Here she is, my pride and joy at six months. This picture was taken December 25th, 2009, her very first Christmas. We celebrated her sixth month in the world just two days before I took this picture. I remember finding out that she was coming into the world…
First year student pregnancy stats where not on my mind at the time and I never really bothered to find out what they were, but I did make the list, formed one of the numbers, and I was scared shit-less!
I can still feel her first kicks in my belly. Her phantom self remains nestled in womb still. And her painful struggle to break through the confines of my pelvic bone linger still in my mind. She was so tiny. Her smell, her fresh from the baby box smell is something I’ll never forget to remember. I had those moments with her, and I’ve had many more but I have missed so many firsts. My heart breaks at the thought.
My three year old dread locked princess taking a mirror image of herself on our laptop.
Just three days shy of the anniversary of her first month in the world, I had to leave her with my mum. The second semester of university had begun and I had to complete my studies (for her, I kept telling myself so I could justify my leaving my infant behind). Because WSU (Walter Sisulu University) was two to three hours away from home I’d travel home every second weekend so I could see her… So she could never forget my smell, my voice, my eyes and my love for her.
The most difficult thing any loving mother could ever do is leave her cub behind. Granted, she was with my mum, and I trust no one other than my mum with the great responsibility of loving my child. I still felt a huge amount of guilt for leaving her.
I missed seeing her, being there to celebrate the huge achievements of her crawling for the first time, walking for the first time, saying her first word, seeing her first tooth peep through her swollen baby gums, her first day at play school, and now I’ve missed seeing her off for her first day in Grade R… In her big girl school uniform.
“I’m in Grade R now Makhulu (grandmother in isiXhosa). Don’t hold my hand, I’m a big girl,” I was told she said as she proudly went to place her school bag where all the other kids place theirs. Mum will send a picture of my, now not so little, little girl in her big girl uniform.
Sad as I may be for missing it, she has the pleasure of experiencing these firsts. So many children never see age six and mine is four and half now. I’m grateful, so proud. And the best bit is, unlike me at her age, she has her Makhulu to love, rejoice with and love her through all the times I’m away.
Baby girl and her Makhulu