Reflection on Gift From the Sea: Part Four

I began reading this book as an exciting venture into the world of book clubs with a good friend of mine. I did not know what to expect. When I last posted my reflections I ended with an acknowledgment of the need and will to build, refresh and restore the relationship with my little four-year old. Anne Morrow Lindbergh, appears to me, to be an amazing writer. I marvel at how it can be that Part Three drew me into reflection as it did, and then that Part Four should be almost entirely about alone-togetherness.

For the first part of every relationship is pure, whether it be with a friend or lover, husband or child. It is pure, simple and unencumbered.

The simplicity of first love, or friendliness, the mutuality of first sympathy seems, as its initial appearance—even if merely in exciting conversation across a dinner table—to be a self-enclosed world…There are no others in the perfect unity of that instant, no other people or things or interests.

Katy and Kyle, October 11, 2008

And then how swiftly, how inevitably the perfect unity is invaded; the relationship changes; it becomes complicated, encumbered by its contact with the world.

  • And then it changes. We lived our dating relationship with abandon, deep in love, working hard through issues that arose. We married and it was like a fairytale. Not more than two months after marrying I was pregnant. It was the overflow of our love. Then not two weeks after that it was over, we went to the emergency room and found out two days later I was having a miscarriage. How quickly it changed.
  • More children came. Life became busy and our world was full of school or life stress, grief and financial struggles. But between us there was still a glow, because we were a team.


…We mistakenly feel that failure to maintain its exact original pattern is tragedy…it moves to another phase of growth which one should not dread, but welcome as one welcomes summer after spring.

  • I’m grateful to say I knew this. I have no regrets regarding this marriage of ours. We look back nostalgically and long for the day when we take the breaks, the vacations we desire to be together, just us, unencumbered.
  • I never before understood this concept relating to anything other than the romantic relationship. I did not think of that pure, original form for friendship, or for the mother-child relationship.

But woman refinds in a limited form with each new child, something resembling, at least in its absorption, the early pure relationship. In the sheltered simplicity of the first days after a baby is born, one sees again the magical closed circle, the sense of two people existing only for each other, the tranquil sky reflected on the face of the mother nursing her child.

  • Without any significant interruptions I experience this with our eldest. From the moment I knew we were having a girl, I knew, this will be my buddy, my little sidekick.
  • We still seemed able to maintain our relationship and special moments even after the boy was born. It was a beautiful balance, once I got the hang of things. The eldest made it easier, even though she was still very young.


  • Yet because my husband could not find full time work, we decided I needed to start working again, at least temporarily. I would go back full time. My son was eight months old. The world moved in.
  • It seemed like he never cried with me before those days. He wailed when his father held him at night, quieted when I took him back. After I began working, he wailed with either of us. I felt I no longer I had my special place with him. Our bond seemed to disappear. I went down to four days and after I was six months pregnant went back to part time. But then it seemed too late, another baby was coming.
  • And she came. When enough time passed I was able to get on the floor and play again with the boy. Our bond returned. He would now run to me, ask for me, be comforted by me. At times I still feel like I don’t know what he needs, that my husbands knows better. My heart still aches from the absence.

Actually I believe this temporary return to the pure relationship holds good for ones’ children too…Does each child not secretly long for the pure relationship he once had with the mother, when he was “The Baby,” when the nursery doors were shut and she was feeding him at the breast—alone?”

  • It was a natural change, only with us, it felt forced and happened all too soon. I must teach myself not to regret. I believe I can do so now with the words from Mrs. Lindbergh.

This is not a tragedy but part of the ever-recurrent miracle of life and growth.

  • It won’t be easy to believe it, to forgive myself when for so long I have felt as though I abandoned him. But here is an explanation for what took place. It is part of life and would have happened anyway. I have to take this wisdom and remembered it, create the special moments.

We all wish to be loved alone.

  • It isn’t enough just to have the moments alone. As she said regarding simplicity. We have to have internal simplicity, not only external simplicity. We can go away to reteach ourselves. I have to create the moments with my children. And I must savor those moments. I must allow myself to feel the intimacy of those moments, alone together.

Life must go on.

  • This is the way it should be. This is the way we can learn.

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