Archives for September 2017

Meeting My Hero at 3 a.m.

2:15 a.m. Pitch black Saturday morning. Phone is ringing. Doula-daughter on the line. A young Momma’s water broke.
Here we gooooooo!
And one of my dreams was about to be fulfilled. To share in a bonafide home birth with a modern-day midwife I’ve admired from a distance for more than a decade since I’d learned of her. A gifted, passionate, seventy-something hottie (seriously-she greeted us in full makeup and dress at 3 a.m. looking like a model from AARP Magazine) with magic hands and a lion’s heart – her impressive resume lists right around 5,000 pregnancy journeys, deliveries, and follow ups with generations of expectant mommas. Do the math. Crazy!

In the words of our United States Postal Service legendary creed – slightly adjusted by yours, truly… “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays this courageous courier from the swift completion of her appointed babes!” She’s even written a book compiling a sampling of her birth stories, and yes, I had to have my hero sign a copy for me during our many hours spent together. Hashtag fangirl. 🙂

This was a day filled with tender nostalgia for me, as 33 years before, almost to the very day, my firstborn son arrived. Funny enough, the labor and delivery I was attending unfolded with so many similarities to mine, and although ‘homebirth’ wasn’t on my radar screen in those early days, I was graced with an attending RN, Ginger, who previously had worked as a midwife. I’ll never forget her name as she saved me from a certain Caesarean with her intentional, courageous initiative in a crucial moment. I’ve often reflected with gratitude for her presence in our lives that day.

Watching young couples enter this new season called parenting, sobers me. For I know too much.

I know the arrival of my firstborn redefined my identity. At his birth, my mother-heart was also born and my DNA, so to speak, my ‘fundamental and distinctive characteristics and qualities’ according to Websters, changed forever. A new set of lenses came with the package and I would never see life as I’d seen it before him. (Photo: Hubby and I with our first of five sons)

It was apparent to me that this was, indeed, no . . . ordinary . . . child. Time stood still in our vast universe as I drank in the beauty of my tiny miracle. This was not another mouth to feed or a profitable tax deduction. This custom-designed creation was brimming with life, arriving at the appointed moment and poised to impact history’s timeline. He shouted his gigantic potential to the world around him! No words could describe the holy hush hanging thickly in the air all around.

You, too? Of course! For never has there been even one ordinary child born into this world. No matter what his physical condition or worldly worth, I am convinced that an inherent greatness resides within every fiber of his being. Planted in his DNA are the seeds of a world changer. His substance awaits us, his parents, to spring into action with all the resources available to us to use in seeing this potential realized.

And to this end, my prayers will be steady for this precious couple and their little one, fresh from heaven.

(Photo: My firstborn, holding his firstborn <3)




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Anybody Home?

We are a distracted people who want to pay someone else to engage our children.

Parenting takes precious time. Preoccupied parents cannot fulfill the high calling of directing their child to his destiny. Harold B. Lee said, “The most important work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes.” I agree. It seems so many moms and dads are checked-out while little Junior has license to run his own life. We’re looking the other way as he holds the reins, directing himself, with a full menu of web browsers, video games, and iEVERYTHING at his disposal.

Many children in our cities represent a new brand of orphan. They may sleep in designer bed sheets, but their lonely hearts pine for their disengaged parents. These ten-year-old, free moral agents live on the edge of destruction, wearing the latest fashions and never lacking cash while surviving their impoverished family lives. They are entirely unequipped to deal wisely with the innumerable freedoms handed to them at such indiscriminate ages. What sacred destinies have been placed in their unscrupulous hands!

Who’s minding the children and guiding their habits?

Who’s monitoring their media intake and building in prized values?

Who’s nagging them like all good mothers and fathers should?!

Physical labor at childbirth is a piece of cake compared to the seemingly infinite, ensuing labors that really must take place in prayer and in person with and for our children to become mature, wise and well-adjusted adults. I recently saw this NANNY WANTED ad posted online:

WHO YOU’LL CARE FOR: Our 18 month old son.
OUR CHILD IS: Sweet, active and loves to explore. His favorite past time is reading and talking a stroll outside.
WE’RE LOOKING FOR: An amazing, caring, kind and energetic person who will take care of our little baby. We want someone who would love to read to him, play with him and provide a positive happy home environment. Looking for someone who can become part of our family.
OUR NANNY MUST BE: A kind, loving and caring nanny who is flexible. Have experience with babies and loves to read and play with them.
OUR GOAL AS A CHILDCARE TEAM IS: Help our children grow to enjoy life, be respectful and good people.
SCHEDULE: 8:30-5:30 Monday-Friday, 40-45 hours per week
SALARY: $25 per hour, plus overtime.

An impossibly tall order for a $25 an hour hireling. In actual fact, a foolish fantasy. In my estimation, this couple is attempting to hire a parent. But parents can’t be leased. I found it particularly heartbreaking, as I thought of my own precious 18 month-old grandson, pictured here, whose intelligent Mama gave up her lucrative career to care for him full time in this crucial, formative season of his young life. She will never regret giving up that second income, despite the many and varied sacrifices she’ll be making on a daily basis.

Let’s be unwilling to allow others to raise our children. Let’s not be so quick to turn our dearest treasures over to those who haven’t birthed them. Someone must nurture the children. Someone must mold the soft clay of their hearts and minds. Someone must be the constant for these tender humans in the midst of a chaotic world. Someone must be the anchor for their souls in this turbulent time. Oh God, give us mothers and fathers once again.

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