There is something particularly attractive about the way Miranda fed her baby. Like most of the mothers, she breastfed Leelou. The feel of a mother’s touch, and above all of the smell the child so yearned as it permeated over the body, penetrated to the core of my being. I had the good fortune to spend a quiet morning for the first time with these two belles dames on the ninth day of Lunar New Year.
My participation in MH1045 — a regular Sunday reading group — has brought me in contact with Miranda, the major designer of the Parish Centre and the Parish website. Miranda has the charisma of drawing people together. She possesses a loveliness all her own, whether appearing in our regular study group, or sharing her miraculous discovery on the Facebook.
I rarely have tête-à-tête with Miranda, but ever since she started giving us the most instant coverage of her delivery on the apps, I felt like I need to know her more. I was convinced it was the joy of witnessing a newborn and the presence of God that evoked from me this idea of visit.
An awesome aspect of a mother is the endless energy she exudes. Miranda said she hardly slept the night before. Leelou woke her up and called for breastfeeding. It is never a once-and-for-all task, but a continuous and frequent action that requires the most delicate and thoughtful attention of a mother. As Miranda spoke, her eyes radiated, regardless of the fact that she might have only an hour or two of sleep the night before.
She put the baby in my arms. There was an indescribable gentleness and a delicacy about this 20-day-old old Sino-French infant. Her mother described her as God’s masterpiece. For the past ten months, Leelou was staying in her mother’s womb. They were physically and spiritually united as one, yet the moment this child of hers arrived in her arms, the impact of such first encounter was simply incommunicable. It was nothing but a mystical enlightenment. As a spiritual writer puts it, “There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical.”
Leelou kept her eyes closed most of the time. “I just love gazing at her,” Miranda said sweetly. A warm tone of voice, an affectionate gaze – both are interpreted as the most effective nonverbal communication, and are among the many signals that form the universal language of love. Love per se is a mystery, a revelation, and an inspiration. The more I watched them, the more I felt the love of God hovering over them.
Like most mothers, Miranda was eager to know who the child took after. “Her eyes are so big and her eyelashes are so long!” Miranda smiled complacently. I was not amazed at the way she watched her child. The percentage of resemblance has always been a favorite item in every parent’s conversation. Isn’t it great if she’s got my nose or eyes or ears? We long to have that union with our children no matter how old they are. Some choose to emulate their children, some achieve this through heredity and some invest in them their ideas, ambitions and values. Andrea Dworkin, a feminist critic captured this just too well: “A mother loves to watch her son, who came from her flesh, and whose life was sustained by her work and devotion, embody her in the world.” Thanks to Miranda, her tender and loving gaze showed me more why our Heavenly Father desires to see us look at and look like Him.
I was a rare guest in Miranda’s house, but felt greatly welcomed despite the fact that this visit might disturb the schedule of a new mother. She surprised me with her marvelous management skill: multitasking. On the one hand, she was busily attending to Leelou’s needs like changing diapers, breastfeeding her and whispering to her. On the other hand, she kept me occupied with the highlights of her delivery in the hospital and thoughts on raising children.
Mothers are great. What a privilege to have met one here! Elle s’appelle Miranda.