By Karen Henry, from Outlandish Observations
1) Marsali, in an advanced state of pregnancy, and five-year-old Germain:
She leaned back a little and pushed a hand firmly into the side of her mound. Then she seized Germain's hand and put it on the spot. Even from where I stood, I could see the surge of flesh as the baby kicked vigorously in response to being poked.
Germain jerked his hand away, startled, then put it back, looking fascinated, and pushed.
"Hello!" he said loudly, putting his face close to his mother's belly. "Comment ça va in there, Monsieur L'Oeuf?"
"He's fine," his mother assured him. "Or she. But babies dinna talk right at first. Ye ken that much. Félicité doesna say anything but 'Mama' yet."
(From A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES, chapter 27, "The Malting Floor".
2) Here's Claire with Brianna, age three months:
Brianna burrowed into the front of my red chenille d
ressing gown making small voracious grunting noises.
"You can't be hungry again," I said to the top of her head. "I fed you not two hours ago." My breasts were beginning to leak in response to her rooting, though, and I was already sitting down and loosening the front of my gown.
"Mrs. Hinchcliffe said that a baby shouldn't be fed every time it cries," Frank observed. "They get spoilt if they aren't kept to a schedule."
It wasn't the first time I had heard Mrs. Hinchcliffe's opinions on child-rearing.
"Then she'll be spoilt, won't she?" I said coldly, not looking at him. The small pink mouth clamped down fiercely, and Brianna began to suck with mindless appetite. I was aware that Mrs. Hinchcliffe also thought breast-feeding both vulgar and insanitary. I, who had seen any number of eighteenth-century babies nursing contentedly at their mothers' breasts, didn't.
From VOYAGER, chapter 3, "Frank and Full Disclosure".
3) Jamie lost his mother at a very young age, but he hasn't forgotten her:
I had heard what he said to the plover he released. Though I had only a few words of Gaelic, I had heard the old salutation often enough to be familiar with it. “God go with ye, Mother," he had said.
A young mother, dead in childbirth. And a child left behind. I touched his arm and he looked down at me.
“How old were you?” I asked.
He gave me a half-smile. “Eight,” he answered. “Weaned, at least."
From OUTLANDER, chapter 17, "We Meet a Beggar".
4) Bree's reaction on the night before Claire goes back through the stones, when she thinks she'll never see her mother again:
"It's like--there are all these things I don't even know!" she said, pacing with quick, angry steps. "Do you think I remember what I looked like, learning to walk, or what the first word I said was? No, but Mama does! And that's so stupid, because what difference does it make, it doesn't make any difference at all, but it's important, it matters because she thought it was, and ... oh, Roger, if she's gone, there won't be a soul left in the world who cares what I'm like, or thinks I'm special not because of anything, but just because I'm me! She's the only person in the world who really, really cares I was born, and if she's gone..." She stood still on the hearthrug, hands clenched at her sides, and mouth twisted with the effort to control herself, tears wet on her cheeks. Then her shoulders slumped and the tension went out of her tall figure.
"And that's just really dumb and selfish," she said, in a quietly reasonable tone. "And you don't understand, and you think I'm awful."
"No," Roger said quietly. "I think maybe not." He stood and came behind her, putting his arms around her waist, urging her to lean back against him. She resisted at first, stiff in his arms, but then yielded to the need for physical comfort and relaxed, his chin propped on her shoulder, head tilted to touch her own.
(From VOYAGER , chapter 22, "All Hallows' Eve".
5) Mother Hildegarde is very perceptive:
"I have noticed,” she said slowly, “that time does not really exist for mothers, with regard to their children. It does not matter greatly how old the child is--in the blink of an eye, the mother can see the child again as it was when it was born, when it learned to walk, as it was at any age--at any time, even when the child is fully grown and a parent itself.”
“Especially when they’re asleep,” I said, looking down again at the little white stone. “You can always see the baby then.”
(From VOYAGER, chapter 40, "I Shall Go Down to the Sea".
6) Jenny, mother of a two-year-old:
“Ah,” Jenny sighed contentedly, bending to inspect her appearance in the gold-framed mirror. She wet a finger and smoothed her brows, then finished doing up the buttons at her throat. “Nice to finish dressing wi’out someone clinging to your skirts or wrapped round your knees. Some days I can scarce go to the privy alone, or speak a single sentence wi’out being interrupted.”
(From OUTLANDER, chapter 27, "The Last Reason".
7) Claire, dans sa lettre d'adieu à Bree :
Tu es mon bébé, et tu le seras toujours. Tu ne sauras pas ce que cela signifie jusqu'à ce que tu aies un enfant à toi, mais je te le dis maintenant, de toute façon - tu feras toujours autant partie de moi que lorsque tu partageais mon corps et que je te sentais bouger à l'intérieur. Toujours.
Je peux te regarder, endormie, et penser à toutes les nuits où je t'ai bordée, venant dans le noir pour écouter ta respiration, poser ma main sur toi et sentir ta poitrine monter et descendre, sachant que quoi qu'il arrive, tout est juste avec le monde parce que tu es vivante.
Tiré de Le voyage, chapitre 42, "L'homme dans la lune".
8) La mère de Roger lui a sauvé la vie quelques instants avant sa mort dans l'effondrement de la station de métro Bethnal Green en mars 1943.
« Elle a lâché ma main », dit-il. Les mots venaient plus facilement maintenant ; l'oppression dans sa gorge et sa poitrine avait disparu. « Elle a lâché ma main... et puis elle m'a soulevé. m'a ramassé et m'a jeté par-dessus le mur. Descendu dans la foule de gens sur la plate-forme en dessous. J'ai été principalement assommé par la chute, je pense - mais je me souviens du rugissement lorsque le toit est parti. Personne dans l'escalier Survécu."
(Tiré de La croix de feu, chapitre 98, "Garçon intelligent".
9) Rachel's thoughts about her infant son, Oggy:
He wouldn’t recall this early life, the closeness of waking against her body in bed, turning at once to her breast and yielding up his separate existence so easily, becoming one with her as he’d been when she carried him inside, just for those moments while he fed from her again. Somewhere he might be weaned, on the road between now and then. He would be a different person when they came back. So would she.
(From GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, chapter 60, Just One Step.
10) This is one of my favorite quotes about motherhood from the whole series:
“Did I ever think to thank ye, Sassenach?" he said, his voice a little husky.
“For what?" I said, puzzled. He took my hand, and drew me gently toward him. He smelled of ale and damp wool, and very faintly of the brandied sweetness of fruitcake.
“For my bairns," he said softly. "For the children that ye bore me."
"Oh," I said. I leaned slowly forward, and rested my forehead against the solid warmth of his chest. I cupped my hands at the small of his back beneath his coat, and sighed. "It was ... my pleasure."
From THE FIERY CROSS, chapter 13, Beans and Barbecue.