Friday, January 30, 2009

Laughter is the best medicine

The 'Middle Wife' by an Anonymous 2nd grade teacher

I've been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second grade classroom a few years back. When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they're welcome.

Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater. She holds up a snapshot of an infant. 'This is Luke, my baby brother, and I'm going to tell you about his birthday.' 'First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom's stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord.' She's standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I'm trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.

'Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts saying and going, 'Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh!' Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. 'She walked around the house for, like an hour, 'Oh, oh, oh!' (Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.) 'My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn't have a sign on the car like the Domino's man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this.' (Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall.)

'And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!' (This kid has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing away. It was too much!) 'Then the middle wife starts saying 'push, push,' and 'breathe, breathe. They started counting, but never even got past ten.

Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom's play-center, (placenta) so there must be a lot of toys inside there. When he got out, the middle wife spanked him for crawling up in there.' Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat. I'm sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, when it's show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another 'Middle Wife' comes along.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hope is in the Air!

What a Joyous Day! How lucky we are to live in this time, and to have the opportunity to witness this, the greatest legacy of our time! Let us all resolve to be better human beings and come together and show the strength and power of people united in mutual respect for the good of all.

(And, damn, doesn't she look good! What a Woman!)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Angels Everywhere

Angels take many forms. Last night, they took the shape of 4 village employees who came to our house at 7:00 at night because we had no water. Now, while that wouldn't be too surprising, since it was -27 (27 degrees below zero!) that morning, but our basement is 60 degrees, so it never occured to us our pipes could freeze. Apparently pipes can freeze coming into the house not just in the house. These 4 angels worked for almost 2 hours until we finally had water again. I really have no idea how they did it, they brought some machine that flushed water somewhere or something. But they fixed it, and I'm so grateful!

I was reminded of Hebrews 13:2 - Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. I wanted to offer to make them coffee until I remembered I had no water. God takes care of us is so many different ways. He places people in our path to help us, we just often never stop to see His hand in it. The other thought I had was how thankful I am that we are all given different gifts. I love the gifts God has given me, but being able to even figure out where the water comes into the house isn't one of them. I value those who have the gift of making my water run, because if you've been without water, you quickly realize how LIFE truly does depend on it.

What other angels has God sent to take care of me? or to take care of you? What opportunities to be thankful for the solution to the problem, rather than focus on the problem itself have we missed? It's so easy to get stuck being upset and distressed that the problem (frozen pipes, no water, 7:00 at night on a long weekend...) exists, and lose sight of God's promises to never leave us, to hear our prayers and to strengthen us with the Holy Spirit. Not only am I thankful for the village workers who labored on my behalf, but also that God helped me stay positive and trust that He was going to take of it, take care of me. The more we trust and turn situations over to God's Mighty Power, the greater our confidence that He truly is going to be our savior in all things becomes.