Love Song for a Fifth Baby
Note: I wrote this when my fifth child was an infant, and I came across it the other day. Mothers of large families often get criticism, and some people wonder how you spread your love among a number of children. An elderly neighbour once told me ‘babies always bring love with them’. Your children will not remember how hard you cleaned the floors or how many times you tidied the toys, but they will carry your love forever.
The dishes are piling up in the sink
and my son is annoying the cat,
The state of my bathroom I hardly dare think
and nothing much new in all that.
For weeks I’ve been tardy with housework;
no denying it, not even maybe
I’m happily, blissfully, wonderfully taken
up with enjoying my baby.
Tomorrow will do for the washing
The cobwebs will wait til next year
Bother the muddle, I just want to cuddle
For he grows ever faster, I fear.
I have older ones, sure, and I love them
I have been through all this before –
But now that I know what I’m doing,
I find I’m enjoying it more.
There’s an elephant under the ironing
A nose to be wiped at my knee,
As one not-so-tall draws a frieze on my wall
I try to plan something for tea.
Who cares about dustpans and dinners,
Blue loos, matching shoes and the rest?
My sweet love affair with my infant
Is causing the most interest.
I am sure when I get to my heaven
Dust and odd socks won’t lie round in heaps
And my angel will ask the Father of Time
To give me a baby for keeps!
Carmel O’Brien 1982
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Original and individual reflections by Carmel O’Brien. Learn, laugh, enjoy.