17 April 2015

Published April 15, 2015 by rochellewisoff

Another Hightway

Friday Fictioneers Farm Path

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The next photo is the PHOTO PROMPT. There’s a lot to see. Does it ignite a story for you. Tell us in a hundred words or less. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

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Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 100

MOTHER GOOSE

            My doctor called it postpartum depression and assured me it was normal, but I knew better. I resented my son Daniel for what he was not. I wanted sugar and spice. Instead I got snips and snails.     

            One night, after putting the baby to bed, I turned on the television and came across a promotion for flame retardant pajamas. Graphic images of once handsome children, burned and scarred beyond recognition, seared through me.

            “What’s wrong with me?” I bolted from the sofa to the nursery, gathered Daniel into my arms, inhaled his sweetness and whispered, “I love puppy dog tails.”

 

Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Original Artwork © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

133 comments on “17 April 2015

  • Interesting and candid. And beautifully written. My admiration is equally shared between the story and the lovely drawing. Doubly talented Rochelle, you’re very lucky.

    Like

    • Dear Sandra,

      Dare I confess now, so early in the comment section? I did the first draft of this sketch at a ladies meeting. My son fell asleep just like that, bottle in mouth and pinkie in his shoelace. I scowled menacingly at anyone who would dare to disturb him until I was through drawing. We artists are a touchy lot. 😉
      I’m pleased you liked both and story and drawing.
      Sometimes I feel lucky and other times…

      Thank you for a doubly nice comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Doug,

      I wonder what my sons would say to your comment. 😉 I’m lucky to have given birth to such a talented trio. They’re pretty amazing individuals. I often say I had once of each.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

      • Oh yes! My firstborn was a boy and I wanted a girl so badly. Of course, I am thankful for him and I love him dearly. He was born before we could find out prior to their birth what their gender is.

        Like

        • Same here, Joy. There’s a lot of fact in this story. 😉 My son was the 7th grandson on my husband’s side. Everyone wanted a girl, most of all me. For nine months I thought of nothing else but how sweet my little girl would be. Bottle feeding didn’t promote bonding either. Of course, my next two children were boys. In retrospect, I’m glad it turned out that way.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I completely understand. My son is the only grandson in my family and in his father’s family. I wanted a girl. I have two younger brothers and I wanted a little sister so badly. I guess that carried over to my choice of gender in my child. He, of course, turned out to be a blessing, and my next child was a girl. I do understand how much harder it is to bond with a child when you choose to bottle feed rather than breast feed. My huge mistake with my son is I chose to bottle feed because I knew nothing about breast feeding and didn’t know anyone who could teach me and encourage me regarding it.

            Like

    • Dear Rosey,

      We think that as women we should be mothers, that we’ll fall in love with our child the minute we meet him or her. Unfortunately, it’s not so for everyone. I’m glad you could empathize.

      Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Great story, Rochelle. Both boys and girls have special ways that warm a mother’s heart. My mother (who raised a boy first) used to say she loved little boys because they were so innocent. I also found that they will tell you exactly what they think. No “beating around the bush.” 😀 If you don’t want to know, don’t ask a little boy. Well written as always. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

  • You did the drawing too!? My goodness you’re talented! This is a beautiful story and brought a tear to my eye. All through my pregnancy I thought I was having a girl (I never found out officially) then the day my son was born I was truly surprised. But boys certainly grow on you and now I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Like

    • Dear Jessie,

      Yes, the drawing, too. That’s always been a part of me, the writing sort of took me by surprise later in life.

      When I had my children there as no such thing as finding out gender ahead of time. Everyone knew at the same time…when he or she made an appearance 😉

      Thank you for the lovely compliments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Nothing like graphic images to bring us back to earth! Motherhood is not all smiles and kisses and you’ve shown that beautifully. I, too, had three boys and wouldn’t have it any other way. Was/is quite a different household than the one I was brought up in with just girls!

    You are one talented lady! What a beautiful drawing too!

    Like

    • Dear Dale,

      It as an awakening for this mother. ;). It was an emotional evening I’ve never forgotten. Here I was bemoaning my “misfortune” when I’d been given a healthy, beautiful son. He’s a handsome, talented young man now.

      I read a book by a mother of sons when mine were children. She said that there as a special place in heaven for mothers of three boys. I’ll be seeing you there.

      Thank you for sharing your own experience and the lovely compliments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Shalom,

      Liked by 1 person

  • I gotta say that the ‘sudden realisation of maternal instinct’ was not where I thought you were going with this story… mayhap there’s been too many stories of postpartum depression recently, but I was sure you were going to a dark place here.

    I’m really glad you didn’t – I like the pleasant surprise and I think this works well.

    Having one of each, the amount of sugar in little girls is severely overstated… 🙂
    Cheers
    KT

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear KT,

      I just didn’t have the heart to kill anyone off this week. I did enough of that in my novel 😉

      In looking back, I’m glad I had boys. Mine are all emotional, sensitive artistic types. I’d hate to have had estrogen added to the mix.

      Thank you for your comments and best wishes with your sugar and spice.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle.

    I was a little nervous with the burning building as to what might happen, but instead got a wonderful loving mother. I glad love triumphed.

    Nice drawing. I don’t blame you for not wanting him disturbed.

    Blessings,
    Phyllis

    Like

  • A friend had two boys. With the first one, she was unable to breast feed directly. So the father had the chance to do a lot of the bottle feeding. My friend was able to breast feed her second son.
    The way they saw it: first son = dad; second son = mom. Both got a chance to bond with each child. A special relationship that created 2 exceptional boys.

    Like

    • Dear Phylor,

      I love the way my little flash is bringing out the mommy stories. 😀

      The mother in my story, ie me, never got her sugar and spice but she learned to have a special appreciation for puppy dog tails…three times.

      Thank you for your comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Dear Rochelle,
    I have little to add to the comments save a reiteration of Lore’s “hardcore honesty.” That honesty makes your story sing.

    So glad you included the sketch. I remember seeing this one years ago, and I’m glad you chose to share it. It fits the story well and tells much of yours beyond the truth in this week’s flash.

    Peace,
    Marie Gail

    Like

    • Dear Marie Gail,

      They say confession is good for the soul, right?

      I really had a wrestling match with this story. I knew what I wanted to say but had trouble gathering thoughts and articulating them.

      Thanks for your comments…they made me sing. 😉

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • As a mother of two boys – who was praying for ‘Sugar and Spice’ the second time – I can relate to this story. The disappointment evaporated in a minute when the puppy dog tail wagged 🙂 Sweet story!

    Like

    • Dear Tracey,

      You’re welcome. Putting the baby in a burning house never crossed my mind.

      I think every mother, whether she admits it or not, understands the feelings. 😉 I remember them well. I tend to be moody and PPD nearly ate me alive.

      Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle

    I remember all too well in my psychiatric nursing days, spending hours working one-to-one with mothers suffering from post-partum depression. Of course this is at the extreme end of the scale, as many mothers have difficulty bonding with their newborns — especially following a prolonged delivery or because the baby is a difficult feeder. The trouble is, there’s this expectation of how you should feel — a perfect mother -v- perfect baby ideal — and if you don’t fit that image, this added sense of failure and resentment creeps in.

    Your very honest story says it all, but I am so glad the bonding happened in the end.

    Have you ever read “The Fifth Child” by Doris Lessing? It’s a brilliant novel about a mother who has 4 perfect children but her 5th one, a boy, is an absolute nightmare even in the womb!

    All best wishes
    Sarah

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sarah,

      This story is as honest as it can be, because the only thing that’s fiction is the baby’s name. 😉 In those days…some forty years ago, if you weren’t breast feeding the hospital didn’t let you even hold your baby for twenty-four hours. (One of the reasons I breastfed the next two boys). He had colic besides and always smelled of regurgitated formula. I truly resented him. That night when I saw that TV special I fell apart. The sight of my beautiful sleeping baby jolted me back to reality. Boy or girl no longer mattered.

      Thank you for sharing your own experience. I love it when my story inspires others to share their own.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • A sweet story that rang two bells in my memory – being disappointed that my second baby was also a girl, and suffering from postnatal depression after my son was born. Fortunately I fell in love quickly with my second daughter, and recovered with help from the depression. Both memories help me to understand others.

    Like

    • Dear Liz,

      As you can gather from my story, it took me slightly longer to fall in love with my first son. It seems that all the mothers in this group can relate. I’m happy to say that I did fall head over heels in love with my boy. He was and still is one of the lights of my life.

      Thank you for commenting and sharing your own experience.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Great story, Rochelle! After two boys, I was convinced we didn’t make girls. Imagine my surprise when we learned #3 would be a girl! I wasn’t sure what kind of “girl mom” I would be. The girl and I bonded over whooping cough and broken ribs while I was pregnant, though. I made a mental pact with her – I’d get healthy, and she’d stay healthy! Thankfully, we each kept our part of the bargain!

    Like

    • Dear Lisa,

      I’m glad you were able to get healthy. 😉

      I’m still convinced that we don’t make girls, although one of my sons did.

      Thank you for commenting on my story and sharing your experience. I’m loving the other mommy stories.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • This is a very taboo subject, for women are supposed to have an instant connection with their child, but sometimes, that is not always the case.
    A well written story and the drawing is lovely too!

    Like

    • Dear Francesca,

      This story was actually a bit of a surprise to my husband. After forty-two years, he had no idea how I felt. At the time there was a lot of pressure from both sides of the family to produce a granddaughter. As if we had control over that?

      Thank you for your compliments on both counts.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Looks like the shock of those images cured her depression. Maybe she wanted a girl, but he’s still her child. Glad she shook off her woes in the end. A fine story, Rochelle! 🙂

    Like

  • I never had such aspirations for my son, but even without a gender disappointment, I’m not sure there are many mothers who can’t relate to the extreme emotions – ready to drown them one minute mother bear protective the next. Bonding takes time; there’s only so much falling in love you can do with the weird internal wrigglings of a baby before he arrives!

    Liked by 1 person

  • I have three girls, although number three was supposed to be a boy lol Life has a magical way of making you appreciate what you have in life. All three of my beautiful girls were born with a genetic condition, with it came a lot of soul searching and acceptance. A fantastic piece of writing Rochelle that highlights most new mums plight. 🙂
    Hugs
    Heidi

    Like

    • Dear David,

      Things like this have a way of working out, don’t they? On the other hand, as I’ve seen in the news it’s not always the case.

      I’m so pleased that you picked up on my title. That’s exactly what I meant. 😀

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Hi Rochelle! Your drawing attracted me first. Its superb. You depicted innocence of a child beautifully. Story, as usual beautiful , honest confession from a mother, it happens sometimes . I think bonding is instant if you are wishing for a healthy child, boy or girl.

    Like

    • Dear Indira,

      Your words, as always, are sweet and complimentary. Alas, bonding instantly, isn’t always the case. The story I wrote this week is true. I didn’t bond instantly with my first son. Bonding did come eventually. That night, though, was certainly a wake up call. My son was beautiful and healthy, what more could I ask for?

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Mother baby bonding is difficult especially when a baby has colic for nine months – still we got there in the end. I always said I loved my baby but didn’t like her very much – 30 years later we are deeply bonded, best friends.

    Like

  • Lovely story, Rochelle. I know it does take some new mothers a while to love their offspring. Lack of sleep and and multiple unaccustomed pressures don’t help. Those awful images certainly made this mother realise just what she’d got.

    Like

    • Dear Millie,

      New motherhood is that time where fantasy fades after the first sleepless night with a colicky baby. At least that was my experience.

      Thank you for your such nice comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • The pain of disappointment seems too much sometimes. When my daughter was teaching in Thailand she had a student who was a “ladyboy”. His mother had not had any girls and so mom and dad decided to raise their youngest son as a girl. Theirs seemed the height of denial too me but I cannot imagine that woman’s heartache.

    Like

  • Out with my baby son and young daughter, my husband and I met a couple who came over with their two little daughters to admire my son and told us they’d wanted a boy as their second child. I both felt for them and felt a bit astonished that they came right out with that to two total strangers – perhaps it was because we were strangers.
    It haunts me a little still – and I feel for that second baby girl who will now be a young woman. Hope they found a way to turn those feelings around, as the mother does in you story – love the way you did that.
    Life is so like that – we do count our blessings in time sometimes.
    Lovely story.
    (PS And finding the shout for breast feeding wonderful – a had a difficult time with my first baby (hated hospital and stayed at home second time around) and feeding her was a great healer.)

    Like

    • Dear MJ,

      I always regretted not breastfeeding my first son. I will always remember my second son’s first smile. It was while he was nursing.

      Thank you for sharing your stories and kind words.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Nice story and so true. Mothers are people too and are not always perfect. Your first reaction is not always your best. There are many cases when you think the love is not there, but deep down it is and it comes to surface.

    Like

    • Dear Jessie,

      It’s hard to deal with disappointment when your hormones are raging and your bum hurts. It was a tough time but it’s far in the past.

      I see you’re also an artist.

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • None of us is perfect, in midst of all that love are moments of extreme parental frustration. Wonderfully written and makes one think about the nature of the bond between a mother and a child.

    Like

    • Dear Dawn,

      It seems this story brought out the mommy stories and I’m loving it. It’s a high compliment when readers see the story rather than the writing (unless the writing’s incredibly bad). It’s hard to believe those days of colic and spit up are so far in the past.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Margaret,

      It’s hard to admit that you didn’t fall in love with your own child. While everyone seems to expect it, it doesn’t happen immediately, does it?

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

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