RDP Monday Prompt: LABOR
Middle English labo(u)r, from Old French labour (noun), labourer (verb), both from Latin labor ‘toil, trouble.’
This word really hasn’t changed much, either in spelling or in meaning, Hard work. Toil. Expending a lot of energy to get the job done. Sometimes pain is involved.
The job I’ve had for nearly 50 years, if done well, is quite labor-intensive. Keeping house is not easy work. It can be boring, and I’ve never truly enjoyed the cleaning part of housekeeping. It’s just something that has to be done unless you don’t mind living in a lot of dirt.
The very first thing that came to mind, though, when I saw this prompt, was the labor of childbirth. Four times for me, all normal births, nothing that made it to the medical journals and no gruesome stories to share at a baby shower for a first- time mom. Why do women do that? Go into graphic detail about the time they almost died giving birth to their fifth, sixth, or seventh child? WHY? This poor young woman anticipating her first baby goes home piled with gifts and horror stories. Makes my tired ache.
I’d rather laugh. And who knows? Laughter may bring on the contractions that signal that you’re about to lose your freedom 🙂 Here are two cartoons that made me smile this morning:
Never spend time with your skinny friend when you’re nine months along. You’re going to want to bop her a good one.
I can think of other captions for this one, too. Like “Ooooh, my stomach is SOOOoooo poochy!” Or “I sure hope you don’t get stretch marks. Your stomach is REALLY big, isn’t it?”
Then there’s the sympathetic husband. Sorry, guys, but NO, you cannot relate to our pain. At all. Don’t go there. We will make you suffer if you try to take our minds off our own misery in order to feel sorry for you. What this guy needs is a bonk on the noggin with a bedpan.
I need to say here that my husband was a wise man. He never tried this kind of stupidity on me. He did let me get a death grip on his hand several times, and he encouraged me. He never fainted or experienced nausea. He was exactly the kind of husband you want in this situation. He’s not the kind of guy who compares a hangnail to labor and childbirth.
The best thing about childbirth labor is that you have a wonderful new baby at the end of it. In my experience, you really do forget the pain. I mean, I remember that it hurt, and that there were a few moments during which I wanted to just stop it, but I don’t remember the exact feeling or sensation. Anyway, it was a long time ago and it doesn’t matter now.
The best result is that I now have nine wonderful grandchildren that I DIDN’T have to labor for. So it was way more than worth it 🙂