As I held a baby born late in the season of fruitfulness, I was filled with tender compassion for the mama. The older mama face – etched with lines from smiles and from squinting in the brightness of the sun through many seasons and from the joys and sorrows accumulated through the years – and now another little face to kiss, feet to guide and hands to teach. But not just another — the last one.
There’s a peculiar bittersweetness to childbearing late in the season of fruitfulness, though I don’t think this is initially comprehended in the pregnancy or even in the birth – but some time after. I think this is the sort of thing that only becomes apparent as days become weeks and weeks become years and the season of fruitfulness fades into yesteryears.
Somehow the late in the season pregnancies, births and babies have a uniqueness all their own. The youthful wonderment and the strange mix of nervous anxiety and awe inspired delight that comes early in the season of fruitfulness seems to wane through the years of time and experience. I don’t know that confidence ever really replaces anxiety or that experience ever diminishes the wonderment of pregnancy and birth but I do know that there is a contrast in births early and late in the season of fruitfulness. I could suppose that some of the early fears are lost in the sea of forgetfulness but there are some anxieties that don’t diminish a whole lot with time and experience. So, I don’t know quite what the difference is — just that it’s so tremendously different.
I smiled as I read the news; another late in the season of fruitfulness pregnancy – another hope, another dream for a mama late in her season of fruitfulness. I pray for this baby, as yet unborn, but also for the mama whose heart is being enlarged and whose life is being filled yet more. I trail off for a moment, wondering how the LORD will use this child… how the mother will influence the child for the glory of God and how her heart will face the joys and sorrows that are part of every pregnancy, birth and life she bears and are compounded by the many roads and intersections she’ll travel on the motherhood journey.
I pray for her to savour these days, to soak them in and to take the time to hold the baby more and longer. I think that’s one of the sweet blessings of the late in the season of fruitfulness babies… the rocking in the arms or the sling longer. I pray for this mother’s thoughts to not be cast into the abyss of uselessness, though she has more “I used to do’s” than “I’m going to do’s” in her conversations and probably more years behind her than years ahead, I pray she smiles at the days ahead – that the sorrows and trials of life don’t overwhelm her – that the joys and delights abound to her and that the LORD will bless her life, her home and family as He has once again blessed her womb. Thus, I pray she will be more fruitful in the latter end than in the beginning.
Mothers late in the season of fruitfulness have both less to give and more to give; they know a tad bit more of what’s more important and what’s less important in the end — maybe because dimming eyes give way to 20/20 hindsight and dimming memories seem to remember more of the good and less of the lesser days.
O, how I pray for more opportunities to share what God has done in the past — that those in the future would hear of His glorious works and praise Him all the more and that the younger women would be better equipped to walk through the seasons than perhaps some of us were/are.