Saturday, July 30, 2005

R.I.P. Wise Father

I learned last night that Eolath Magee has died. Eolath was a psychotherapist that I encountered when he led a short course for teachers in pastoral care a few years ago. It is the only time a training course has directly affected what I do in the classroom in a positive way. And because of the sort of person he was it directly affected my life in general as well.

Eolath had recommended a book to one of the teachers who was pregnant. He said it was good book but not to worry if it made you feel guilty as a parent. You can't escape the guilt, he said.

When I was pregnant last year I read the book. It is wonderful. And I did feel guilty when I couldn't exactly live up to it. It is worth reading though. Definitely.

Eolath was right - you can't escape the guilt. To give birth made me feel as if I had touched God. For a split second maybe I felt like a god. It didn't take long to remember that actually, I had no idea how to make a baby work. That's some fall let me tell you. Immediately you encounter something of perfection and simultaneously you screw it up. You can't escape the guilt. To recall Eolath's words in the days following Ana's birth was ironic and comforting. I almost wrote to tell him but I didn't. I wish I had.


Next time.

7 comments:

AngelFire said...

I've come to believe that guilt and parenting go hand in hand. It doesn't improve as they get older! There are days where I have to remind myself that I'm not perfect and I WILL make mistakes.. and my children will survive despite me. I love them and I'm doing my best.. that's all I can do.

mister tumnus said...

yes, ana seems to be doing great despite my cack-handed (sorry, couldn't resist) attempts at changing nappies etc !

Basil's mum said...

I loved your bit about Eolath. He was 'something else' and will be missed by so many people.

friend said...

Thank you for the lovely things you said about Eolath - so many people loved him and although I don't think he would have conciously believed it, I really feel that towards the end he started to feel it - and that was a blessing. It has been a year now since you posted this comment, but I now have a friend who is pregnant and was wondering if you could tell me the name of the book that Eolath recommended and that you referred to. Many many thanks.

mister tumnus said...

of course! it is 'the continuum concept' by jean liedloff. great book. totally fascinating. i did so want to be a perfect mother but found myself failing almost immediately with not being able to breastfeed and ana's seeming insistance on NOT being carried around all the time! but i am still very glad to have read the book. and to have encountered eolath. there are many many things that i remember him saying and it is funny how often he comes to mind given that i only ever saw him five times in my life.

thanks so much for stopping by my blog!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the name of the book. Somebody once told me that every mother is perfect before she even knows she is pregnant because her baby chose her - maybe ana chose you to be her mummy becasue she new knew she wouldn't particularly want to be breast fed and she knew that she wouldn't really want carried that much and if you were her mummy then all of that would be completely ok and you would still love her, fussy and funy n'all.

mister tumnus said...

that is a kind thought. thanks.