Posts Tagged ‘babies’

Generations

My mother died before my daughter was ever born, but this weekend Mom was able to share some parenting advice with her granddaughter.  No, I haven’t taken a vacation from reality or been consulting a medium.  In addition to being a nurse, Mom did some writing, and had a couple articles published in baby magazines back in the mid-50’s.  I realized that Lizz might enjoy hearing what her grandmother had to say about raising a baby, so I pulled them out of the box in the garage.

Of course, we also had fun reading the other articles and advertisements for baby products.  One ad announced a major milestone in baby food:  twist-off lids!  Lizz was surprised to read a list of recommended baby supplies that included four dozen diapers.  “I know I went through a lot more than that in the first several days!”  uh — sweetie — that would be cloth diapers…  you know, the kind you wash?

The biggest laugh came from the article where a woman described her childbirth experience.  “What’s all the fuss about?”  she asked.  Her attending nurse told her to just lie completely still and not move a muscle during labor, and she did just fine.   Yeah, right!

Mom’s articles,  titled “Tiptoe Tyrant”  or “Pity Poor Papa,”  for example, reflected the parenting advice of the day. Being able to add R.N. behind her name gave her writing some authority.   I’m sure when she wrote them it never occurred to her that her own granddaughter would be reading her words a half century later.  It was fun  to share together.

My Mom wasn’t around when I was raising my children to give me advice and instructions.  Of course, I still hear her voice in my brain from time to time.  She loved God, her family, and helping out in her community.  She set a loving example.  It

My Mom with her first child, my sister.

would have been incredible if she could have really spent the afternoon with us, enjoying her granddaughter and great-grandson, but since that’s not possible, it’s a treasure to have her words preserved to read and share with future generations.

Our Heavenly Father left guidance behind for his children to read and follow.  I don’t need to guess His intentions or instructions, and they’re never outdated.  His words are meant to be used and studied daily, not just kept in a box in the garage to be pulled out on occasion.

The Bible tells us, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”  Psalm 119:105 (NIV)  Our world can be a dark place at times.  It’s nice to know I have an unchanging source of light and wisdom for the journey.

Thank you, Father.

Thank you, Mom.  I love you.

Copyright 2011 – Mary E. Egidio    Permission is granted to reproduce this work, but with attribution, and not for commercial purposes.

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Rite of Passage

This week,  I watched my first child give birth to her first child.  To watch the person to whom you gave birth give birth to another person is both the most frightening and incredible experience.

As I watched her progressing through her labor, mostly in silent concentration, I believe a unique bonding took place.  Or at least, I think that’s what her eyes were saying.  I like to think they were saying, “I can’t believe you went through this to have me!”  But maybe they were saying, ‘Why didn’t you tell me this would be this hard?’  or “Is this payback for all the times I called you the meanest Mom in the world?”

That strong-willed child, the one who insisted, “I want to do it my-telf, mommy!”, steeled her will, dug in her heels, and determined to get through childbirth without an epidural.  She impressed the doctor and the labor nurse with her fortitude and strength, despite giving birth to an 8 lb., 11 oz. boy.  “Women have been having babies without epidurals for hundreds of years.”  This was her mantra throughout her pregnancy.

Because her labor nurse was an incredible woman from Zimbabwe, with a strong accent and ‘hands on’ approach, it reminded me of how women around the world have entered into this rite of passage into womanhood for centuries.  It was often a communal experience.  We could have just as easily been in a straw hut or a rural farmhouse.  Instead of computers and fetal monitors, we could have been putting a knife under the bed to ‘cut the pain’ or boiling water in the kitchen.  If it’s all the same to you, I’m glad we were in a well-equipped hospital with trained professionals.

I especially loved watching how her husband loved her and encouraged her through the process, in absolute awe of her strength.  I loved seeing his unbridled tears as his son appeared.  I loved seeing the little footprints that the nurse inked on the backs of his hands, after recording them on paper.  I loved that he allowed us to share in this beautiful experience, and how it has drawn us together even closer as a family.

Now I’m watching in awe, as she’s making the transition from pregnancy to motherhood.  And once again, I’m astounded by her strength and determination.  I’m here to help, but each day she becomes more independent and self-confident.

As a woman should.

We’ve come full circle.  I look forward to sharing the journey with her.

“For you created my inmost being, You knit me together in my mother’s womb! I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:13-14

Copyright 2010 Mary E. Egidio – permission is granted to share this post, but with attribution, and not for commercial purposes.