Gratitude Sunday: Babies Be The Best

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

Quote of the Week – “A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on.” Carl Sandburg

Sunday Haiku
Gray cloud blows eastward,
climbs over coast mountains, slides
into green valley.

Sunday Musings
I am so angry about health care and Medicare today, I am overwhelmed. I’m being inundated with “Medicare options” in the mail and on the phone because the hubster turns 65 in May, and we can’t pay for any of it so there’s that whole other layer of concern. My goal is to embark on a health series for this blog, but I don’t want to do it in my Gratitude Sunday post. Sunday is the one day I try to take a break from all the weird and wrong parts of America, like American health care which is so messed up (such an easy thing made so complicated and it’s about profit not health, not that I can “fix” anything). Because I’m so cranky, taking a break is hard, and I’m not always terribly successful. Watch for the new health series coming up, probably not on Sunday.

Instead today I want to celebrate the one thing that gives me hope in this society. I’m not saying we do everything right, as even with this issue there is much to be improved on medically/health-wise, but the only thing that seems to me to be a positive note in the world is babies. More precious than any gold or silver or gemstone.

That’s right. Babies. Families are still making and having and raising babies. What a miracle! This cell and that cell merge to create a new human being, a true case of weird math when one plus one equals three. As much work as it is to have and raise a contributing citizen in this world, as hard as the job is, parenting is the most important job. Anybody can have babies; parenting is the hard and important part.

I made a list and I know eight women right now who are expecting babies in 2018. The first one arrived in January, my brother’s son’s son. I like recounting the lineage of family. The new baby’s father is cousin to two of the other women I know who are expecting. I wonder if those three young women, all cousins by marriage, are aware of their connection during this year.

The year the son was born I didn’t know any other women having babies. I’ve since moved towns, took a different job, met other people, and have discovered I am acquainted now with about eight women who had babies the same year I did, unbeknownst to us at the time. At my last place of employment, for example, out of a group of 14 female employees (we had no males then) three of us had babies that year, and one other co-worker’s mom, who visited our public space regularly, had twins that year as well. Through volunteering in the son’s grade schools and our local Boy Scout troop, because of the forced same-age cohort groups, I know a few other women who had their babies that year. One of the joys in a smaller town is watching those children grow up.

Even though we didn’t go through our pregnancies together, friends forever, learning each new stage of parenting with each others’ shoulders to cry on, we do share a certain common knowledge now. Birthing experiences 25 years ago were different than they are now, just as the ones 25 years before ours were different. One thing that has remained the same is how hard it is to get support during pregnancy and birth and the fourth trimester of breastfeeding and adjusting to a change in your family. Gone are the days of birthing being a women’s experience. In America pregnancy and birth now is the province of men, a medicalized, drug induced, knife slicing male approach to managing a natural process. Female obstetricians are indoctrinated into the male model of birthing. Part of the health care issue is the medical modeling of natural processes. Sometimes you must let nature take its way and the outcomes will improve.

This natural process women have been managing since the beginning of time. We scare the wits out of men with the power of life we contain in our bodies. We see success rates of infant mortality in nations with national health care to be higher than in America, and one reason is they are more inclined to let nature have its way. In America we reach for the drugs or the knife. It doesn’t have to be that way.

What if babies were considered the most sacred or most valuable things in the world? I’m not going to get into the abortion argument. That’s a discussion between a woman and her doctor, nothing for society to globally decide any more than any other individual medical issue. In the natural process when there is a successful outcome of a live birth, that is point number two of the miracle, conception being point one. When I was pregnant, and reading everything the local lending library had on pregnancy (after I had read everything they had on menopause because at 38 I thought I was going into early menopause, but surprise, there was a conception instead), I learned 75 percent of conceptions result in spontaneous miscarriage or stillbirth. That’s way more than I would have guessed. If three-quarters of those little buggers don’t even make it out of the chute, then being born at all is an anomaly, therefore even more precious.

I’m not going to do the over-population argument here either. For some reason there are all of us people and it might be for some reason, or it might not. Whatever it is, we need to embrace each other as humans, not as differences. My radical notion, which isn’t all that radical as other people have posited its possible benefits, is subsidized motherhood. I’ll explore that as one of the topics in my planned health series.

Every new human who arrives is a miracle, for lack of any better word, a little starburst of hope against an often scary world. It is a miracle you are here, and a miracle I’m here, and a miracle I get to personally know at least eight new human beings arriving in this world this year. Eight new people who have the power to affect the lives of their parents and families and communities, as no baby is born in a vacuum. Right now eight is feeling like a lucky number, or maybe it’s a miracle number. Nothing is better than babies.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Daffodil greenies pushing through brown mulched soil. Layers of blue-green evergreens on a gray day. Spiky green chives defying the moss. Leafy early lily fronds. Reliable hardy sedums provide winter magenta color.

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Blade Runner (1982, rated R) with Harrison Ford. It’s been many years since I watched this and with the new version coming out I wanted to see it again. Still rather eerie with Replicants being nearly undetectable from humans. This movie provoked an interesting discussion in my household about fear, slavery, and when sentience becomes a life form. * Sleepless in Seattle (1993, rated PG), with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. The mom in the family dies and the eight-year-old son seeing how sad his dad is tries to hook him up through a radio talk show. I’m not terribly into rom-coms, but sometimes you just need to lighten up. I didn’t watch this movie when it came out, so I needed to watch it to understand the cultural references. * Dean (2016, rated PG – 13), another story of grief where the mom in the family dies. The father sells the family home, and the grown son, who is an illustrator, has to come to grips with grief along with his father. The illustrations, drawn by actor Demetri Martin who plays the role of the main character Dean, are sprinkled throughout the story and are most entertaining. * Fist of Fury (1972, rated R) with Bruce Li. Nothing like a good martial arts movie to help one deal with anger.

Currently Reading – I have not finished Poe’s short stories, but I can only read so many stories of premature burial and rotting purification before descending into the depths of despair. To counteract the horror, I resort to a tried-and-true author in Sarah-Kate Lynch. The first novel I read by her was Blessed are the Cheesemakers (2004, fiction) and I fell in love with her style of telling love stories. Her love stories are not romances in any conventional sense, but full of quirky, humorous conflict and barriers and roadblocks. I’ve since read Cheesemakers three times and listened to the audio version also. One of the author’s talents is grabbing you into the story on the first page, and in Finding Tom Connor (2000, fiction) I was hooked by the second paragraph when Molly’s boob falls out of her wedding dress. I have never been disappointed with any of her stories. * Learning To Be Old: Gender, Culture, and Aging (2003, aging and psychology) by Margaret Cruickshank. From reading this author’s take on aging, I see am going to be one cranky, cantankerous, noisy old lady. No surprise there. Already I have been questioning the need for medicines doctors who won’t even touch me with their hands say they think I need. I always counter with “I’d like to try other things first”. Our American society is over-medicated and elders are a major target, and we don’t seem to care about elders obtaining age without a medical model of aging equaling ill health. Of course, the pharmaceutical industry makes buckets of money off medicalizing aging, like many other aspects of health care. Resist.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • The azalea by City Hall that is spring confused and popping out little red flower buds already.
  • Little brown juncos feasting on the bugs on my grape vine.
  • Spotting a few daffodil and hyacinth heads.
  • Spending some time just watching the wind move the tree branches in my back yard.
  • Having a flashlight within hand’s reach when the power went out recently. I wanted to go to the window and see if it was the whole neighborhood. Everything was back on before I could sit back down a couple minutes later.
  • How helpful energy assistance programs can be for income-challenged folks to stretch their bill paying dollars.
  • Learning easy ways to fold clothes a few years back, and enjoying folding warm clothes fresh from the dryer.
  • Finding a piece of my bedroom floor I haven’t seen since my last beach trip (gahk, last October), but oh well, ’tis cleaner now.
  • Asking the son if he knew where to look for my stash of gold coins when I die. He said no, and I assured him there is a pirate’s trove, if he looks in the right place. Ha-ahargh, like 20 dollars collected over the years, but it’s still growing and I may have to find a different container. I’m grateful he takes my off-beat sense of humor well.
  • The freedom to lie down on my own bed in my own home when I need to, and nobody saying otherwise.
  • Each moment of pain, glorious reminders of being alive. And that I can still deal with it.
  • Hot showers, microwave heat packs, warm swimming pools, sturdy walking shoes.
  • Carrots, bought at the last winter farmers market I went to in early November, sweet and crispy as the day they were bought, thanks to modern refrigeration.
  • Taking the time to de-string celery, because I like it better that way. Few chefs remember about the strings. I love celery. It’s so refreshing, especially when de-strung.
  • Laughing that my spell-checker didn’t like de-string or de-strung. Tweedledee and Tweedledum.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, Education, Entertainment, Family, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, History, Medicine, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Science and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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