Well, baby Garfield is 6 weeks old today, and I can hardly believe that much time has gone by since his birth. Mothers know that this is a milestone, since the post-partum period is now officially over. (According to the medical world, that is.) The "babymoon" is coming to an end.
If I were a career girl, my employers would be demanding me back in their clutches 'bout now, expecting me to leave this precious little boy that I'm just getting to know in someone else's care. The thought of it just breaks my heart-- not because I could ever leave one so tiny, but because I know there are mommies all over doing it every day, thinking that it's normal for their heart to be torn in two. After all, what would we do without that second income? (Of course I realize there are situations that necessitate mothers working, but that's a whole other topic.)
I'll probably post more thoughts on this subject in the near future, but for now, I'll leave you with this poem by G.K. Chesterton. When I first heard it, I thought the mother had died at first. Then I realized the true theme of the poem, but it left me with no less empty a feeling. Keep in mind, this was written in 1919:
"For the Creche"
I remember my mother, the day that we met,
A thing I shall never entirely forget;
And I toy with the fancy that, young as I am,
I should know her again if we met in a tram.
But mother is happy in turning a crank
That increases the balance at somebody's bank;
And I feel satisfaction that mother is free
From the sinister task of attending to me.
They have brightened our room, that is spacious and cool,
With diagrams used in the Idiot School,
And Books for the Blind that will teach us to see;
But mother is happy, for mother is free.
For mother is dancing up forty-eight floors.
For love of the Leeds International Stores,
And the flame of that faith might perhaps have grown cold,
With the care of a baby of seven weeks old.
For mother is happy in greasing a wheel
For somebody else, who is cornering Steel;
And though our one meeting was not very long,
She took the occasion to sing me this song:
'O, hush thee, my baby, the time will soon come
When thy sleep will be broken with hooting and hum;
There are handles want turning and turning all day,
And knobs to be pressed in the usual way;
O, hush thee, my baby, take rest while I croon,
For Progress comes early, and Freedom too soon.'