If women aren’t empowered to cultivate their uniqueness, we all suffer the loss of beauty, creativity, and resourcefulness they were meant to inject into the world.” Freefall to Fly, Rebekah Lyons
At this time, 33 years ago, my mother was nearing her due date with what she had been told would be another boy. Chasing a two year old around all day while pregnant with a good sized baby, she would have been devastated to know she still had a couple more weeks to wait.
Finally, on April 28, 1981 in West Virginia (they had to drive over and around mountains to get to the hospital in Maryland where I was born. My poor mom needed a mountain midwife!), my mom went into real labor. I would be the fastest to arrive of all her babies. I gave her a four hour labor, spent with leather cuffs to hold her wrists to the bed (to ensure she was in the most convenient position for the doctor) with no pain meds, even when it wasn’t popular to do so. My parents took a cassette recorder into the delivery room, so I know well the doctor’s exclamations of, “Big girl! BIG girl!!” And comments about how my mom nearly launched me across the room as I came out. My mom wept in unbelief that she’d finally gotten a dark haired baby girl. Never mind I was the size of a two month old at 9 lb, 15 ounces and two feet long!
My older brother tried to run away he day they brought me home from the hospital. I slept so well that they put me in a crib in my own room that very night.
I have vague memories as a two year old at Christmas, and toys that now would be considered “vintage”.
Shortly after that we moved to the Myrtle Beach area as my parents graduated to the Senior Pastor position at an Assemblies of God church.
I had surgery to remove my tonsils and adenoids and put tubes in my ears, after an early childhood of ear infection after ear infection, with antibiotics failing at every turn.
We moved two or three times around that town, always going from small rental house to small rental house. No matter where we went my mom made it pretty. No matter where we went, we played in neighbor’s yards in a safe little world, where children could go down the street and you could count on the kindness of others to look after them. People weren’t distracted so much then that they didn’t noticed the small people.
When it was time for me to start four year old kindergarten, my parents started a private school at our church, and my mom was my teacher. I didn’t much like having to share her with all those other kids, so I performed many antics which frequently landed me I the principal’s office for a spanking. (Guess who the principal was. Yep. My dad.) I would lay out prostrate during the middle of class, or dramatically prop my feet up on the desk or make as much humming noise as I could while mom tried to teach. Sorry, Mom!
It was sometime after this that I sat in time out and felt conviction of sin for the first time. Silently, and all alone, I prayed for God’s forgiveness and committed my life to serving the One who could free me from sin.
I remember always having other kids follow me around. I was always the boss when we played, handing out imaginary roles and they dutifully followed my lead.
My birthday parties were always crowded because my mom had many people to consider when she made the guest list. Everyone wanted to come to the pastor’s kid’s parties. So there was usually a separate party for immediate family and real friends.
Halfway through my second grade year, my parents went away to Florida to interview for a church there. I got the mumps while they were gone and it was terribly painful and miserable without my mamma. They came back with announcements that we were moving.
That’s me with my Papaw. He passed away shortly after my first baby was born, but not without passing on the love of homegrown food, Tom and Jerry, and long prayers and hymns in the midnight hours.
to be continued….