We are sitting at lunch when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of “starting a family.”
“We’re taking a survey,” she says, half-joking. “Do you think I should have a baby?”
“It will change your life,” I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral. “I know,” she says, “no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations….”
But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes. I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but that becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.
I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking “What if that had been MY child?” That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.
I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub.
That an urgent call of “Mom!” will cause her to drop a souffle or her best crystal without a moment’s hesitation.
I feel I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood.
She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her baby’s sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of her discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.
I want my daughter to know that everyday decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy’s desire to go to the men’s room rather than the women’s at McDonald’s will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom.
However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.
Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give it up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years — not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.
I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor. My daughter’s relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child. I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.
I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving.
I hope she will understand why I can think rationally about most issues, but become temporarily insane when I discuss the threat of nuclear war to my children’s future.
I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or a cat for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real, it actually hurts.
My daughter’s quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. “You’ll never regret it,” I finally say. Then I reach across the table, squeeze my daughter’s hand and offer a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all of the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings. This blessed gift from God . . . that of being a Mother.
By Pete & Angie Colovas
God and Man
Consciousness of God
Is only known by man;
But go ahead, use logic;
Rebuff Him if you can;
But when argument is over,
You will see what must be true—
Were there not a God,
There would also not be you.
By B. Killebrew
What is within …
What is within the depths of my soul …
What is …
What created what is.
What lies without …
What lies in the serenity of a morning
hike through the forest, along side a
mountain stream, slowly and steadily
cascading a bed of mountain stone.
What is mighty and majestic as
the roar and tumble of the ocean’s
tide at storm.
What is as gentle as the touch of the gardener,
tending the rose.
What is …
Gentle, Calm, Mighty,
and Majestic from the depths of my soul
to the world around me…
God is All-Surrounding.
Magnificent, Unfathomable, Astonishing…
His vastness is beyond comprehension…
His mercy unceasing …
By Robin M. Ferguson
Look to This Day!
Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
lie all the verities and realities
of your existence.
is already a dream
is only a vision;
but today, well lived,
makes every yesterday
a dream of happiness,
and every tomorrow
a vision of hope.
from the Sanskrit
How Are You?
Nobody wants to hear you complain;
Nobody’s interested in your aches and pains;
But if you are willing to stand still and listen
With a look of dismay as a slight tear glistens,
You will hear all about how someone else feels,
About where they hurt and about all their ills;
And your attention will earn you a brand-new best friend—
But beware… their tale of woe will ne’er end!
There’s no way to escape, once you show that you care,
So be cautious when asking how someone’s health fares.
By Elizabeth Ruth
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