Blossom Bomb

I have a tree outside my window. Big Nectarine. I watch it from where I sit most of the day. I watch it as the seasons pass. It shades us in summer and shrivels up in winter. And at the end of every winter, I wait. I wait for those buds to burst through. They curl out and stretch to the sun. They sense the warm spring breezes are on their way. When they blossom, it is like fairy floss. Pink. Delicate. Soft. Heralding the sweet fruit to come.

Before he was conceived, I longed for him. Our second child. He was desperately wanted. I thought he would complete me, complete us.

And then he arrived, 16 months ago, bursting through on a cool spring morning at our home. Beautiful blossom. I inhaled all his freshness. He was divine.

Weeks later I looked outside my window. The tree was luscious green and bearing summery fruit. But  inside the window we were descending into a bleak winter. It was dark. A haze of screams and cries that lingered for months and months. My much longed for baby had turned into something I didn’t recognise. Brute strength all twisted up in a mass of pain. My poor boy. My poor baby boy.

I couldn’t keep up. I started to shrivel like that tree. He didn’t sleep during the day. Just cries and whimpers. And hours of screaming. To this day I can’t cope with the sound of a screaming baby. Like nails down a chalkboard. I wince. I have to cover my ears. It brings it all back.

When he was 10 months old he finally napped for the first time in his life. A solid 40 minutes. I thought I was in heaven. I had a cup of tea. I actually started typing at the computer for the first time unhindered by a baby on my lap. And I started dreaming. I wondered if I was on the cusp of a normal life again. Perhaps soon I could move freely around the house? Perhaps I could even cook dinner and do housework like normal mothers?

But it wasn’t that simple. There was a debt. And my body paid it. It took the brunt of it all. All those months of carrying him. Months of holding him as he writhed in my lap. The steep exhaustion of the constant watch. My body was aching and creaking like a rotting ship. I was sinking.

A few months ago someone threw me a lifeline. Slowly my body has gotten stronger. Small tiny steps. And with that my head has started unfogging too. Out of the darkness, I’m starting to see sunlight.

And then one day last week I saw him. My boy. Clearly, like it was the first time. He was so happy. So bright. Out of that winter, a beaming child has emerged. He is chirpy. He is sharp. He is affectionate. He is funny. And he laughs. My goodness, he laughs! He is stretching up like those buds, towards the sun.

And I am inhaling the blossom all over again.

I’m sure he was beaming all along. I’m sure deep down I knew he was getting better and growing. I never stopped loving him. I never gave up. But the winter, it was just too dark to see.

I’m looking outside my window now. The big tree is shedding it’s leaves.  The tree and I, we have different seasons. Some longer, some shorter. But I look to the tree to remind me of my own. To remind me that there are rhythms to every living thing.

The boy, the Blossom, is in full bloom. I’m nourishing myself and holding steady. Preparing for any weather. There may be a long winter ahead. But there will also be the promise of a spring.

Another chance to bloom again.


  1. says

    And in your darkness your boy was okay, thriving even. So pleased you are recovering from what sounds like such a hard time. What a gorgeous little fellow he is!
    Miss A was my dreadful sleeper. It cost me a lot, like the debt that you write about. I am almost there, but not quite.
    Looking forward to comparing more notes very soon. xx
    Lee recently posted..I am grateful for everything that is my lifeMy Profile

    • Deb says

      Lee, I’m sure we have many notes to compare! Thank you for your comment. Can’t wait to meet you soon! x

  2. says

    This has me in tears Deb. So beautifully written, so poetic, and lots of hope for the future spring. What a tough time you had. I know well the need to cover your ears when there’s another screaming or crying baby. I am so happy to hear you are now seeing the blossoms :)
    Sara recently posted..How Do I Love Thee? PlaysetsMy Profile

  3. Mary Arch says

    Love it!!!!!! I have two blossoms too and I often look at them in thee same way you described. I’m glad you’re coming through. It has been long and hard. xxx

  4. says

    Isn’t funny how clarity alludes us, even where our children are right in front of us … even as close as our own laps. Sometimes clarity comes only when they step away from us, and we realise we’re separate.
    Beautiful imagery. And so lovely to have met this precious boy you’re writing about. x
    therhythmmethod recently posted..Blogging, voice and writing out loudMy Profile

    • Deb says

      Absolutely, Karen. You describe that so well. In fact, that is my blog post in 3 lines! – Nice one! Was so lovely spending time with you. Loved our chats. x

    • Deb says

      Have I really not replied to this comment yet? Eden, I read it months ago, but THANK YOU. Love love love that you feel and know truth. xx


  1. […] as an honoree for BlogHer2012 Voices of the Year for a little post I wrote a few months ago called Blossom Bomb. I’m still gobsmacked. BlogHer is the world’s biggest social media conference for women. 110 […]

  2. […] in over a month I was alone and I felt well. I looked out at the late winter sun striking down on the tree outside. Urging spring to come. So I went out and sat by the tree and I asked the sun to strike me […]

  3. […] at the time how far it would travel. It was a story so raw, about the darkest time of my life. But Blossom Bomb was also my redemption. It showed me how beauty can come from pain. It also showed me how sharing […]

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