a mother’s love

sleeping baby gold

She stood gazing down at this vision of complete contentment – her baby boy’s peaceful, sleeping form. He looked, to her fond eyes, almost edibly gorgeous with his rosebud mouth, little squidgy nose and blond, downy hair framing the gentle curve of his cheeks. Clutched to his chest was his favourite teddy; his arms – even in sleep – wrapping it in a tight embrace with one plump hand clutching at its fluffy foot. And those fingers! Each one with its dimpled knuckle, soft skin and miniature nail seemed a tiny testament to the human ability for perfection.

She was filled with a rush of love and the sudden wild need to scoop him up in her arms, to bury her face in the soft skin of his neck and breath in his baby scent. Her arms ached at the thought.

Behind her, a door slammed and she was jarred suddenly from her reverie. She heard the sound of shoes being kicked off and a moment later a lanky young man strode into the room.

“Alright Mum?” He said, brushing her arm not-unaffectionately as strode past her to the fridge “Just grabbing some lunch… is there any food?” Then, noticing her attention was still fixed on something in her hands, he came and peered over her shoulder: “What have you got there?”

She sighed lightly, shaking herself back into the present: “Yes of course there’s food, darling, unless you and your brother have eaten it all since I last looked… which actually wouldn’t surprise me…” She said with fond exasperation. Then, returning her attention again to what was in her hands, she responded to his other query: “I was just looking at one of your baby photos – I found it in a drawer when I was clearing some things out. It took me back.”

She looked once more at the tiny face in the picture and then up at the distinctly larger one now next to her. She searched his features. Was there a trace of the baby there still? Perhaps in the curve of his lip? The shape of his brow?

She sighed again. He was already turning to move across the room. He was his own person now; always going somewhere, meeting someone or off doing something-or-other. He was a lovely lad and she was proud of him, but sometimes she longed to be the centre of his universe again. These days she felt like merely an orbiting satellite.

She turned to place the photo on a shelf and was surprised to feel a hand on her shoulder.“You’re getting all sentimental again aren’t you?” he said, “Come on, make me a cup of tea and I’ll let you bore me with tales of how cute I used to be!”

He smiled at her and suddenly she saw before her not just the teenager he now was, but the proud ten-year-old who’d won the award at school, the excited six-year-old who’d just got his new bike, the four-year-old dancing wildly round the kitchen table, the toddler running into her arms and, yes, even the baby sleeping contentedly, arms wrapped tightly round his favourite teddy.


A bit of a soppy story from me today! I was looking at my youngest boy this morning (he’s 14 months old now) and thinking how gorgeous he is and how part of me can’t bear the idea of him – or his brothers – getting any older. I just want them to stay my adorable little guys forever! But, of course, they won’t and really I don’t want them to. I love watching them grow up and I hope one day to see them turn into lovely men.

And that’s what inspired me to write this story. I was trying to capture a sense of continuing nature of motherhood and that somehow  – even when they’re huge people with massive feet – they are still and always the tiny life we first created. (I hope – my oldest is only six – but time will tell!)

I wrote it with the baby at my feet (although he is now having a nap) so it’s a bit rushed… oh, and he’s now waking up so I’d better just publish this!

Prose for Thought



12 thoughts on “a mother’s love

  1. Jenny

    Ahhh Maddy this is my absolute favorite prose ever!!!!! I was getting all sentimental and teary reading it. All grown up, so sweet. I never want my kids to grow up I am scared it will all go to fast and I will be alone again and they will be off living their lives. Life goes too fast. Stunning post this week. You are so creative and I could actually picture you standing there holding his picture gazing at it. #prose4t

    1. Maddy Post author

      Oh what a lovely comment Jenny! Thank you so much! I hope my boys grow up to be caring like the lad in this story – I was trying to make be him believable, so loving but not over-the-top sweet. It is hard to imagine them all grown up isn’t it? But hopefully we can both be proud parents in the future and enjoy the next phase of parenthood!

    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Jess. Yes, I can’t imagine any of mine ever making me a cup of tea (kettles and small boys – not a good mix!) but I hope one day that they will!

  2. Judith

    This is wonderful – I often look at my 3 year old and wonder what he will be like when he is no longer dancing around with a cuddly duck under his arm or crying because he can’t get his number stickers off the sheet. And my 18 month old, I suddenly went cold today thinking that one day, she’ll be dating. (NOOOOOOO!!!) Really well written, thanks for sharing!

    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Judith, Glad you liked it! It’s so hard to imagine them all grown up isn’t it? Long may the cuddly-duck dancing continue!

  3. Verily Victoria Vocalises

    I absolutely love this and I am sitting here crying now. I am starting to feel this way more and more about Grace now. I also feel VERY broody and we are trying in vain at the moment so this conjured up lots of emotions for me. Thank you for sharing with Prose for Thought xx


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