The Invisible Umbilical Cord

I discovered this phenomenon myself as a new mother:  Once that umbilical cord is cut at birth, another invisible one takes its place.  This new cord will stretch but it has its limits too.  For some mothers, its length is very short, so much so that they will not even allow other people to hold their baby; for others it is longer.  I remember the first time I really stretched this cord between myself and my firstborn, my son.  I don’t know how old he was, but it was within the first few months.  I decided to “get away” and go get my hair cut and colored with my girlfriend.  I made sure there was enough breast milk for Daddy to give and then happily went off, little knowing what would happen next…

The hairdresser doing both of us was, perhaps, not the quickest one on the block.  An hour and a half into the appointment and she was finally getting to my cut while my friend’s hair set.  Three and a half hours after walking into the salon, I was getting antsy. No, strike that – panicked is a better description.  The tension on the cord had slowly tightened and tightened until my world had narrowed down to one imperative:  getting back to my baby, NOW.  I had been TOO FAR for TOO LONG.  I don’t believe I obeyed the speed limits on the way home, and I’m pretty sure I gave short, terse replies if any to my friends’ conversation.  What a relief it was to get home!!

With each child I’ve been more cognizant of my limits of time and space away from my children, and as they grow up I’m able to withstand longer and further separations; in June we went to Montreal and only took two of our four children.  I still called every day or two to talk to them, even though they didn’t really miss me.  With my newest, now 2 months old, I’m reminded again of how tight that cord can be.  A good woman of our church wanted to give us the chance to “relax” while attending a 4-day Missions conference so she held our baby during the services.  Still, although only feet away, I could feel the tug and was almost relieved when the time was up and I had her back.  Nobody else can see it, but it’s there, strong as silk:  the invisible umbilical cord.


About nathankathy

Nathan and Katherine Born are two Christians trying to serve God as best they can.
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