A Tired Older Woman Defines Labor

A Clue for Adrianna (Captain’s Point Stories) The first novel in the Captain’s Point series.  A romantic women’s fiction/family saga/chicklit novel written by Annie Acorn & Juliette Hill writing as Charlotte Kent.

Also available in print and for Nook and Kobo!

A Man for Susan (Captain’s Point Stories) The second novel in the Captain’s Point Series.  A romantic women’s fiction/family saga/chicklit novel written by Annie Acorn & Juliette Hill writing as Charlotte Kent.

Also available in print and for Nook and Kobo!

Chocolate Can Kill: An Emily Harris Myster (An Emily Harris Mystery) (Volume 1) a cozy mystery by Annie Acorn

Also available in print, at Amazon UK and for Kobo and NOOK!

Anyone who has known me for more than two minutes will tell you that I absolutely LOVE holidays.  After all, most of them mean that you stay home from work, surround yourself with family and/or friends, and eat tons of delicious food – much of it made by others.  Labor Day, though, while acceptable in those ways previously mentioned, always seemed a bit of a conundrum to me, especially while I was growing up.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m not anti-labor.  I have a sister who is a card-carrying member of the teacher’s union, and I allowed part of my wages to be sent somewhere as union dues, when I cashiered at a Kroger while putting myself through college.  Still…

While relatives in past generations had labored in lumber mills and for the railroads, my father was a research chemist and a professional, according to Mother. While we were taught to always work hard at whatever we attempted, the word “labor” never really entered into it.  Personally, I always envisioned my father as tinkering with something at the laboratory where he worked, much like he did with the toaster when at home.

Even as an adult, I wasn’t quite sure what the day was about.  Were we celebrating hard workers, anyone who earned a paycheck, unions, or something else?  I could clearly explain the reason behind every other holiday, but this one continued to escape me – until this past weekend that is.

It started Saturday afternoon.  I have never actually attended a live opera, but I often listen to WETA radio’s opera broadcast.  This Labor Day weekend, the opera in question revolved around a single character, a single voice – that of a woman from the Middle Ages, who had surmounted all odds and achieved a stellar education in both mathematics and science.  One of her books is still considered to be a classic.

Towards the end of the opera, the name of which sadly escapes me, the woman writes a letter to a friend, in which she outlines her fear at having learned that she is pregnant and will give birth during her 42nd year.  In point of fact, this remarkable woman did die of complications from this childbirth, the baby died as well as so often happened back then, and that was that.

Then on Sunday, I attended the baptism of my newest great-nephew – one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.  Afterwards, our family all traipsed over to my niece’s where we enjoyed a sumptuous repast, surrounded by at least five babes under eighteen months in age as well as a number of other children.

As often happens when women gather, stories of childbirth began to be shared, and one of my two nieces who are currently pregnant announced that she has acquired a hernia as a result of lifting her 30 pound toddler while being pregnant, which will impact her delivery and require surgery afterwards.  I believe it was at this moment that the kaleidoscope clicked, and I realized what Labor Day must be about.

All of these years, I had thought industrial, but now I considered that this was a holiday I could truly embrace, if I made it a bit more homebound.  To me, as a woman who has given birth to two sons, the word “labor” only has personal meaning when it is used in the context of childbirth.

Yes, I know that we already have a Mothers’ Day, but ask any mother and she’ll tell you.  Mothering is what you do for your child after the trials, tribulations, and out and out pain of pregnancy, labor and delivery, which is the first thing that a mother forgets once she is given her newborn to hold in her arms.

Now I’m quite sure that Congress or some long ago President had a much different intent for this designated day, but I believe that going forward, I’m using this rather ambiguous holiday as an opportunity to reflect on the millions of women through the years who have quietly endured a pregnancy and the labor of a delivery, so that all of the rest of us could live.

So won’t join me in a hip-hip-hooray for all of the women who labored while risking all for another?  I can’t think of anything more deserving of a big family celebration.

Annie Acorn

Murder With My Darling (Bonnie Lou Mysteries) by Annie Acorn

Also available in print and for Kobo and NOOK!

A Tired Older Woman: Loses Weight and Keeps It Off! by Annie Acorn

Also available in print and for Kobo and NOOK!

A Stranger Comes to Town (Annie Acorn’s Kindle Short Mysteries) by Annie Acorn

Also available for NOOK!

When to Remain Silent (Annie Acorn’s Kindle Short Mysteries) by Annie Acorn

Also available for NOOK!

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2 Responses to A Tired Older Woman Defines Labor

  1. bobbie says:

    Loved it.

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