Friday, February 12, 2010

Birthin' Babies 'n' Stuff

What a great lunch I had today. My friend Kathy and I used to meet for lunch two or three times a year, but the last time we got together, her daughter was pregnant with a second child, a little girl who is now four years old! So it's been awhile. We were pleased to see that neither of us has changed in the past four years (yeah...right).

Kathy and I have a long history together, going back to my early days in Davis, when we were both involved with La Leche League. She didn't live in Davis so I'm not quite sure how I got to know her, but I did. Over the time we worked together, she became a leader too.

We worked together with other women on presenting a national La Leche League conference in Sacramento. Some of the most fun -- and funniest -- times I remember. La Leache League was founded back in 1956 by seven women who were breastfeeding their babies and who saw a need for a group to give support to other women who wanted to nurse their babies.

In those days, you were considered weird if you breastfed. Today when I see that it is assumed you will breastfeed, at least initially, for however short or long you decide, I think back on the days we tried to talk to doctors and nurses in obstetrical offices and hospitals and were laughed out of the places. It's a great feeling of satisfaction to know that the change in thinking is something that we were a part of.

But when we were planning the convention here in the Sacramento area, we began laughing once about the 7 founding mothers as being like the 7 dwarfs and trying to decide which mother was which dwarf (seems to me we all agreed on who Dopey was). Anyway, I have never since then -- and we're talking 30 years or more here -- been able to hear about the founders of La Leche League without thinking of Dopey and the other six founding mothers.

Kathy paid me a lovely compliment about those days today, which really has put me in a good mood for the whole rest of the day.

She went on to do childbirth education, which moved her up the corporate ladder into management. She has received national recognition for her contribution to women's issues.

She also has a gay child and so our friendship was renewed when we both found PFLAG and I marched with her and PFLAG in a couple of Gay Pride parades in San Francisco.

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I worked with her PFLAG group occasionally, especially when my friend Steve became a featured singer at a memorial service held at a local Church to remember all of those who have died of AIDS.

A couple of years later, we attended the memorial service of one of the planners of that event, who learned that he had AIDS (after testing clear every year prior to that) just days before his death from pneumocystis pneumonia.

We watched our children grow up and become parents themselves. We've shared tragedies together. And today we realized (as I am so fortunate to have realized with a handful of other people throughout my life) how very special it is to meet up with people with whom you have lost track many years after your last meeting, and to take up where you left off, with very little need to play "catch up."

Today we were back at the Olive Garden, having minestrone soup and salad and chatting as if we had just seen each other last week.

I love it when that happens.

We're taking off for our annual trip to So. California to see "Says You" tomorrow. Ashley and at least four other dogs are moving in here while we're gone. In a way I wish I could be a fly on the wall to see how her 4 (or is it 5? It's her own dogs plus two fosters) mix with the four we have here. If you're planning to rob our house, I wouldn't try it this weekend. Judging from the way our two current fosters tried to attack Phil and later Ned, adding another four dogs to the mix is not going to make breaking in here any easier! (And the pickings for self-respecting thieves is so slim, it's definitely not worth it...all the "good stuff" will be with me, mostly in my purse! Unless, of course, you're into SPCA towels and shredded rugs.

I'll have the computer with me and I hope to continue journal entries as usual, but on the off chance that entries aren't posted when you expect them, that's why.

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