Friday, March 27, 2009

Midwife of the Soul

It used to be strange hearing older people talk about the 'good old days' and worry about the 'young kids these days'.  Now I empathize and see it, times 10!  Because from the 70's on, things have snowballed with electronics and cyber/virtual living is what we do.  

Here are some nostalgic things I miss, uncommon now.  Craig and I are both 49 and grew up in different parts of the country, but have in common a country way of life.  Both of our parents were hospitable, I think Myrtle wins the prize for the amount of sheets she washed and changed over a 60 year period, but my mom comes in second.   (We do our own now when we visit)  We both grew up with Sunday dinners of 20 or more people on a regular basis.  The front door was always swingin' both ways.  There was always something in the fridge or freezer to warm up and offer unexpected guests.  People dropping by all during the day and evening.  Games, puzzles, music making, great conversation.  Laughter. ( Arguments & family feuds too - my side).  
We don't sit up around the table so much any more with a set table and hot steaming bowls of homemade food.  Flaky hot biscuits. Homemade jam. Colorful salad.   Juicy tender roast.  We do sometimes, but the kids all have different schedules and it is more rare these days.  Many times now, when I cook a complete meal, it is on the stove in pans and we each do a buffet style, come and sit on the couch and talk while we eat, but it isn't the lingering thing it used to be.  More functional.  Fuel.  

Jenny and Ray showed up unexpectedly tonite because they thought the get together tomorrow was tonite.  We spur of the moment made bacon, eggs and pancakes for supper and they stayed and we visited for hours.   It was such a wonderful blessing and made me realize how much I miss "the old days"!   Do I sound 80?  

There is something precious in passing the person next to you a bowl of steaming mashed potatoes that were peeled, boiled, smashed and salted with cream to smooth it out and a dollop of butter melting in the middle of the snow white mountain of wonderfulness.   And if the bowl is heavy, you hold it while the person spoons it, then they do it for the next person.  It's how 
children learned to be polite and courteous.  In our family there was always enough, but because we sat at the table, there was a visual reminder and it became obvious if Billy took 4 scoops of meatballs, 3 other people wouldn't have any and everyone would know.  Billy learned to govern himself for the good of others.  Sort of polite.  Manners.  Manners not for the sake of
control or making parents look good, but manners that thought of others.  At the table, because it was usually so full, not everyone could talk at the same time and there was this thing called conversation.  What a novel idea.    A being curious about someone else's life, their day.   

I think we learned how to have a marriage and how not to have a marriage because of lots and lots of visiting between families in their homes.  I learned how I wanted to parent and how I didn't want to parent, by observing other people and how they did it in our home and what they did in their home.   When we had young children, it was the visiting back and forth in our homes that taught me more than ANY parenting class ever could.   We weren't shy about telling our kids "no" or teaching them that they weren't the center of the universe......     :)   

I'd like to cuddle a child on my lap and read them stories from great books with yummy pictures and have them know that it doesn't need dissected, that we can just enjoy it and that they are able to hold still and quietly listen and then hope they would crave that instead of TV or a movie.   

I love to sit with a friend on my porch swing and talk and softly swing.   Or tuck a blanket around someone and bring them some hot tea, for courage.   

My friend Debi is giving me a princess day next week which includes a soak in her 5 star garden tub, with a coffee tray, lunch afterwards.   

All of us need times of refreshing, nurturing, someone ministering to us, pampering us, touching us, talking with us, crying with us, laughing with us and processing life's real parts.

Then we can give it away and offer it to someone else.  Midwives and doulas to each other's hearts and souls.   (Plato)



Anonymous said...

Memory lane my Love. Thank you for wanting to keep that alive in our Home/Life!

Craig O

KoverB said...

You do all the hard part, I just dream it up. Works good for me! :)
Having a true companion is such a blessing....I'm thankful we're hitched.

Kent, Melisa,Tiana (and Coda) said...

I couldn't agree with you more!! We've been "parenting" some "lost" children lately, and I've been very thankful for a lifestyle learned that is inclusive, warm and loving. These poor kids who don't have the advantages that we've known and are trying to instill in ours really do make my heart hurt and then open right up and let them in!