Four Seasons and the Moon

My daughters sprang from the cycle of the moon in this order: winter, spring, summer, fall. Like the four seasons, each child’s charm is unique unto her. As my winter baby approaches her 12th birthday, her body shifts and sprouts with all the urgency of Vivaldi’s strings. She is growing up; she is blossoming. It is time to talk of cycles and the moon.

A lot is happening to my oldest daughter. She is walking the path of a woman, one step at a time. It is an awkward, beautiful transition between filled-up childhood and brimming adulthood. As I recall, it takes forever and it happens overnight.

My grandmother always said, "A sweater is something a baby needs to wear when her mother is cold." Batty old lady, I used to think. But the moment my daughter was born, I understood what she meant. For nine months, my daughter was a plasmic being that was part of my body, and yet not part of my body. She was not viable, but she was feisty and independent. She readily detached herself from me after nine months of intense togetherness, just as I readily detached from her.

The first thing I did after pushing her out was to eject my part of the attachment, the afterbirth. But then there existed this dependent, perfect, beautiful, horrible thing that needed me every second. Somehow I knew what to do, when she faced hunger or thirst, fatigue or cold, wetness, sickness, or sadness. I could solve all of these things for her, so utterly was I tuned in to her.

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Sojourners Magazine May-June 1997
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