Happy Birthing Person Day

Happy Birthing Person Day May 9, 2021

I’m over at Stand Firm this morning.

Today, apparently, is “Birthing Person” Day, and the prevailing manner of marking the occasion seems to be people posting pictures of “birthing creatures” in the wild–fluffy “mother” birds with baby birds under their wings, a cheetah “mother” screaming at her cubs, that sort of thing. That seems about right. Mother’s Day is so fraught. It is that terrible moment–whether you are a “Birthing Person” (BP), or a “mother” or whatever–to contemplate your own failures and frustrations, and the ingratitude of your offspring. Do they even deserve to have you as their BP?

That’s before you add in a multitude of other accumulated griefs. Maybe your own mother has been awful to you your whole life. Maybe she really was a Bad Mother. Or maybe your mother has just died–a lot of mothers and grandmothers did this year. Maybe you have wanted (whatever your sex and gender) to be a mother or a BP yourself and you haven’t been able to, for so many complicated and heart-breaking reasons. The morning dawns on this auspicious day and no matter what happens, it probably won’t be a time of uncomplicated and simple joy where you get nice presents and just feel happy and don’t have to eat and drink your feelings or stand in the kitchen alone at a family party quietly devouring a whole cheese while no one is looking. At no point will you escape to cry because you’re so tired and irritated about everything.

Plus, if you are are yourself a BP, and secretly wish that everyone (your children especially) would notice, and that you wouldn’t have to organize your own present, and your own dinner, and guilt your children into going to church with you, and try to sublimate your own emotional exhaustion, you can go watch scolding videos on youtube about how you should amend your bad attitude #inJesusnameamen because motherhood is not being selfish and awful. In other words, maybe it’s just the usual Sunday of swirling hope, sadness, and anger because you have nothing in your closet groaning with clothes to even wear.

To remediate the trouble, you toddle over to the Sunday lections and there discover that some Christians (Anglicans) don’t even account for Birthing Persons Day in the church year. They think it is some number of Sundays after Easter and yet are still unaccountably having gospel readings from the night before Jesus died.

“If you keep my commandments,” says Jesus, “you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” Which is a variation of what I say to my own children every single day of the year–if you loved me, you would keep my commandments. Or, more often, I told you to bring down your laundry half an hour ago, what have you been doing?

Speaking as a “birthing person,” I feel I have a unique insight into how God must feel all the time when he speaks. There he goes on, century after century, telling his very own people who he carried along in his bosom through the Red Sea and into the wilderness, who he brought into a well-provisioned and gracious land, who he clearly and plainly told what he expected everyone to do…read the rest here!

Photo by Kilimanjaro STUDIOz on Unsplash

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