My third (and final) born is testing me these days. I think some of it is attributable to her age; she's two. Some of we can plan on her birth order; you gotta scream and demand a lot to be heard when you have two older siblings. The secretary at church says the rest of it is her name; with a name like Margaret of course she'd end up strong. Needless to say she and I have had our moments over the last few weeks which culminated one morning this week with 90 straight minutes of screaming because I wouldn't let her eat Sour Patch Kids for breakfast. I was never happier to walk into daycare than I was that day.
But for all the patience she has been sucking right out of me, we have had some really sweet bedtimes. I totally think she's playing me (and it's working for her), but in our little bedtime routine in the rocking chair in her room, the wives' tales about her special birth are starting to come true.
Margaret was born with a caul, a veil of tissue over her face and body. It wasn't at all life threatening or even worrisome. Essentially, she came through the birth canal still inside the womb of water that held her, and it wasn't until she was delivered that the emergency room doctor who (barely) caught her wiped the tissue away from her face. It was pretty awesome to watch. I didn't know it was anything special at the time, but when I told the story to others I learned about all sorts of traditional beliefs about this kind of birth. Some say that babies born in the caul are destined for greatness, others say they will be seers, prophetic, that they carry innate wisdom and the ability to protect.
I've started a new little ritual when rocking with Margaret at night. I've been making the sign of the cross on her forehead three times, saying with each one, "God your Father/Mother loves you (I alternate the parent each night), Jesus your brother saves you, the Spirit your friend leads you." The first night when I finished she looked up at me and said, "I love them all three together." Tonight she said, "They all three love you, Mommy."
What a blessing. What wisdom. What joy to be her mother.