Thursday, August 22, 2019

A young "old soul" in our midst

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Becoming a Grandmother, being the Mother of a Mother

June 7, 2017 was the day my world changed forever.  I was not prepared for this change like so many friends and relatives told me it would be.  Oh, I knew it was going to happen, we all had months of warning.  But, this new individual, this new addition to our family was not going to change my life much.  “How is my daughter having a baby going to really affect me?” I would argue, I mean, she’s having the baby.  I basically had no idea.



Our daughter, married only one year when she gave birth, had her baby at home with a midwife.  If there was anything that deeply affected me, it was my fear for my child with a birth plan like this!  Luckily, she realized my fears for her safety, so about three months before her due date she began to educate her father and me.  She also had me come to the doctor appointments and hear the baby’s heartbeat.   Those appointments always made me cry, new life within is just wonderous.  


 

Her father is a scientist and medical researcher, so hospitalization and childbirth go together without doubt.  All three of our children were birthed at a hospital with an MD, IV’s, Pitocin, and an epidural.  “Childbirth,” our daughter told us, “is not a medical procedure.”  Ok, let that sink in, I’ll wait.
When the day came, she texted me about 10 am that she was experiencing some sporadic contractions and by noon, I was telling her to contact her midwife.  She did and got her husband informed.  She went into full blown labor about 7 pm and both were with her.  She didn’t want me there…for whatever reason, but I respected that and stayed home and prayed to St. Gerard.  At midnight, she gave birth to our first grandchild, James.

The day my daughter gave birth to her own child, was the day I lost my job as a mother to her.  But, not really, with all my experience as a mother, she knew I knew a few things and was open to my help.  Even during her pregnancy, when she was sick all the time and being a senior in college studying, she looked to me for help.  Her degree was in biology, so she had long lab hours and found herself with an empty stomach, dry heaving in the bathroom.  I took her to Sam’s and bought her crackers to put in her backpack to keep her going.  I was sick for all my pregnancies and she knew that.



James came out into the world perfect in just 7 hours of active labor and for the next few weeks was the crankiest little newborn.  There again, our daughter sought me out for help, holding him, giving her a break and listening to her concerns and assuring her that she is doing a great job.  Over the next several months she and little James blossomed into their roles as mother and son beautifully as I stood in the background watching.





My life has changed indeed.  To my surprise, I have an active role in both their lives as a mentor, mother, and now grandmother.  James is 2 years old now and his vocabulary is mounting steadily, if not sprinting with my husband being called “boppy” and me “mommy”.  Our son-in-law laughs at that, since our daughter is mommy as well.  I bake him cakes and cookies, make him lunch and put him down for naps with a snack.  He has crocheted afghans, quilted blankets (he calls “beebee”) made by me, and the Carter store in town knows me by name.  It’s all good!

Friday, March 8, 2019

Celebrating the Privilege of being a Woman...and a book worth reading

International Woman's Day is a day where we celebrate being a woman. I want to truly celebrate being a woman, I want to celebrate having the privilege being born a woman and not feeling the need to achieve equality to man.   

Webster’s Dictionary defines  privilege
Privilege:  1  a right, advantage, favor, or immunity specially granted to one, esp. a right held by a certain individual, group, class and withheld from certain others or all others.  
The advantage of being privileged is that I do not have to work to achieve womanhood.  Webster’s Dictionary defines achieve as;
Achieve:  To do,  succeed in doing,  2  to get or reach by excursion; attain….
So, I don't have to reach by exertion to be a woman, I don't have to succeed at being a woman, I AM a woman. I have enjoyed and suffered womanhood without having to work hard at attaining equality to women.   My desire is not to be like a man, that's not a privilege that's an achievement and it's an achievement that you have to work extremely hard for and I’m not sure that the payoffs are so great at the end.   The privilege of being a woman comes with a price, sure, it comes with a responsibility of my striving to be the best woman I can possibly be

Celebrating being a woman today, and every day, to me and in God's eyes, is celebrating my womanhood, my motherhood my being a wife and my relationship with my husband, a daughter with my parents, the feminine genius that I have been gifted with and my appreciation for the role I play in life without having to be equal to a man.

No man could do what I've done in my life, no man could match what is inside of me, the depths of my heart, no man could possibly run the marathons I have run, the nights of sleeplessness, the nights of worry, the nights of prayer for the children and my husband. No male counterpart holds the same degree of  passion for those in my care. 

The privilege of being a woman is indeed a free given gift, a birthright to be part of and to appreciate not to reinvent or change.   I don't envy man and I don't envy being a male.  I don't envy or desire to be a man or do what men do.   I don't want to be a Boy Scout, I don't need to be the president the United States, or be a priest to influence and nurture those around me.  I don't want to be a  father, those are roles for men.

It is a proven fact that children raised by both their mother and father excel in life far better than their counterparts from single parent homes.   Those with fathers who take them to church continue to be members of a church community as adults.   I have never tried to be a father, I've always been mom.   I don't know what it's like to be a man, to be inside a man’s head, think the way a man thinks.   I don't know what that's like and it is not for me to know! What it is for me to know about man is that man needs to be loved by a woman, be supported by a woman, be nurtured and cared for as a human being.  He needs woman to walk along side with; but not overtaken by or ruled over, but a community of love and concern and family

The privilege of being a woman that I am celebrating, is my place in the world as a woman.  This is what I think today is all about, but the modern women of feminism have truly lost their grip on their purpose.  They have turned away from the silent power of womanhood and transferred it to the achievement to being equal to man, of beating man, overwhelming man, exceeding man thus being as good as man.  With this as the new goal, modern feminists are relinquishing the power and the privilege that is their God-given gift so needed in the world today.  Theirs is a useless game  that proves nothing but robs woman of her true role and worth in the world.   GK Chesterton said and I quote “Cleverness shall be left for men and wisdom for women.”  from his book "What is wrong with the world" pg 144.  Being a woman means being part of man; it means being with man, alongside man, helping man, partnering with man; but not being man nor is it being equal to man. 

The Privilege of being Woman needs to be revisited by the modern feminist with open eyes and an open heart.  Her power is within her and it needs not be belittled or ignored, or even made base against the role of the male.  Her feminine genius surpasses all understand at times and can save the world when called upon.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Empty nest thoughts

Listening to the Christian radio channel while quilting in my empty-nest world, I got to thinking.  There are so many songs that talk about being free …set free and forgiven.   That we no longer have anything to fear because of what Christ did on the cross for us.

Did I teach our children enough?  Is it too late to be an example to them?  Do we still influence them in our own lives?   Through the years, we were busy with the workings of life, meals, education, the good and the bad times, money struggles, and all the things in between.  My husband was blessed with a very wise dad who made sure that his children were nurtured both in the necessities, but all in the emotion and ego side.  He often inspired with letters or visits to my husband in the rough spots of his younger years and again in his college and doctorate years, plugging him through the spots that found his heart sinking in studies or responsibilities in his research.

Did we do that for our children?

All three of our children are out of the house, doing the grown up thing...or what people call it now, "Adulting" stuff.  They are free to make their own choices and from henceforth influence the next generation.

Was it sustaining?   Did they really and truly GET what and the whys of our parenting?

Enough to pass it on to their children?

Well, as far as fearing goes, we must trust and pray for our children continually.  I have a healthy fear of the Lord and I hope that my children do as well.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Epiphany

Jesus came to earth as an infant and not as a grown adult or an emperor, king, or some huge powerful dominating being, instead he came to us as an infant to show us vulnerability and dependency.

As an infant, Jesus shows us the kind of love that is incomparable to any known to mankind.

This holy love that Jesus, our God and Creator, revealed set out to prove that the things we do every day are meaningless without him.

There in the creche, the infant Lord shows us that humility is not below us. There in the young mother's arms the infant-God's tummy gurgles of dependency and trust proves not out of reach, and that this purest love is undefinable in it's most perfect form.

This is hard to believe in human terms, especially amid all the distractions around us during this time.  All the planning of festivities, the shopping, and rich foods that we invest ourselves in.  During this one time a year, rules are bent, all bets are off financially and diet-wise for many.  So the focus is not always where it should be.  It's like we get swept away in the fast and furious flow of secular society.  Larger and larger this season of Christmas is morphing into a 3-month calendar of black Fridays, pre-Christmas sales, and baking plans.  Halloween is barely here when the Christmas decorations and the imitation trees come out on the shelves, the toy section expands, and the Halloween candy gets put on clearance.

So, back to the infant Jesus and the splendor of his teachings.  We are taught a lesson from a newborn, besides the fact that schedules are non-existent, rules are made to be broken, and they are the boss.  Aside from these, we are taught such a large, life-changing lesson of self-donation.  Our Lord Jesus, his humility and dependency is nurtured by the young Mary's love and her own self-donation from her "Be it done to me..."Yes and cooperation with God.

As a mother myself, I can see and understand the self-donation with a young helpless newborn in my arms.  The sheer helplessness and dependency of this new little human is both fearful and precious.  So, this is what our God and Creator did for us.

How can I repay or at least carry on what he did for us?  What can I make of this selfless act from one who is perfect, greater, and most magnificent of all?  The humble and fallen being that I am can only do as much as I know how to.  To do the best I can for those around me.  To be generous with my blessings to those around me.  To make the best of bad situations with those around me.  I don't need to go too far to find those who could use some of my self-donation, some of my patience, some of my care.

Then just sit by the creche and take in the lessons he is teaching me, and take it to those around me.

Monday, December 24, 2018