Because I’m Her Mother

July 24th, 2015 | Posted by Barbara Belknap in Gather the Women

Several times, I’ve sat down to write the blog for Gather the Women, but my mind is on one thing: Our daughter Amy is expecting her first child on September 25th. We know that the baby is a little girl. We know her name is Edie Simone Fisher. So, this blog will be personal, and yet I know that a mother of a pregnant woman in New Guinea or Italy or Iceland most likely feels the same way I’m feeling. We are going to fly down a few days before her due date. I would not miss this for anything!

Amy’s a Chef who has been working since she was 16 years old. When Gather the Women had the annual gathering in Seattle at the University of Washington, Amy was the Chef who supervised our meals. Now she is at home on their farm several miles from the little town of Darrington, just north of Seattle. Her husband is a landscaper who works in Seattle.

Since she became pregnant, I’ve been reminded of my own two pregnancies. Our son was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, three weeks before we transferred from there to San Diego with the Coast Guard. Amy was born in Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego. We lived in a big development of houses called Mira Mesa, just north of the city. Our neighbors were all in their twenties with one of two little ones. Our parents lived a few hours away.

Before the move to Darrington, Amy had lived in Seattle since her early 20’s. We live in Juneau, Alaska, a tad over 1,700 miles due north as the raven flies or the cruise ship cruises. Thanks to the Internet and our iPhones, we are available to each other 24/7, which is exactly how I want it to be right now. While our little city has no road in or out, we still have plenty of places to shop. Last week, Amy called and said in a slightly depressed tone that her feet had gotten bigger. Her size 8 shoes were pinching her feet. “Mom, I have big Pregnant Lady Feet. Could you please go to Shoefly and see if you can find a pair of special shoes for me, please?” Because I’m her mother and it’s so hard to be far away right now, I was thrilled to have a job! I took down the brand name, drove into town, tried on a pair to show her what they looked like (we wear the same size), had her choose a color, bought a few pairs of shoelaces, and them boxed up. They were all ready to go to Darrington within an hour.

But first, I went to JoAnn’s, a big chain store crammed full of craft supplies that anchors the end of the Nugget Mall. I filled my basket with a dozen small flat canvases of different sizes, stick-on picture hangers, a set of 24 tubes of bright acrylic paint of every hue, and a dozen brushes. On the closet shelf in my office (Amy’s former bedroom) was an old box marked “Amy’s Artwork”. I pulled it down, opened it, and found about a dozen of her paintings from high school. Leaving those on the bottom, I added all the art supplies, secured it with duct tape, and put the other box with the cool shoes in it on top. Feeling very happy, I drove to the Post Office and The Rescue Boxes were on their way to Darrington.

Amy called yesterday to say both the packages had arrived. The shoes fit perfectly, and the art supplies were just the right fix for lifting her mood. Her husband Scott came in to find the table covered with the cool shoes, a pile of white canvases, a little stack of brushes, and all the other goodies. She said he smiled and said, “It looks like Christmas. Those must be from your mom.”

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