|with my two sweeties today, celebrating Costa Rican Mother's Day|
|with precious older friends I have learned from and shared life with for the past four years|
"I love events like this that give me a window into the culture in which we live... We were supposed to share about the birth of our first child (all 20 of us! It took a LONG time!). Through this, I learned that Ticas - and probably Latinas in general - have a flair for dramatic storytelling. As the women told their stories, there was a lot of "Ay, yo sufrí muchísimo!" (Oh, I suffered so much!). I've noticed this before: when Ticas get together, they talk about their kids' births... and when they talk about pregnancy and labor, they like to emphasize the pain! But, it is interesting; I don't get the impression that they are trying to exaggerate or to "one-up" each other. They just genuinely all enjoy telling and listening to dramatic stories! Several women even stood up and told their stories with great gestures and facial expressions; they are true storytellers!
The stories seemed to escalating in dramatics until one of my friends reminded us that there was a girl there who is expecting her first baby next month. The poor girl, who is still a teenager, was sitting there with huge eyes, looking a little terrified. Fortunately, the next lady who spoke is very sweet, and she redeemed the whole situation by acknowledging that, yes, labor hurts, but when it's over and the doctor hands you your precious little baby (and here she paused to crook her arm as if she was holding a baby and looked down at this imaginary baby with an adoring, angelic look on her face), you'll be overwhelmed by God's gift to you. You'll say "¿Es mío? ¡Que bendición! ¡Que responsibilidad!" (Is he mine? What a blessing! What a responsibility!).
As I looked at my friend's sweet face glowing with the remembrance of her feelings at her children's births, and as my heart related to hers, I realized that in spite of cultural differences, there are some things that unite women all around the world. The joy, the challenges, the sweetness, and the responsibility of motherhood is a common factor to all women with children. And, as I thought about that, I didn't feel like the only gringa (foreigner, from the USA) there anymore; I just felt like one of the women in this group of mothers who love the Lord, and who are thankful for the children He has blessed them with. Praise the Lord!"
|with my dear friend, who I now call my mamá tica (Costa Rican mom)|
|with my kindred spirit and pastor's wife at this year's Mother's Day church celebration|