Sunday, September 11, 2022

Pretty in Pink- Sweet Layla Rose

When I brought my third son Peter home from the hospital, my mom so generously came to help me as she had done in years prior when I brought home my #1 and #2 sons, Robert and Patrick. I watched as she lovingly changed Peter’s diaper and searched for something soft and cozy to dress him in.  She reached for a pink kimono that I had received as a gift for my first born in the days when you didn’t know whether you were having a girl or a boy.  As she pulled his little arms through the sleeves and swaddled him close to her she said to me “Let’s pretend”.

I am the last born of six children and I have five brothers. I, in turn, married a man who was one of three sons- and in quick step produced three sons of my own.  I have been blessed with two wonderfully rambunctious grandsons, Boe and Bear.  The numbers don’t lie.  My mother and I have always been surrounded by male energy on the daily.

I assumed the “pretending” was her way of saying that she wished I had had a girl. It stung for a moment. But I understand more now. And I can appreciate how excited she must have been when after five sons she finally got to dress baby #6 in sugar and spice and everything pink.

I understand that this gender heavy blog may be offensive to some people.  But in my 65 years, I have experienced the yin and yang of life, the masculine and feminine energies that are exquisitely different.  And I would like to bear witness to them.

Last Friday night I had the opportunity to babysit my new granddaughter, Layla Rose. My son Patrick and his wife Nazaneen were celebrating their third wedding anniversary- finally getting out from under new baby chaos to have some valuable couple time.

The intoxicating scents of baby spit up and breast milk poop took me back to those early years of mothering. (The only thing missing was the acrid smell of desitin- thank goodness.) Layla loves lying on her changing table so I took advantage of the moment to sing to her and tell her a story about a Boa Constrictor. She listened intently.

I opened the dresser drawer to find something soft and cozy to dress her in. I instinctively reached for a pink kimono. As I pulled her little arms through the sleeves and swaddled her close to me I felt my mother’s nurturing arms around me and her hands softly on top of mine.  Both of us gazed into little Layla’s eyes, welcoming her into the world of feminine energy and quietly baptizing her with love from all the mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers in her family tree, as well as all women through time who have nurtured and loved and provided a safe landing place for others.

The three of us had a moment.

My mother died at 61 years of age- a month after I turned 30.  In the drawer of my dining room sideboard I have two precious cards from women who were my mother’s contemporaries.

The note from “Anne” reads- “Rosemarie, you will grieve and pray for your beloved mother and eventually you will realize she is immortalized and always near in your memories of love.”

Such a timely message.

When my mother died I missed her feminine energy so very much. I felt adrift in a world of men. (I know.. that sounds dramatic.) I have since then forgiven her for leaving me so early in life. And I have also forgiven her for wanting to “pretend” with my sweet #3 son.

Can I be so bold as to say that I know a lot about men? My experience with being outnumbered most of my life has been more than valuable and I wouldn’t trade any of it for all the sisters and daughters in the world!  My five brothers have always been my combined fortress and protection; as well as my antagonists, making me a strong and robust woman!  (I was told once that I am a force to be reckoned with! 😮 My three sons, Robert, Patrick and Peter, have taught me significant lessons about being a woman and a boy mom. (You should see me play three flies up!) My grandsons, Boe and Bear, keep me literally on my toes, allowing me lots of aerobic activity and little boy sweet kisses! (There’s nothing like a sticky kiss from a little man!)

And now my granddaughter Layla…  Sugar and spice and everything nice.

Thank you for bringing it all full circle.

You are truly a special messenger of love and delight-

and a gift of feminine energy for all of us.


10 Responses

  1. Hi Onehipdiva!
    I really enjoyed this with my morning coffee! 20 months ago, our Amy and her husband Patrick brought into the world little Olive Mabel Noonan! Since I had to wait to and actual grandpa age (69) for our first grand child, it makes it particularly sweet to hold our little Olive, who is also so pretty in pink!
    Miss you all! Phil

    • Hi Phil, So kind of you to read my blog and comment! I have seen pictures of Amy and Patrick and little Olive Mabel (on facebook)! So adorable!
      You and Carol must be so excited. I hope we see you soon!

  2. Congratulations on your beautiful granddaughter! A tiny little girl among all the boys! My dad was the only boy of 7. He had six sisters. He passed away in August of 21, and my sister and I held his memorial service and interment in his hometown of Jonesboro, Arkansas, last summer. Listening to my aunts talk about him was such a gift. He was a loving, gentle, and joyful man who had been very much the same as a boy. Layla, even if she remains the only girl, will be blessed by her family in the same way. I wish you joy-filled days ahead and every blessing for this precious little one.

    • Thank you, Kimberly. Wow! Your dad was the only boy of 7? That had to be a challenge. I love that the aunties were talking so sweetly at his interment. xo

  3. I don’t see how anyone could find this post offensive. It is written with love, experience and joy. When I found out that Jennifer was having a boy, I was nervous. My dad died when I was 12, and I have no brothers. Ken was pretty much the only male in my life. So I worried about what I would do with a grandson. Silly me! He has brought so much love and joy and activity into my life. I now believe that nurture is not the primary personality creator. Reece is such a boy! And I wouldn’t change him for anything. Fortunately, I have my granddaughter Lillian, so I can knit cute girly things for her. And sew her dresses and scrunchies. We are both lucky to have grandsons and granddaughters.

    • Thank you for your comments, Sandra. I didn’t know your dad died when you were only 12. That must have been very difficult. Yes- I believe we are two lucky grammas!

  4. hello again Ro

    Such a. Lively and heart warming entry , from you…as I too embrace memories of my recently deveas d mom……..miss her daily!
    but , I know , like you , our memories are OUR blessing!

    Hope you are well…..


    • Hi Nancy, Yes- I saw on FB that your mom passed away. I’m so sorry about that. Thanks for reading and commenting! xo Peace

  5. Oh my heart❤️I love this so. So beautifully written Rose. Welcome baby girl Layla! Just what Sitti needed

    • Ah.. thank you, Erin! So sweet of you to comment! Hope you are well and I love seeing your three little darlings on FB!

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