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I finally met the woman who has invented the perfect comeback for all of the self-appointed critics of midlife motherhood. And it’s the one that will shut them up.
Although “shutting them up”, I’m sure, was the last thing on her mind. Cynthia Wilson James is warm, gracious and compassionate—an ideal poster girl for over-forty motherhood. The “It Mom”.
After a twenty-year career in writing and broadcasting, Cynthia got married at forty and had her two children at forty-two and forty-four, in the “natural” way.
She was so moved by her experience that she became a childbirth instructor in her home state of South Carolina and launched Ease Your Fear of Giving Birth After 35, a seminar for older moms.
From there, she founded InSeason Mom (http://www NULL.inseasonmom NULL.org/index NULL.html), a website dedicated to dispelling misconceptions about midlife motherhood and supporting women starting families in their forties.
Her story and mission to build hope and strength in other midlife moms—the wannabes and wowdidits—was one that I recognized immediately as a mirror reflection of my own, with all of the right differences (including her pink booties to my blue ones).
And when it comes to negative backlash against older moms and the pressure to conceive at a more socially acceptable age, Cynthia reminds me of the world’s most beloved “Grasshopper”. Like Kwai Chang Caine (David Carradine (http://en NULL.wikipedia NULL.org/wiki/David_Carradine)) from the 1970’s Kung Fu television series (http://en NULL.wikipedia NULL.org/wiki/Kung_fu_tv_series), she defeats dissenters with the cutting edged steel beneath her gentle wisdom.
“There are different seasons in every person’s life,” she says. “The key is never allowing another person’s season to determine where you should be in yours.”
I felt as if I had found a soul sister. A woman cut of the same cloth in her passion, faith and belief in every woman’s natural right to be a mother, even in the autumn of her life.
But that wasn’t all.
Cynthia has a dream.
She envisions the launch the first annual convention for expectant moms, hoping-to-be moms and first-time moms over forty from around the country.
As she spoke, my brain suddenly kaleidoscoped to the 1939 film Babes In Arms (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/gp/product/B000RT99FG?ie=UTF8&tag=flopowmom-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B000RT99FG) with Mickey Rooney (http://en NULL.wikipedia NULL.org/wiki/Mickey_Rooney) and Judy Garland (http://en NULL.wikipedia NULL.org/wiki/Judy_Garland) shouting out the battle cry—“let’s put on a show!”
To this day the film is a cultural icon representing youthful exuberance, faith and determination to achieve the very goal they were told they could not.
From there, my inner kaleidoscope shifted again to the 1989 film Field of Dreams (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/gp/product/078322611X?ie=UTF8&tag=flopowmom-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=078322611X) and the tantalizing overture of “Build it and they will come…”
But from this many-splendored vision, Cynthia plucked me back to earth with a simple grounding statement—our raison d’être, without which we would never have reached out to each other in the first instance.
We had both conceived without the aid of ART. We had prayed for our children and they did come. We were miracle moms cradling the real impossible dreams in our arms, in the pink-cheeked flesh.
“These children, they are our blessings,” she said knowingly.
“That’s what they really are.”
Note to readers: To learn more about Cynthia and her support for over 40 moms, visit: http://www.inseasonmom.org/index.html.
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