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.”