February 19, 2008

A Walk With Harper

Yesterday I fired up the stroller and Harper and I went for a wee walk about the burbs. I tucked him up in his cave with a blanket and hat and within seconds he was asleep, there must be something about being jostled about in a dark space that he likes, something womb-like perhaps. We walked. I haven't quite recovered fully from Harper's entrance into the world, so really we ambled. We moseyed. We strolled. In the weeks leading up to his birth, the Postie would drag me out for a walk around our neighbourhood, discovering little spaces and gardens and views over the gullies and hills. He would walk in tiny little steps to give the impression that we weren't going at a snail's pace. Sometimes on the way back we'd swing by the dairy and get marshmallows for hot chocolate. We'd inspect people's gardens and paintwork and peek in the windows of houses for sale. Clouds would tear over the hills, chopped up by the wind turbine, while it stayed clear over our heads. Sometimes tui sang in trees.
Yesterday walking with Harper, I saw my future. I saw kids having tennis lessons at the local club, saw parents parked outside the community hall waiting for classes to end, saw parents picking up their kids from the local school. I saw kids playing softball in t-shirts and shorts, barefeet on brown grass, just like when I grew up. I saw my mumsy haircut reflected in the windows of a landcruiser parked on the footpath that I had to go off-road to get around.
Later the Postie put Harper under his play gym and we sat just staring at him for a little while.
I used to look after my nephew, the most excellent Sweeney, and walk around town with him in his stroller before pushing him up the hill to our old flat. I used to feel like some sort of wannabe mother feeding him in cafes and doing those things that mothers do. I caught a glimpse of myself yesterday and saw that person again, only this time, I'm not an imposter at all. Still, I can't shake the feeling that Harper has been lent to me by someone, that I'm not his mum but just a full-time babysitter who happens to think he's extremely awesome.


noizy said...

heh. nice.

Kimberlee + Lies said...

oh I love your new mom thoughts. someday I may have some of those :)

by the way, harper is a rockin fantastic name!

I may just steal it

Nikki (Mother of the Devil Child) said...

You are most definitely a mama. A rockin' one too! Go hang out in baby changing rooms - the comradeship in there is freaking amazing. I think that was the first time I really felt part of 'the Club' :)

Anonymous said...

What a cool thing to be able to do now you're a fully fledged Mum:) Can't wait to see how much the wee man has grown by the 4th. I'll chat with him then:)
Aunty Elizabeth and Uncle Nigel

Anonymous said...

Great "raconteursing" Kimberley - -
sounds like aunt Elizabeth and uncle Nige will be round for tea on the 4th - does that mean we,ll need 2 meat pies ??
Posties mum xxx

Lies said...

Ooooh it's little Harper!!!
Yeh I remember the staring at...
the wonderful amazing dumbfounding touching staring at!

Enjoy sweet ma!
X Lies

Sally Anne said...

Such a beautiful baby, and a wonderful piece of writing, thank you for sharing this very special time in your life right now.

Nicki Natter said...

I get exactly the same feeling sometimes that I am actually the babysitter and that the real mum will be here any moment to pick Beth up! Crazy!