In the picture – Maki, Aunt Mary and Siena
Ever wondered what angels look like? You would probably have seen them without realizing it.
Deon and I had the good fortune of meeting one, actually, two angels when our baby, Siena was born. One of them was undisputably, Siena, to say the least. The other one came a few days after Deon was discharged from the hospital.
Her name was Aunt Mary. She is a professional nanny – her job title is ‘confinement lady’ in this part of the world, whose sole duty is to take care of the much deserved needs of the new mother. (For 30 days, new mothers are ‘confined’ in a home where there’s no eating of junk food, no washing of hair, no sex – it’s been 63 ½ days, [not counting!])
The first couple of days as new parents were a testing period. We had to learn very quickly how to be a mum and dad; breast-feeding, bottle-feeding, changing diapers and Siena’s 101 ever-changing patterns through trial and error. In the process, we also learned about ourselves.
Without a dash of exageration, we were in a complete mess.
Aunt Mary came 2 days later to restore our life into order. The first instruction she gave was for her to take over Siena during the night, so we could have a good night sleep. Many of you would think that leaving your baby to a complete stranger is a cruel thing to do. It was a rather painful decision at first but our fatigue gave us in to the irresistible proposition. That night, Deon and I had the best sleep we had in a long, long time.
The two weeks with Aunt Mary came as quickly as it ended. During then, she taught us many valuable lessons in parenting as well as in life. Aunt Mary laughed at even the most mediocre jokes on TV. Perhaps the secret to happiness in life is as simple as laughing without any restrains. Among all things, Maki’s mischiefs seemed to make Aunt Mary laugh the hardest.
For two weeks, our house was invigorated with the unending melody of Siena’s cries, Aunt Mary’ laughter and Maki’s pointless barks at the pigeon outside the window.
The way Aunt Mary spoke to Siena was as if she was absolutely convinced the baby truly understands. We would not have been surprised if Siena had answered her back in the conversation.
Aunt Mary’s positive energy and incredulous work ethic redefined for me, the true meaning of the word; professional – it has nothing to do with your job title at all. Aunt Mary would wake up as early as 5am after taking care of Siena through the night. By 8am, she would have done all the cleaning and put breakfast on the table for Deon and myself. At 55 years old, her energy level puts my stamina to shame. I am still drooling over the scrumptious pork chop and spring rolls that she meticulously prepared.
We believe the bible when it promised “not to give us more than we could handle”. Perhaps that was why God sent forward Aunt Mary to our rescue when we needed her most. Angels come in all shape and sizes. Have you seen yours lately?