MOTHERS: IMPORTANT TASKS AWAIT YOUR BABIES
So, you are going to have a baby. A pair never beat a full house, they say.
Into such a world you are about to bring a baby. Next month, maybe. You are not human if you have not wondered through each long night if it is right.
Mothers have worried about that-since a long time before you switched to low heels. You'll have to endure the mornings and the waiting and the dieting, and the waiting and the wondering and the waiting, ...alone.
But in worrying you have lots of company.
When Nancy of Kentucky entered the valley of the shadow, what was there for her baby? The British were shooting at us in a prelude to war.
A former candidate for President and member of the Senate was being tried for treason. Her husband was an illiterate, wandering laborer.
But in the agony of poverty, war, and public scandal, Nancy Lincoln's baby was born.
Suppose you had been Mary, a slave girl.
To you in Diamond Grove, Mo., in 1864, it would have seemed the whole mad world was aflame.
Civil War matched the cruel weapons of Grant and Lee.
Sherman was shooting and looting his way to the sea.
Had Mary known that six weeks later she and her boy child would be kidnaped by nightriders and that she would never be heard from again, it would not have changed things. She would have had her baby
For there were reasons George Washington Carver had to be.
There were important reasons.
We were at war with Mexico when tiny Tom Edison arrived in Ohio, The day he invented the electric light out in Indian Territory, to two worried half-breed Cherokee Indians, a boy was born.
He was named Will ...Rogers.
In Minnesota Edith was frightened, too. In 1898 the United States was barely struggling to its financial feet when the battleship Maine blew up and the Spanish-American War exploded with it. At the height of the storm Edith's child was born ...Charles Mayo of Rochester.
It was uncertain adventure for Harry and Catherine Crosby of Tacoma, Wash.
Then too, there was a war to be won. But more, there was a song to be sung. And Bing was born.
That is what I am trying to say. That is the whole of it. That there is an important job to do ---- for a teacher, preacher, mechanic, for a barber, carpenter, doctor or somebody to grub out the sewers. It is important.
Even if there are wars.
For it is the soul of man that has to be tried.
An eternity is being populated. Each must test his wings alone. Until he flies.
Then they will take this small world from us and give us the skies.
But we have to be here first. That is why what you are about to do is so important.
For each woman there is this personal Garden of Gethsemane. She goes there for strength. I have not tried to tell you it is easy. Only that it is terribly important.
None, holding our hand, can erase the terror, born of the lateness of the hour. And the stories of old women. Always old ones. Often childless.
Impatient, tired, you will, of course, be worried.
Since long before Mary, mothers have been anxious for their offspring. But have borne them in stables and hidden them in bulrushes. Have borne them unattended in the bouncing bed of a Conestoga wagon racing to outdistance savages, in unheated frontier cabins, or, just as alone, midst the antiseptic whiteness of great hospitals.
Because it is important that they do. It has ever been so!
A while of moonlight and roses, a lifetime of dishwater and diapers, toys that will not run, noses that will not stop.
And women, back into the garden ...and again.
Barefoot over broken glass.
Humming a lullaby.
by Paul Harvey, The Chronicle, Centralia, Wa,
May 25, 1993 (-Back to home page-)