Some friends have a baby who won’t sleep through a night. A gorgeous, round-cheeked laughing beauty of a baby.

I’ve restrained myself from laughing, from outright teasing: I’ve never heard of a baby who keeps her parents up at night. My first baby, at nine months, woke up every hour for what seemed years, although it may have been only a week or two, or possibly months. I first noted then that this parenting thing might never plateau out and remain static.

My 12-year-old daughter made a new friend yesterday. When I picked her up after work, she was losing mightily and happily at Monopoly, while the girls hatched plans for a sleepover. Later, the three of us biked slightly out of town, abandoning our bikes and walking through the dusk rapidly rising, the girls laughing on swings my daughters used as very little girls. The friend was wearing my daughter’s sweatshirt, and my eyes kept snagging on the turquoise. Truth is, my daughter’s grown so much this past year, I look twice at her often, before I slow down and recognize her as mine.

Stories teach us in ways we can remember… Positive stories shared by women who have had wonderful childbirth experiences are an irreplaceable way to transmit knowledge of a woman’s true capacities in pregnancy and birth.

– Ina May Gaskin


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