Now, I have never birthed a baby. I’ve had what I consider my own children who I inherited full time when they were 11 and 13 and I love them dearly. I have experienced the joy of having grandchildren because of them. I have had nieces and nephews born up the wahzoo when I was too young to be amazed because I was a “laat lammetjie” which means “late lamb”, born a dozen years after my youngest older sister.
I have come close to feeling like I gave birth to my Wolfsisters’ children, and when Lanie’s water broke to herald the coming of her beloved boychild, I believe I felt it 8000 miles away.
Just today my Kitty’s son and his bride found out they were having a little boy and a joint celebration over three continents ensued. All thrilling for me, to be sure…
…But I think I finally REALLY feel what it’s like to give birth.
This week I unwrapped my first book – a tome – 447 pages, in the works for three long years and 14 years before that as a screenplay.
When War Serenade popped out of the Createspace box looking glossy and gorgeous, no other book has ever looked more beautiful. I swear I felt the joy of giving birth to something special. (OK, so I concede my pain during the debut was less than all the mothers I know…but stay with me awhile…)
I say “something special” not because it will be to you, but it is to me. My hope is that all who read her will in some way, find her special too. Like a child I guess – you make it with love, then as it grows inside you, sometimes it makes you crave strange things, sometimes it makes you hurl your heart out and it often gives you heartburn. You worry it won’t be formed perfectly whilst in the womb, you worry that you will be a good mother and hope that you will never let it down and that it will turn out to be somebody/thing you can be proud of for a lifetime.
Then you give birth and all your worries and all your cares are gone. Because it’s a miracle. Your very own miracle and you will do the best you can to make this little life that’s in your hands, as easy as possible.
But in your heart, you know that it will have its own personality and you can’t protect it from how other people may perceive it.
So it is with War Serenade, my 17 year-long baby, born at last!
She’s in an incubator, you see – getting ready to put her best self forward – she’ll be ready for you all to hold in less than 2 weeks!
So, like a child, I can only hope for the best and brightest life for it. I can only hope that she pleases you, in some small way. I pray that should she disappoint, you will know that I did the best I could with her in hopes of her becoming everything I wished her to be.
Photography by Randy Hudges