This Mother’s Day can we celebrate maternal instincts as well as mothers? At 37 the closest I’ve got to offspring is Wednesday nights on Ten. I don’t have kids but I have plenty of opportunities to nurture and love.
1. The Gift of a God Daughter
Seven years ago I was given the great privilege of becoming Penelope’s Godmother. I flew to London to welcome her into the world. When we met she was a porcelain-skinned ball of limbs and grins. My bed was the fold-out in the lounge. When I woke from a jetlagged snooze, her Dad placed her tiny frame on my chest. If there’s a greater bliss, I’ve never felt it. I loved her instantly.
In the next few days I helped bathe and change her. Her Mum told me to hold her feet when I changed her nappy, but I figured that was pointless. Turns out, mother really does know best. I ended up with poo everywhere but who cares? In my eyes Penelope could do no wrong.
Today she’s a ballet-loving, book-devouring little genius. “Did you know Xavier starts with X not Z?” Well no Pen, I didn’t. We share giggles and cuddles and our favourite books. I’ve been to her school and the teacher knows my name. I’ve baked cupcakes for her birthday and sent her postcards and presents. She dreams of being my flower girl when/if I get married. Me too.
2. Puppy Love
Sam’s a big, blonde briard – a type of French sheepdog. At six months she was desexed in what turned out to be a painful procedure. She’s my brother’s dog but she stayed with me after the surgery.
My brother lifted her from the car and laid her on a bed I’d prepared. My heart ached as I realised she didn’t even have the strength to lift her head.
We sat together on the floor of the laundry. I cupped my hands and dripped water in them. I raised my hands right to her mouth so her tongue didn’t have too far to travel. She looked at me with gratitude and slowly sipped the water. We stayed that way all night; me watching and waiting and propping her lips to meet my hands when she was ready.
Sam doesn’t need me so much anymore but she loves a good run and a pat. I do a bit of doggy daycare and we have our routines. Somehow I read her little mind when she needs to step outside to do her “business”. It’s the simple ties that bind.