IMO: Baby Talk and the Passage of Time

Fellow blogger, South African/Londoner,  ABBI O,  chronicled her thoughts of pregnancy; when “Little O” was born, Abbi continued her posts about the life-change, documenting her thoughts of motherhood and the demands of her now five-month-old son. Not only does her dry wit make me laugh, she makes me think about the passage of time. Her journal-in-the-making is a clever idea. I imagine Little O when he’s older and turns into Bigger O asking her what it was like to carry him inside her body? To have him? What was he like as a boy? She has gathered her posts and self-published them. She tosses her book to Bigger O and says, “Read all about it.” When Abbi is much older, she will toss the book to her pregnant daughter-in-law, and assure her the fear is universal, the experience is awesome, she understands, and it will bring comfort. When Abbi is ancient, she will revisit herself in words, that worried young woman from her past, and smile at her and feel pride that she muddled through it all miraculously just fine. She’ll look across the room at Biggest O, who is now a father himself, and wonder how time flew by.

Based on a diary, 1785–1812, professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich investigated the entries of a midwife, Martha Ballard. It’s an interesting account because, in the center of a Maine community, she literally touched the lives of everyone in it and provided a glimpse of the values and expectations of gender, the struggle to fight the seasons, impartial diseases, techniques for perseverance, and the cycle of life through births and deaths. It is a rare, profound historical portrait. And yet, at the time of her writing, Martha Ballard was unaware her diary entries would become important one day. Her “voice” varied depending on time and tiredness. Martha was at times insightful, other times clinical, like her profession as she weaved in and out of households aiding the sick. Recommended. 4/5.

In my opinion, Abbi is creating a historical portrait, a primary source. Fifty years from now, a hundred years–two–social historians could look to her blog or self-published book about motherhood and life from 2016 onward from a historical perspective. I read about an abolitionist the other day whose date of birth matched my own, minus a hundred years. She was born in 1863 and lived until 1951. Can you imagine all that she saw? How much the world changed? From the death of Abraham Lincoln through World War II? From buggies to rocket ships? From the telegraph to the television? I wonder what life will be like if I made it until 2051. Just saying the date makes me shake my head in wonder.

Here is the passage of time illustrated by my granddaughter, Amelia. She’ll be four in February.

Where did the time fly? 

13 thoughts on “IMO: Baby Talk and the Passage of Time

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  1. I second your thoughts about Abbi’s blog, which I also follow, as you know.
    The journal of the midwife looks like an interesting historical read. I expect many things have changed in that profession since 1785, yet no doubt some will be the same. I have never had children, but from a viewpoint eleven years ahead of your own, I can confirm that what my old Mum used to say is indeed true.
    “Time flies, when you get older.”
    Best wishes, Pete.


  2. “Self publishing”. As you know some of our greatest works of literature were self published. Otherwise we wouldn’t have them at all. Makes me wonder what wonders have been lost for lack of a publishers vision?
    ANYWAY – we live in the Golden Era of Self Publishing. Got a book? A poem? a Pictures? Open a blog or website. World wide audience! Cheap too! and don’t have to carry or mail all those heavy and expensive books. It’s instant – and a wonder! Happy reading.


  3. Thank you for sharing, it was a great read, and looking at these beautiful photos, it makes me stop and think about our 7month old grand daughter , and how time is flying. My daughter is very private so I try to honer her wishes, other wise s
    My grand daughter would be in my blogs all the time:) . Thank you for sharing that wonderful journey of Hers


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