It was the first night we brought Sophie home. All of us were crowded into the little, 100 year old adobe house in Cottonwood Canyon. I was desperate to prove myself a 'good' mother, but completely at a loss as to how to get my baby to stop crying. And boy, was she crying. Her newborn wails filled the rooms and echoed pitifully through the windows we'd cracked against the February stuffiness. She didn't want to eat. She was clean. And none of the books or blogs I'd read while pregnant offered any help for this situation.
I had surrendered the baby in despair to the grandparents, and laid down in the bedroom to gather the scattered pieces of myself. And then, suddenly, Sophie's crying stopped. The entire world held its breath for a few heartbeats. I tentatively poked my head around the door of the living room to investigate.
There my mom was, sitting in our old leather chair, with my daughter draped tummy-side-down across her knees. Mom had her hand on Sophie's back, and was slowly smoothing her soft skin back and forth. She looked up.
"I figured it out! She has gas. Poor thing.' And went back to her ministrations.
That's my mom. Capable, practical, always useful. She pinpoints a problem and quietly works out its solution while the rest of us are throwing our hands up in despair.
And now, when Sophie comes to me in her distress, I look at her round face and see my mother in her eyes. I only hope I can live up to it.
I love you, Mom. Happy Birthday!