Words from a stranger

Something really lovely happened to me earlier. It was a passing comment made in a passing moment and I doubt anyone in my vicinity realised quite how lovely it was. I’m having trouble with one of my hips right now. It’s nothing serious or sinister but it’s quite painful and as a result I’ve started seeing an osteopath. For my first appointment, by a stroke of luck and an even bigger stroke of kindness, my friend Amy was able to mind the girls whilst I hobbled to my appointment. She has two children the same age as mine but had her lovely babysitter with her so somehow having the two toddlers and the two babies was feasible. And very, very kind.

Today I went back but as it was only a short appointment the osteopath said to bring Miss L. (Miss I was at daycare). It turns out the osteopath’s receptionist is more than happy to do a bit of cuddling and playing whilst parents receive treatment. This worked out very well for about fifteen minutes before Miss L started to vocalise some disagreement. The receptionist brought her in to see me and she immediately beamed. After a little play the receptionist went to walk out but Miss L’s face crumpled (and her voicebox nearly broke) so she lay her down next to me instead. I was lying on my side so Miss L lay beside me, perfectly content playing with my hand, whilst the osteopath worked his magic. She started cooing and giggling and doing all those glorious little things happy babies do. The transition from almost hysterical to almost ecstatic was so fast that my osteopath laughed. He remarked that she is obviously very connected to me. That simple sentence nearly stopped my heart. She is and it was plain for even a bystander to see.

Now you might read that and think, “Of course she’s connected to you! You’re her Mum! Everyone knows babies are connected to their mothers!” And that’s true. Everyone knows that except the actual mother because, chances are, she might, from time to time, forget. Quite possibly because she is too busy thinking about whether her baby is eating enough/sleeping properly/ stimulated appropriately/ read to enough/ disadvantaged by her birth order/ neglected because she’s not EVER been a baby yoga class.

Whatever the reason, in amongst the details of daily life with little kids it’s easy to forget the big picture. To overlook things like how connected we actually are to our children or how mind-blowingly special we are to them. To stop and remember that as their parents we are their whole world and just by being we make them and their worlds ok.

They're not things I think about often. On the contrary I often consider whether I make the right decisions, whether I parent effectively, whether I’m fun enough, or sensible enough, or consistent enough. I don’t worry about all these things simply because I’m naturally inclined to be a bit neurotic. I worry, as I’m sure all parents do, because I so much want to be the very best mum I can possibly be. Not because I think there’s a prize at the end (though if there is I’d like it) but because I just want the girls to have the best mum they can. Which is lovely but it’s also tiring.  

I walked away from the osteopath this morning elated. Not only did my hip feel stronger but my heart was actually beating faster and I felt a weight off my shoulders. The unexpected objective words from a stranger stopped me in my tracks and made me realise, in a truly meaningful sense, something quite amazing. To Miss L I really am as good as life gets. Baby yoga or not. First child or fifth. Two books or none. I’m her mum and that’s enough. More than enough. She is connected to me! I can’t even begin to describe how lovely that feels. 

Has a stranger ever made your day?

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Georgie Dent is a reformed lawyer, one-time journalist and newish wife and mother.This piece was originally published on Georgie's blog Not Another Blogging Mother and has been republished with full permission. You can follow Georgie on Twitter here.

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