Friday, May 11, 2012

Ties that bind

(I am quite vocal about my dislike of parenthood, so I surprised myself when I found my answer to this question.) My most significant, memory-laden gushingly sentimental object is a little blue plastic clip.

It's no ordinary plastic clip. The little blue clip is an umbilical cord clip. The one they used at the hospital to stop blood from oozing out from my firstborn's body once they cut him off from me, moments after his body became separate from mine, moments after he became his own person. The remnant umbilical cord dried out and fell off along with the clip a few days later, but I've kept the clip, as I will for the rest of my days.

The clip to me is a symbol of letting go. The first of the many heartbreaking times in my life when I will have to let go of my son. It is my first lesson in holding back. So many things and people and situations will claim his share - even pain. And I will have to bite my lip, root my feet, and fetter my heart using all my might to hold myself back; hold myself back from protecting him or showing my love. Love unlike anything I've experienced before. A love so powerful that sometimes it threatens to take over my existence. The most selfless love there can be. A love that can perhaps be born only of giving birth. And a love that is returned by him in all its earnestness - at least for now.

But I know there will come a time when the river of his love will have run its course, thinning down perhaps to a tiny trickle, divided into many streams for many people. There will be a time when I will no more be the woman of his life, the holder of his hand. There will perhaps be a time when he, full of dreams of a new life, goes away.  But I will know, holding the little blue plastic clip in my hand, that he can never be too far. An umbilical cord is never really cut.


@MentalExotica, as she is known on Twitter has been asking people this pertinent question recently: “What is the most significant, memory-laden, gushingly sentimental object currently in your possession?” – Andrew Kaufman. The answers she is collecting in her precious project blog. This post is my partial answer to that question.


durgs said...

Absolutely loved this blog post Urmi, especially now that I'm going to welcome my little one very soon. It struck all the right cords in my heart. Thanks!

Urmi Chanda Vaz said...

Thanks, Durga. You'll have so many of these. Good luck!