Lend a Hand to Families

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 4,649 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—6,500 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life

A much-anticipated opportunity came this week. I was so excited. A girlfriend of mine, a real farm chick, a bosom buddy, one of my besties, had a baby! I could finally earn my Lend a Hand to Families badge! I’d been waiting for pestilence and plague, someone to fall sick or have a tragic injury, anything to give me the chance to help someone out.

I know. Even as a joke, it falls flat. My sacrificial nature and priorities are one of the best things about Yours Truly. Along with my humility, of course.

So, I waited by the phone with bated breath, anticipating the …

wee babe’s arrival. I was like a nervous father, an excited grandmother, a big sister! I was a wreck, really. I paced around and ate more than my fair share of organic, free trade, dark chocolate. For the antioxidants, of course. Then I poured a glass of local, organic Merlot. For the reversitol, of course. This birthing process was aging me!

I tell you what. I don’t know what was taking so long, but finally the phone rang. It was a strapping boy! I considered passing out cigars, but I’m not a big fan, so I ate more chocolate.

I could hardly wait to get over there and help out. I had my gift basket all ready, full of handmade burp rags, cloth diapers (okay, okay, those are one and the same, but still), a pair of hand-knitted booties, and a onesie with I Love Auntie Jane printed in puffy paint. I told her I’d be right over and she told me to wait a week.

Huh? Seriously? I had some serious baby snuggling to do, not to mention the fact I planned to bring the Tater Tot Casserole in my oven. With Mr. Wonderful around, it was not going to last a week.

Okay, I grudgingly agreed. One week. And then I’m descending! And helping, by golly!

My week passed, slow as molasses in January. That baby was gonna be a toddler before I got to see him. Sigh. I should have started his college fund by now. Maybe I can teach him to drive.

My Tater Tot Casserole long gone, I packed up some Taco Soup and Cornbread instead and off I went. To help! I almost felt like I needed a cape and maybe some tights.

Turns out, I did a lot less baby snuggling and gift unwrapping, and a lot more dish washing, laundry folding, sweeping, mopping, and more laundry folding. Man, I had no idea babies were such slobs! He is cute, though. I got to play This Little Piggy in between sock folding and unloading the dishwasher. He totally smiled at me, too, although his mama said it was only gas. I suppose she would know … but I still think it was a smile.

When I got home, I was pretty exhausted just seeing what the little mama goes through daily. I’d say I earned this badge, and maybe there should be one for procreating? Just sayin’. She deserves a badge for all aspects of it.

  1. Terry Steinmetz says:

    Brought back many memories of my earlier life as a doula. It is LOTS of work, but so worthy. I’m still close to all those families after 30 years! Treasure those memories.

  2. Mary Beth Schwarz says:

    Jane you are such a good friend! I recall all the help I had from close friends when I had a C-section in 1970s. It was a busy, amazing time! The work around the house was exactly what the little mother needed so she could feed and are for Baby Boy. And it is great that there is a Merit Badge for this!

  3. Winnie Nielsen says:

    The older we get, the more we forget how much chaos and work having an infant, especially when there are other young children present. Exhausting every single day! Tis is a good badge to offer ways to give back when we see the need!

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