I haven’t been able to write much on the blog. There has been a lot going on recently as I have written for other publications, tried to wrap up the school year well, and – I confess – I’ve been binging on “The Americans,” but I wanted to join in on this week’s Five Minute Friday link-up. All of our posts in the FMF community are written in five minutes with no edits and no second guesses. This week’s writing prompt is: Cheer.
Over the weekend I flew to and from Phoenix for Tim’s cousin’s wedding and was reminded why I am grateful we don’t fly as a family anymore (think of posts like this one). There was the usual things you expect on an airplane with children. Crying babies. An overtired mom hauling two kids by herself. A child behind me speaking way too loud (but who miraculously fell asleep mid-flight, something my kids never did).
But the most stunning part to me wasn’t on the plane, it was what I saw before I boarded it.
I took a trip to the bathroom and as I walked to my stall, I noticed a woman standing in the corner of the room, her back turned to everything, with a small electric device plugged into the wall making a rhythmic whirring sound. It took me a second, but I realized what it was. The poor woman was pumping. In a bathroom. As discreetly as possible, but still in public.
I felt so much for her. The frustration of having to use a bathroom for such a sacred act. The humiliation of having your breasts attached to a milking machine in public. The extra time to be at an airport in order to continue to provide food for her baby. All sacrifices that are not celebrated or honored, but are at times called “disgusting” by a certain presidential candidate today.
As I stepped out of my stall and washed my hands, I couldn’t help myself. I had to say something.
Startled, the woman turned her head..
“Really, I know what you are doing is not easy. It’s great.”
I felt silly, cheering on this mama in the bathroom. But I know if it had been me, I would have liked a bit of encouragement. So, I did it.