We'll call her Kathleen (because that's her name). I met her while standing in the produce section trying to remember if radicchio was another name for red cabbage, or if red cabbage is something completely different. Kathleen helped me remember that they are two different things.
And then, we stood there and talked for about 45 minutes. Somehow, early in the conversation she brought up pregnancy, and I told her I was expecting. Her eye glimmered, and she said, "I knew you were. How far along are you? Three months?" Yep. Just about.
Kathleen gushed about how much she loved being a mom and the highlights of motherhood:
- Laboring and delivering your baby will be exhilarating! Don't be afraid, it's gonna be the best moment of your life!
- Stay with your babies as much as possible. Volunteer to help in their classrooms, but don't be a room mom. Then you have to deal with adults, not the children.
- Always volunteer to drive. Practice, games, ballet, whatever it is. Drive and listen.
- Treat your children like you want to be treated. You want to raise loving people, who cares about success? That will come...And when they are grown, they will be your best friends.
And the funny thing is, she didn't say all this like she was being bossy or judgmental the way you might suspect from a person giving advise in a grocery store. She was a breath of fresh air. And made my day.
I am so thankful for a lady who delighted in motherhood--every part of it.
I've never read a Stephen King novel, but Ina May refers to one of his novels. This character says, "Believe me: if you are told that some experience is going to hurt, it will hurt. Most pain is in the mind, and when a woman absorbs the idea that the act of giving birth is excruciatingly painful--when she gets this information from her mother, her sisters, her married friends, and her physician--that woman has been mentally prepared to feel great agony."
So often, we are quick to tell tragic tales about labor or how miserable pregnancy is. (Replace "pregnancy" with whatever other rite of passage: getting a driver's license, a specific professor, moving, a race) We are ready to show our scars and tell the stories of how they got there: in a way that terrifies the person about to give birth (drive for the first time without another adult, take an exam, move across the country, run a race).
Kathleen's stories were told in such an inspiring way. Not that her life was perfect; but it was definitely full of grace, and she was obviously gushing with the joy of her situation: mother to three fabulous people.