transported to a different place

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 farm

 

A couple of weeks ago I visited a Le Leche League meeting with my daughter. My intention had been to sit in the car as my daughter, a brand new mom, attended the meeting to learn more about breastfeeding her newborn son. My intention was to be just the chauffeur instead I participated in an amazing experience.

As we left for the meeting I mentioned to my daughter that I would sit in the car during the meeting. No worries I have a book I wanted to finish reading so take your time and learn a lot. She commented that she had mentioned her mom would be driving her and the leader was excited for me to attend as well. Okay, so now I am going in. I breastfeed my daughters many years ago but I never attended a Le Leche meeting. This was going to be a new adventure.

With my two-week old grandson safe and secure in his car seat and my daughter, his mom sitting next to him we embarked on our journey. My daughter read the directions from her smart phone and I followed. As we turned off the highway, my daughter said “turn right at the next road. There isn’t a street name?” pause “Mom, this better not be a dirt road” Yes, it is a single lane dirt road leading onto a lovely farm complete with barefoot children walking up the road. Did I mention my daughter lives in Lancaster County, PA – a beautiful area of farms, horse and buggies, Amish and Mennonite families, a kinder, gentler way of life. “Mom, turn around” “I can’t turn around until we get to the end of road”. I am not sure if I should laugh or cry. When we arrive at the end of road there is a barn, an out building and a farmhouse. Just then an older woman dressed in a simple long dress walks out the farmhouse door. My daughter and I exchange puzzled looks.  Not sure that we are in the right place, my daughter sheepishly gets out of the car and asked “Is this where the Le Leche meeting is?” “Yes! welcome, come in.”

We were committed now. We were the first to arrive and wondered what have we gotten ourselves into. After a few moments others arrived for a total of five moms and babies, two group leaders and two more grandmas – some were Mennonite and some were not.  My daughter’s questions were answered. Information was gleaned. Experiences were shared.  I smiled that the examples to explain different things were all from nature – like when kittens feed, or milk separates. I wondered if I was at a Manhattan meeting what the examples would be.

Let me tell you it was a remarkable morning. It was like being transported to another place/time. Me from NY in my black capris, flip flops with my Alex and Ani bracelets, Pandora rings and smart phone and our hosts with their simple long dresses, aprons, white small bonnets and bare feet. But here was never a moment when I felt like an outsider or an intruder. There was never a moment when I thought this was a mistake. When we left almost two hours later I commented to my daughter that the words “there is no condemnation” kept running through my mind.  Wow! I was surprised, blessed and challenged.

Do I live my life in such a way that when people spend time with me they don’t feel like an intruder even if everything about them is different? That is my new challenge for each day because I know I fall short and I experienced how great and amazing it felt to be transported  to a gathering where there was “no condemnation.”

 

 

The first time we met

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I know exactly the first time we met. It was Wednesday April 29, 2015 around 10:30 am. An early morning telephone call  jumped started my day. Thankfully I had filled the car with gas on Monday and visited the ATM machine on Tuesday so I was ready to go in short order.  A mental checklist helped me pack for a couple of days away, a quick shower, a group text requested prayer for your arrival and I was out the door in just about an hour. Coffee and oatmeal purchased at a drive through establishment, radio tuned to the news channel for traffic reports every ten minutes  and I was good to go. The journey to you was uneventful on my end. No real traffic, beautiful weather, smooth sailing, one pit spot for a restroom break. About 2.5 hours into the journey, the beeping sound on my Bluetooth  signaled a telephone call “ignore or accept”. The voice on the other end said “Mom” and the rest of the words I couldn’t really hear or understand – water break, drugs, how long, don’t know but I understood “would you pray?” So I prayed a prayer for wisdom for all  and then I  said “I am about 45 minutes away but feel free to start without me.”

After a little wandering around and studying of signs, I found the family maternity unit.  The receptionist asked “may I help you?” I mentioned your mom’s name, a quick phone call informed me to wait in the waiting room. After a few minutes your dad appeared in the doorway. I thought he was ready to jump out of his skin he was so excited. A big hug, a few words and he returned to you and after a little more waiting  my phone rang. “Mom, you can come back. We are in room D for dog”. I proceeded down the hallway, entered the room,  pushed back the curtain and there was  your mom sitting up in bed looking no worse for wear. She was smiling from ear to ear even though I could tell tears of joy and relief were ready to burst forth. We hugged and held each other. Your dad was sitting in the reclining chair staring at your face. Your dad’s look was one of amazement, wonder and love. Your dad stood and placed you in my arms. I looked at you. Awe, wonder, hope, thankfulness, love –  yes, all of the above!

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