A Girl to dress in pink, a girl to play dolls with, a girl with whom I could have tea and cake when she grew up, a girl to plan a wedding for one day, a girl who would become my best friend. She was my second baby and with the optimism of a young mother, I believed I was prepared for all the changes and challenges a new baby could bring to the house. I was confident and looked forward to taking my newborn baby home.
After two days at home, I realized that she was crying far more than I could remember my first born ever doing. She would start complaining with her little voice at eight and nothing could stop the increasing pitch of her cries.
When she was 5weeks old, CJ turned three years. I remember decorating the living room for his birthday party, the night before his birthday, with a screaming baby. That night I had to admit to myself, my little girl, was a colic baby! It was a terribly, fearful moment in my life. My sister was a colic baby. I was 5years old when she was born and I could clearly remember the effect my sister’s cries had on my mother. Would I be able to handle this baby?
Many days I just could not take it any longer. I would call the babysitter or a neighbour and just leave her for an hour or so to go and sit on a bench in the park, sobbing in hopelessness. What had happened to my expectations for this little girl? I thought that I must have been doing something wrong, as she did not want me. That was my main concern that she didn’t want me…
Over the following months she developed eczema. At 6 months her body was as raw and red as liver and pus came oozed out of her skin.I visited a homeopath who immediately told me she was allergic to dairy and MSG. These ‘toxins" entered her body through my breastmilk. That whole idea was foreign to me. I was a qualified Dietician and never had anyone ever taught me that the mother had to watch her diet when she breastfed. Only chocolate and coffee could reach the baby through the breastmilk. I immediately stopped drinking milk and eating cheese, ice cream, cream and all processed foods loaded with MSG. As time went by, we also learnt that I had to avoid wheat products. Read more...
Gradually my baby’s condition improved, but the scars were there. The damage was done. I remember looking at my sweet little baby, that didn't cry any more from seven in the morning till seven at night, wishing I could just turn back time and prevent her from crying so much in those early days.
For years I cried out to the Lord, to please restore our relationship, to please wipe out the memories of those first few months! My husband prayed for years, for the restoration of our relationship. And then just before her ninth birthday, it hit me. We had to start doing something together, just the two of us. We needed to spend time together building new memories.
She was now the most beautiful young girl and she wanted to please me with everything she did. It was my greatest desire to love this girl with all my heart. But what could we do, and how were we going to do it with three smaller children and baby number six on the way? One afternoon, while driving home from a mall, pondering on what I could buy her for her ninth birthday, I saw a big advertisement on scrapbooking. I didn’t have an idea what it was, but the advert said, 'The Newest Hobby'! I love to be creative and decided to stop at this “Scrapbook Shop”. And there my journey with my little girl changed and years of prayer were answered. The lady at the Scrapbook Shop was so friendly and helpful and on my girl's 9th birthday we gave her some scrapbooking tools. I also arranged for the two of us to take an introductory course on scrapbooking. So, off we went. Today, almost 3years since we started scrapbooking once a week for 2 hours, we have made the most beautiful pages filled with memories.
I have realized how important it is to let every child know, that we want to spend time with them, that we want to be with them, that we don’t just love them, we also like them. They must experience that they are special.
They are God’s gift to us.
Through our scrapbooking evenings, I’ve sacrificed time, to be with her. The time I’ve invested in these evenings, will reap a harvest that I can’t comprehend now. In the very near future she’s going to be a young woman, and I want to be the one that she trusts with her dreams and fears. I believe these Scrapbooking evenings are going to be the key to her dreams and fears.
“Love is to gently run your hands over someone’s soul, till you find a crack, and then fill that crack with your love, for it to heal.”
Through our Scrapbooking evenings I am able to keep my hand on her heart, ready to fill it with love, whenever she needs it.
I do not miss my Monday nights of scrapbooking with my daughter for anything in the world!