A wise old gentleman once taught me…
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Last night my husband reminded me of a funny story. A true story. But before I get to that, meet Abby our 17 year old cat. 17 1/2 to be exact. She was rescued from the side of the road that many years ago…meow.
Now to the story.
It was the summer of 1995 and it was to be our last lamaze class before our firstborn arrived. And I was honkin’ big let me tell ya. Instead of more breathing exercises and the like, the last class was an open question and answer session with one of the doctors from the practice.
Looking back I wonder what they were thinking. A room full of pregnant, waaaay pregnant women who had read, and reread every book available on the subject. Questions? We already had most of the answers. So it seemed.
The doctor with the privilege of being present for our questions was quite the southern gentlemen. He was a wise old doctor. He donned a bowtie and all, with a thick southern accent earned only by a genuine southern upbringing. He was a doctah.
While I was still hung up on the baby’s-head-fitting-through-a-small-opening-the-size-of-the-sink-drain concept, everyone else seemed cool to move on to other topics. So as I contemplated scripture, especially the whole camel through the eye of a needle visual, questions ensued.
Breast feeding was now the topic for the hour. Now don’t get me wrong, I had read all the books and considered all of the problems that might arise with breast feeding but that baby has got to get out first. My only thought was that the breast feeding questions were a distraction from the inevitable. One after another a slew of breast feeding questions were asked.
“What if my milk doesn’t come in?”
“What if the baby doesn’t latch on?”
“I’m worried the baby is not going to like my milk. What do I do?”
“What’s the best pump method to use?”
The calm, patient, southern gentleman of a doctor that he was, was very accommodating and answered each and every query. Until they didn’t stop. The initial question had started a flurry of concern and he saw that more questions were coming. So before another was asked he gently began to speak…
“Ladies, let me tell ya… I’ve got this old mama cat at home. And that cat just lays down on the floor and her kittens know what to do. Breast feeding is not an intellectual endeavah.”
(endeavah, as in rathah, weathah, or whatevah…)
True story. And yes, those questions stopped.
Now before you send me some meanie mail about how I’m bashing the importance of breast feeding, fageddaboutit. I know its importance. I know there are complications and problems – I had difficulties with breast feeding both of my children.
But they ate.
And they grew.
And they were (and are) fine and dandy, whether I had worried and fretted or not.
The point is, that whether it’s breast feeding or building a house, sometimes we can get all worked up with the stuff that will eventually work itself out along the way, one way or another.
Worry. Anxiousness. Stress. They all do no good in the long run do they?
I’m hoping that I can remember this lesson from the wise old doctah with the holidays fast approaching. I tend to get my knickers in a bunch over unimportant things and miss the whole point.
Maybe this year will be different.
How ’bout you? Any holiday advice to pass on? Or do you have a funny story from a wiser one than we?
I love it. Sometimes you need a person with more experience to come along and put it into plain language.
And the fact that he was a southern gent reminds me of an old boss who told me a story about a former church secretary that he had (he had been a minister). She would take long breaks to pray in the sanctuary, read her Bible at her desk, and do other very “spiritual” things instead of her work. It finally reached a point where she had to be called in. “I don’t mind you reading your Bible,” he said. “And praying is a mighty good thing for us all to be doing…without ceasing, amen. I’d encourage you to continue all those things. The sanctuary opens at 5 o’clock every morning and I believe you have a 2 hour lunch in the afternoon. There’s usually someone here every evening until 7. And as I said, I’d encourage you to keep doing all of those things.”
She got the point. The whole reason he shared this story with me was because another coworker, one who was up to no good, marched back to his office and (ever so sweetly) asked if it would be all right for her to read her Bible at her desk. (Her motives were far from pure in asking this.) He shared the story with her. And that was that.
WHat a beautiful story. I don’t have kids yet, but I tend to worry and get anxiety over things that are not life altering. I think it is so important this time of year to remember how blessed we are and what we do have, since there are so many out there who have nothing.
A few years ago, I went to the same Starbucks every morning. As you might expect, I ended up chatting over time with the employees. One young barista was fairly crabby for months, but over time, I learned his name and he learned mine.
For whatever reason, I was moved to buy him a small Christmas present (A clear glass tree with small colored ornaments).
He opened it and told me it would likely be the only gift he would get because he had been estranged from his family for a few years.
My point is, act on the random ideas you have related to: giving a present, sending a card, giving someone some Xmas cash.
There’s probably a reason you are called to do it!
I stumbled upon your web page from the PW…Tasty Kitchen. The cat story grabbed me, ’cause I love our old kitty. And her name is Amy!
This is a good lesson for me right now. I have to remember this during wedding planning!!
Well Said!!!! Each day is a precious gift. Yesterday I was in a team meeting at work an we just stopped to pray for our team leader who was sitting there and was so sick and in pain from the chemo. His cancer has returned and it is bad. He and is only 32 and has 3 young children and a wife. He is fighting for his life. Sometimes we take things for granted don’t we?
I had to laugh because what the old southern doctah told you is the opposite of what the lady from La Leche told me when I was having a bit of trouble with my firstborn nursing. She said “People think because breastfeeding is natural that babies just know how to do it naturally, but that’s just not always true. A lot of babies need coaching to get it right.” And she was right. And knowing that made me feel a lot better about having had a bit of difficulty.
PS: I love the kitty!
I love your ‘doctah’! Eons ago when I as pregnant with my firstborn, I was thinking of natural childbirth. Lamaze classes weren’t anything I had ever heard of in our rural area. So…library lover that I am, I went to the library to read up on it. I found one lone book but it was practically antique and I figured there was “new” info out there on this important issue. So on my next doctah visit, I asked my family doctor (no pediatricians in our town, either), I asked my doctah if he had any literature on natural childbirth and I told him about the lonely old book at the library, printed sometime in the 1940s. He just looked at me, and said with a wry smile, “Well, things haven’t really changed much since then.” I shut up. And he was out of town when my baby was born, so his brother delivered. His brother, being a doctah, of course!