Friday, January 11, 2008

8 babies

Growing up in the North Country of NYS my family was quite close to an amish family, the Hershbergers. My mother is still quite close with them. She and Mattie were very friendly. Mattie , who is a bit of a healer in her community would help my mom out with that kind of advice and my mom would offer a hand with practical things. We were often helping with canning when the time came. Mom would sneak out loads of laundry and get them done to help out a sister of Mattie's who had ten babies. My mom still sends them packages of handy things like cloth diapers and candy! I know what some may be thinking "all those babies, too much". But when I think of how they live, how little they consume, how little energy they use and the values of their community, it bothers me not at all. Besides, not all of them have 12 babies! I remember my friend Lydia's first baby Lizzie (now 8) running around, happy as a clam in soggy cloth diapers, a little dirtier than my own kids, but very healthy and happy. When I had Henry, Lydia and Matty took the time to make him a quilt. I have just heard that Lydia and Johnny have had their 8th baby. No electricity, no washer/dryer, no car, no blog to spout off

Lizzie...8 yrs.,
and Emery ...2weeks

and she is happy...or so she says....I have met all but the last three and I must say she looks good and she did seem happy.
There is no way that I would wish for 8 kids. I know Lydia has her work cut out for her but she does live next door to her parents like many folks in her community do and she is part of a community, a real community. That is rare nowadays. As an Amish woman you don't lift a finger for two months after you have a baby. You just rest, nurse, eat and sleep. You are supported, at least for two months. Most women I know have had to fight for maternity leave! I am not idealizing them at all.
I am a bit amazed though.

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