When Jake, my son, was born I envisaged a small book of poetry that I would write about him, and what he means to me. After all, I've already written some gloriously mushy poetry about my husband that simply oozes with romance and slushy bits, so writing about our precious child would be natural progression from there. Or so I thought!
In my mind I had it all worked out. It would be about postcard size, have a Wedgwood blue cover with a sketch of Jake on the front. The sketch would be inside an oval frame in the centre of the page and around the oval would be embossed white rattles. Inside this frame would be a photo of my little pride and joy, and then pages of poems that I had lovingly composed about my feelings for him. Once the first feverish weeks of sleepless nights and daytime crying settled down, I sat next to his Moses basket one afternoon with my pen poised over my notebook ready to create beautiful timeless pieces of loving maternal poetry. Nothing came. The sacred seconds ticked on and still my pen was motionless. I knew that this afternoon nap afforded such a rare and short time to write so I pondered and started, then scribbled it out. I wondered where my inspiration was.
Then I looked down into the basket and I knew that my muse was as spellbound as I was. Watching the gentle rise and fall of his tiny ribcage, the way his beautiful long eyelashes rested on his soft skin, the reckless way one foot was draped over the side of the basket and one arm protectively draped around Jessie, his "puppy", I felt such emotion building up inside me. My words couldn't begin to describe the feelings I had towards this precious sleeping baby. I know that in the years to come Jake will provide many incidents that will work their way into my writing - both fiction and non-fiction - but for the moment I'm proud enough to confess that this beautiful boy has rendered me speechless as I watch with ever increasing humility the miracle of life before me. And as for the poetry book, well I think that this will have to be written in retrospect, once I am able to control my emotions!