small mother

I was already a mother when I became a mother. Long before I had my son. I just didn’t know it.

I became a mother at three. My mother had tuberculosis when I was born. Luckily she coughed blood a month before, otherwise I would not be here. I was born in a tuberculosis sanatorium, the first baby there in 25 years. My mother said that the staff was hugely excited about a baby. She was drugged to the gills while reading about the French Revolution and hallucinated Marie-Antonette’s head on a pole and the guillotine. She joked that she could never read about the French Revolution again. I was born, she kissed me, and I was swept away so that I would not get tuberculosis.

I was with my father and father’s family and then with my maternal grandparents. I came home to my parents at nine months. Adults kept handing me to other adults. I concluded that they were loving but stupid and couldn’t be trusted for a moment.

My sister was born five days before I turned three. My mother said that I met guests at the door and said, “Come see my baby.” Mine, because these adults don’t understand the needs of a baby, and I want her to feel loved and safe. No one will give my baby away!

Later my mother would tell a story about my sister worrying about Kindergarten. My mother could not reassure her. Neither could my father. I spoke up: “All you learn is colors, numbers and ABC and you already know those. I taught you.” My mother claimed that my sister was instantly reassured. I don’t remember: these are my mother’s stories and she is gone. But I have collected mother daughter pictures and small statues, just a few, all my life. And I wanted to have children. I liked surgery and obstetrics, but I chose family medicine, because I want to have children and to see them and be a mother too.

Health and joy and safety and comfort to all mothers and fathers and children everywhere.

 

Home

This is not a perfect photograph…. and yet, at the same time, it is for me. My daughter was home last week for spring break. She had a haircut and sent her hair to Locks of Love. The background is cluttered with the cupboard open and counter, but her concentration and quiet is a contrast to that. And anyhow, I am biased, right? We love even terrible photos of those we love.

A friend for Mordechai

I drove my daughter back to school in Bellingham on Friday. On the way back I hike at Deception Pass and then stop in Coupeville before going to the ferry. In Coupeville, I found friends for Mordechai, my clinic skeleton. This is a sea lion and there is a whale and a dolphin, all skeletons hanging from the ceiling. I suspect that they are real skeletons and not plastic, as Mordechai is.

My daughter says, “Mordechai was not alive before.”

“I could argue that she was. She is made from plastic, which is made from oil, which is formed over millennia from plants fallen and slowly changing.”

“Ok, you win on that one, mom.”

Doesn’t this sea lion look like she is flying?

 

Panoply

I took this for Photrablogger’s Mundane Monday #79 and then am delighted with Jithin’s post. I love the row of pans, a panoply of pans. Also the breakfast was fabulous. We were the second table occupied on Sunday morning, and many of the pans were in use by the time we finished!

I was in Bellingham just Saturday and Sunday to wish my daughter happy birthday. Who can identify the restaurant?