Where the Paved Road Ends: Motherhood is an Adventure

Beth Watkins has admiration for her daughters who are now mothers. Pictured is her youngest daughter Sam with her daughter Molly. (Photo by Steph T Photography)

By Beth Watkins

No truer statement can be said, “Without mama we wouldn’t be here.” She is our lifeline. Mamas have a very long list of titles, just to mention a few: hero, comforter, protector, cheerleader, enforcer and teacher. Motherhood is an adventure! I know daddies have a lot to do with the little plus sign on the EPT stick, but this article is dedicated to all the mamas who brought us into this world.

I have personally experienced the nine long months followed by the excruciating pain of childbirth, a pain that would send a grown man screaming for Jesus to come back. I’m really not a tough woman, but I freely chose to endure that near death experience two more times.

My three babies were worth every second of the harrowing experience, a delivery that can only equal pushing a ten pound watermelon out your nose. I should add here, that I also have an adult stepson who is worth the pain. Bless his mama’s heart. I do understand that she doesn’t like to share. Mamas don’t like sharing their babies, no matter how old their babies are, well, unless it’s a cow.

Mama cows amaze and just to list a few reasons:

1. We have two herds of cows with two baby daddies. There is no mama drama when “big daddy” sticks his nose into every female’s business. And all the sister cows know he’s been up to something because he’s smoking a cigarette and wearing a smirky grin on his face. You can hear them swoon as he swaggers his big fine self off to the side to watch over his passel of gals.

2. Mama can be grazing one minute then lying down quietly giving birth the next minute. If all goes right, after a few minutes rest, she stands up and starts licking her bundle of joy clean. The nursing instinctively kicks in without the presence of a lactation specialist; it’s an “udder” miracle.

I admire my mama. When I was very young, we moved away from family. She went through motherhood with her mother many miles away. They communicated through writing letters and the occasional expensive, long-distance phone call.

The expectant couple did not take birthing classes. They did not have access to videos on child rearing, just a tattered old book that had been passed down from her mother, titled “The Common Book of Baby and Child Care,” written by Dr. Benjamin Spock. Our daddy was a long-haul trucker who was gone 75 percent of the time. She was a full-time mama, working 24/7. She did not have time for social functions or girlfriend outings. Life was simple and uncluttered.

Mama’s days consisted of cleaning, cooking and Captain Kangaroo. Momma taught us right from wrong. When we crossed the line, we got our butts whooped. Most generally, she spanked us with her hand, so it was our feelings that got hurt more than our bottoms, unless our brother had left his Hot Wheels track lying around. Then our butts stung! Once, when we were staying with our grandma in Arizona, she introduced us to another form of punishment.

My sister thought she was big enough to talk like a truck driver, so Grandma washed her mouth out with a bar of soap. I don’t know if my brother Dougie and I have ever told our sister, Glenna, that we appreciated her for always being the pioneer of the boundaries.

Pick up the May issue to learn more!