When I think back to the Sunday I became a mother, the lingering memory is the stretch of time from beginning to end. Before you gasp and send me a sympathy card, let me explain—not all of those hours involved labor.
Following a rupture of the membranes in the afternoon, contractions began in earnest on Friday night. By the time I called the midwife, the pangs fizzled like rain after a thunderstorm. At the birth center, the nurse tried to jumpstart the labor by having me drink Pepsi mixed with castor oil—not something I’d recommend. When that didn’t work, the staff sent my husband and I out to walk in the Saturday sunshine. We strolled past every vintage home, saw every unkempt lawn, and identified a zillion trees before we returned to the center, but still labor eluded me.
Convinced I was a lost cause, the midwife transferred me to the hospital Saturday night. To our surprise, my contractions resumed coincidentally with the signing of my admission papers. Exhausted, I slept my way to ten centimeters. The nurse woke me to push. I still remember my husband’s tired voice as he counted during each contraction—1…2…3…4…
Early Sunday morning we produced a beautiful baby boy. No pain meds, no surgery, nothing but a measure of true grit. I couldn’t call my friends because they were all in church. It didn’t matter. We drove home beaming, parents of a child who would grow to manhood and of whom I am proud to call my son.
I’m sure every mother remembers the day she earned the title. Whether by giving birth, adopting, or foster parenting, motherhood is an awesome responsibility. Within a mother’s influence lies the key to a hundred tomorrows. Civilization hinges on the quality of effort women expend raising their children. It’s not a task to be taken lightly and it’s full of rewards.
In Proverbs 31, God speaks of the virtuous woman. I’ve read the passage many times, wondering how many of us measure up—most of us would be bushed.
In verse 30, God concludes: “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing. But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.”
Happy Mother’s Day.