Len & Kit's Missionary Adventures in California

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mother's Day Thoughts and More

Not long ago Len and I recognized that we’d had little to no illnesses on our mission of which less than four months remain.  We shouldn’t have said that.  I have long maintained that when you are young, something happens, and you get hurt, but as you get older, you can just be standing there and you get hurt.  A week ago Saturday our neighbor joined us for a short walk after Len had already done his usual brisk half an hour.  After a few minutes Len took an ordinary step and suddenly his knee hurt.  He limped home and iced it, which he has been doing several times daily -- plus using heat once a day, sleeping in the recliner, taking Tylenol, resting, elevating it, and using a knee compression support.  A project! It is improving but it is time to have it assessed and find out what the cause is and what else might help so he will be able to get back to his normal activities.  It is true that the knee did give him a warning within the last month by way of complaining when he arose from a kneeling position one day at work.  He iced it a day or two and thought that was the end of it. 

Len is getting better at directing the young missionaries to do more of the lifting, and planning smaller orders so book deliveries will fit on our two carts where they can wait until some young elders are around to unload them.  It appears that some recent changes will reduce the need for as many big moves in the next few months.  It will all work out.

FOR MOTHER’S DAY here are some cuttings about becoming a mother from an article I read online today, and liked:

I had just graduated from the university and my husband and I were in limbo.  One night my Dad offered to let us move in to the old cabin built by his grandparents.  The offer was totally unexpected and strangely enticing.

The cabin sat on 40 acres of woodlands and pastures.  The closest grocery store was 30 minutes away.  Just a month after we moved in, I found out I was pregnant.  For me, the experience of pregnancy was one of sudden, overwhelming confinement.  For the first time in my life, I was wholly accountable to my body, to an experience both inside of me and yet unfolding entirely independent of me.  For the first time, I was truly restricted in what I could do, eat, experience, and for the first time my focus was intensely, almost suffocatingly, interior.

In a way the cabin held me just as I held my baby.  Constructed for harsh pioneer life, it sat steeled and sturdy against the changing seasons.  It got so little light that I could sleep upstairs for 14, 16 hours straight, awaking dazed as if from another life.  It created a stark contrast of interior – home, incubator for family life – and exterior: wildness, a terrain for roving and exploring and seeing.  It taught me how to come into my motherhood in quietness and focus.

The cabin reinforced that liminal period of pregnancy, and then, when my baby was born, it strengthened the surreal, otherworldly, extraordinary and boring experience of infant care.  All mothers are at somewhat of a remove, physically or psychically, during this period, and the cabin made this manifest.  I lived in my own universe of milk and diapers and squalling and tall summer grasses and tiny breaths and wood and blessed sleep in quiet darkness.

The cabin allowed me to blend with the world and to live apart from it.  I stepped outside and walked through the woods with my baby snugged to my chest, listening to her little squeaks and hums, and I sat inside at 3 a.m. and noon and 6 p.m. in the perpetual dim and nursed, and all of it felt the same and utterly removed from any sort of life I’d lived before. It was the most heady, distinct, beautiful, unique experience of my life.       

That’s it for this week.  With love as always, Len and Kit