep deprived mom or reminding her that her coffee cup is still on top of the vehicle.
All these things my mother did for me when I was the sleep deprived mom of newborns.
Life has come full circle.
These are the thoughts that flitted across my mind as I caught my mother’s hand reflected in the mirror opposite my grandson.
I am my mother’s reflection
Reflecting back at me
My hand reflecting hers
In the reflection that I see,
Causing me to reflect