When I went into labor with my third daughter, I had a mid-wife from Ghana .
She was beautiful, funny and very stern.
I begged and pleaded and demanded the epidural, I had done this twice.
The second time I almost missed the epidural window, so I was very pushy this time.
She repeated again and again and again in her Ghanaian accent :
“Patience Ms. Ackerman”
“Patience, you are not ready till you are ready…”
“You will make yourself sick if you do not breathe and listen to me.It isn’t time yet.”
Today was disappointing.I planned a new exercise and it didn’t really go the way I wanted it to. Today started good and then somehow went a little south.Today, I felt the presence of the camera filming, and the difficulty of the job.Today I wanted an epidural, to take away my doubts, to ease the un-ease of my own disappointment.
Today I talked about dreams.
Where will you be in 15 years I asked?
If we can’t see where we want to go how will we get there?
My girls are so young. Some want to be models, musicians, oh, and rich.
Interestingly all of them, but all of them, want to help others.
You would think that girls that have been hurt used and broken wouldn’t want to help anyone. But, yet they ALL want to help others.
I want to be a nurse.
I want to be a vet.
I want to have 12 kids.
I want to be happy.
I want to be happy.
I want to be happy.
My girls, these girls that today are impossible, want to be happy –
They speak in shallow sentences and repeat things that have been said to them.
“I want to make a difference, I will go to college, I will work hard to fulfill my goals” They repeat the positive reassurance they have been taught to say, sometimes I am not sure they really understand what they are saying ,but really what they want is to have happy , to be happy and have simple things that to others are the day to day .A family, a house, things of their own.
Today we dreamed and let go of reality.
Today I wasn’t so happy.
See your future I tell them, tell me about it. But I ,
I can’t see 8 weeks ahead -
I can’t see the show.
I actually know the date of the show.
I even have a dignitary coming to the show.
I am disappointed today that this is the group being filmed, that this is the group the dignitary is coming to see. I tell them see your future, touch it, say what you want out loud, I can’t see tomorrow.
My beautiful mid wife told me to be patient.
I am not a big fan of labor, frankly it’s messy and it hurts and maybe for a bit of control freak like me having everything out of control is too much.
“Can’t I have the epidural NOW?!”
“No, you MUST have patience.”
Today is the kind of day that usually isn’t talked about.
Definitely laughed about later.
It’s the days like today, the disappointing days that I don’t write about in grants.
I don’t like to share, we don’t put in the statistics, and we prefer to shut out.
But today I will share, because it is days like today that paint the full picture.
Without days like today change doesn’t happen.
People don’t talk about how bloody and hard labor and delivery is.
They talk about the miracle of life, they talk about the amazing capability of the body to expand and open up to let a new soul into the world ,BUT it is not without hard work and pain .Miracles do not happen without the painful hard, hard work.
Today was hard, I can’t see the show, I can’t see the beauty. Basically, I can’t see beyond the restlessness gang banger girls I have.
Not many woman in the middle of a contraction can see their baby’s face, although I have been told that if you are hypnotized you can actually do that –Maybe in the next grant proposal I’ll write :
“Give me the money because I am willing to sit in the hard” Not sure that will work -
What I do know will work, is being patient.
What you need to do is rant, share, talk express, and let it all out to a friend who will understand. Like my sweet friend who I called on my way home .She listened to me patiently as I talked about not making a difference, how the show will be terrible, and that these girls can’t change. She listened and quietly said :“It’s ok Nomi, just talk it out”
(To be honest , now ,I am a little humiliated at the incredible load of babble that came out of my mouth, OMG I was on a real roll !)
Here is what I do know.
I need to lean on the experience I have, this is my 15th round of relationships 101.
I have done this before and all will be fine .
I must have faith in myself, the girls and the theater that I so love, and believe that everything will turn out ok.
It might not be exactly what I saw, or can’t see.
But it will be what it can be, that is all it ever can be.
That is really the lesson here.
It can only be what it can be.
That doesn’t mean we should not try hard, or make the upmost effort and or do the work.
It means it is ok if it is hard, disappointing, and even discouraging. We must find the patience the faith and the humor .
Lots of SELF humor.Rant, rage, kvetch and wake up the next day with a clean slate.
As I write this I think of today’s end of class, I told the girls I will not be there on Thursday because of spring break .I thought they would be happy and relieved I felt so defeated .
Surprisingly they were upset and said :“What? Why?”
I thought they will never want to come back. But they will –
“I can’t do this” I told the mid-wife crying.
And she laughed out loud.
“Of course you can”
When I look at my seven year old exquisite child I know it was worth it .
Miracles do not fall from the sky- we have to work hard for them.
We must rise up when we think we can’t.
We have to push through (sometimes literally) when we feel overcome .
We must have faith and vigor not to give up .
And then? Well, then Miracles happen.
Just like I know it will with this group.
Happy spring,Happy Passover and Easter. Happy.
Just plain simple happy.