Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Stars and Stripes

So lately I have become obsessed with comparing myself to those who have gone before. Especially the women of the past. I constantly find myself thinking about a pioneer mother giving birth in the winter in a wagon or an African American slave working in the fields or a poor girl living in the dark ages surrounded by rats and cockroaches with no indoor plumbing or heating or refrigerator or a young lady in Bible times given away in marriage to a man she has never met.

Until recent days, even American women died giving birth all the time. I think about our epidurals, IV’s, and cesarean deliveries, about how incredibly difficult my recent labor and delivery were, and then wonder how my great grandmother had 14 children.

I think about the conditions I saw when I lived in Peru and about how in many parts of the world people still don’t have a dishwasher or a washing machine or an oven or a car and spend all of their day doing what those machines do for me automatically. I think about modern medicine, education, technology, and the rights I have because I was born in America in the 1980’s. I think about how I can vote and how I can be whatever or whoever I want to be.

We went camping with family for the 4th of July weekend. We really roughed it with a tent, an air mattress, sleeping bags, clean running water, a bathroom nearby, instant fire, conveniently packaged food, a car to put the food in to keep the bears away. I do enjoy camping, but I freaked out about every time I saw something creepy and crawly, especially when it was in our tent. I wonder if I would last even 24 hours in another day and age.

Here’s wishing a happy Independence Day and a happy Pioneer Day to all. I love our country and everything it is because of those who have gone before. And I truly salute the women of the past and present who have endured so many hardships that I will never know.



7 comments:

Ryan & Camilla said...

Do you ever think that the very fact that we have all these modern conveninences sort of obligates us to do more? I mean, like spend more time developing our talents, or working more? I feel like it does- I feel guilty when I compare myself to women in history- they were always busy and I sure have a lot of free time.

Brian & Emily said...

I do the SAME thing1 Mostly, as of late, I've been thinking of the pioneer women that gave birth on the plains - call me obsessed...childbirth is on my brain. Speaking of which (loosely) -- Josh Jr. is SOOOOOO cute! I am in love with his 4th of july outift -- I almost died when I saw it! Do you just fall in love again every time you look at him?!

Lori said...

Those are some cute pics. I'm glad to hear you had a good fourth of july.
I have definitely been thinking more of women through history lately too, but i think that they had some perks that we'll never experience as well- like untouched landscapes, literature and poetry as mainstream forms of entertainment, and just the blessings that come from working your own land.

motherblackham said...

We are all SO very blessed!

I am blessed too for having such beautiful Joshes and Adele!
(!!! are completely justified)

NoSurfGirl said...

I wanted to write a coherent comment on this post because I feel it so much. I know what you mean. There's nothing like motherhood to help you realize the fragility of life. I don't think anyone really understands how hard it hits until they do it. For me, it could either make me crazy with worry (thinking about all the things that could go wrong, and my dependence on fragile human inventions) or overwhelmed with thankfulness. I am So thankful for sippy cups and C-sections! Heavenly Father allowed me to be born at a time when it is a reasonable assumption that I will live to see all of my children grow up entirely, and will likely pass from this life to the next before most of them do.

Lately Skylwalker have been working on emergency supply and the idea of what we need in those situations where nothing is at hand. It's a real eye opener! For instance, in planning our supply list i realized suddenly that there is no way I can have enough diapers for a year's supply (unless I devote an entire room to them). So... that means old fashioned cloth diapers in the year's supply. And toilet paper! how long does that last? Leaves, people. Leaves.

Anyway, sorry. That ended up being a little facetious, I want you to know, Adelle, that I know what you're sayin', sista.

Ryan & Camilla said...

This is Ryan- Jr's right sleeve in that pic is about the best thing I've ever seen on the fourth of July.

Becky said...

I totally feel the same way, especially being pregnant. I can't think about it too long or I get really confused/upset, etc. It's good to know this goes through your mind too. Josh is lookin' so great! And so are you!