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An odd title, you may be thinking. Aren’t you in your late thirties? Well, yes. But today is my first Mother’s Day as a mother. My child may still be young enough to be aborted in Mississippi under the law under review in Dodd, but I am finally a member of the sorority stretching back to Eve.
I won’t spout any cliches about how “it’s only when you stop trying that it happens.” For the person desperate to be a parent, that offers no comfort whatsoever. I will say that when you accept that children are a gift from God that He simply doesn’t give everyone without that lack of a gift being a comment on your worthiness as a person (if the rain falls on the just and the unjust, so does the drought), that a childless life can still be one of meaning and purpose — when you can achieve that level of spiritual enlightenment and release, then the marriage bed can be freed from the sorrow, guilt, betrayal, despair, and pain that made it a mockery of its intended purpose. As much as every barren tear over the last decade scourged my heart as they carved their way into wrinkles around my eyes and bleached my brown hair silver, I can’t deny that they made me a better person, one who has a much better grasp of what is and isn’t in my control.
Today’s Gospel reading is very short, the reading on The Good Shepherd Sunday. Jesus said:“My sheep hear my voice;I know them, and they follow me.I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.No one can take them out of my hand.My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,and no one […]
This Sunday, we celebrate Mother’s Day. Mothers will get special treatment with cards, luncheons, flowers, gifts and praise. It was started by a woman named Anna Jarvis after her mother’s passing, and became a national holiday in 1908. She didn’t want the day to be commercialized, yet it’s popularity spread across the world and is […]
My mother’s garden has been a feature of every place we called home. Once my parents settled into the home where they retired, almost the entire yard became gardens, with each section planted so that there would be something happening throughout the year in the Pacific Northwest. What follows is a small sampling of photographs from the past decade or two.
My folks had a significant portion of a concrete patio ripped out shortly after they took ownership of their house, leaving a covered patio off the family/TV/media room and enough uncovered space for Dad’s charcoal grilling. Much of that uncovered chunk was turned into a tiered potted garden, with a variety of colors and shapes of foliage. Yes, that is a greenhouse/garden shed in the left background. We kids put the garden shed together one summer early on, from a prefabricated kit. It has stood going on three decades of rain and wind. The orientation lets Mom start plants in the late winter, so she, with the assistance of her undergardener (Dad) can get them into the ground at the earliest safe date.
For decades, the burden of fear and grief occasioned by murder and maiming has fallen disproportionately on black mothers and grandmothers. Somehow this has not been of great concern to civil rights groups and leaders. Black lives snuffed out by the local extensions or agents of transnational criminal enterprises apparently do not matter to millionaire athletes, and are at best inconvenient to the Marxist millionaires and parlor pink billionaires behind Black Lives Matter. There are no massive marches to take back the streets, to demonstrate solidarity against the gangs. It took President Trump to finally move federal authorities to seriously target the most dangerous habitual criminals and the organizations that terrorize our fellow Americans into silence.
President Trump’s play to do well by doing real good was an existential threat to the Democratic Party and the congressional RepubliCAN’T leadership, so 2020 had to be worked the way it was. Despite their worst efforts, truth has slipped through, pointing to gains in votes, not so much because black men respected his image of strength, but because black women, along with Hispanic and Latina women, shifted significantly to support the reelection of a Republican president. He had spent his first term hammering away at jobs, better jobs, sentencing reform, and security on American city streets. He enthusiastically welcomed black women to speak to the nation from the White House. He demanded justice for grieving black mothers whose children had been gunned down, lining up federal officials and commanding them to speak and act decisively with the considerable weight of ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshal, FBI, and DOJ resources applied in Operation Legend.
Montana Journal Entry: May 12, 2008. My daughter A. was six and made Mother’s Day memorable for me–but not in the way she expected. It dawned on me how much A. delighted in celebrations of any sort when she was a chubby toddler, not two yet. We were at a friend’s birthday party and the […]
I realized something for the first time when my kids were of an age for sleepovers and birthday parties: dads are funnier than moms.
I might have noticed it in my own house if it wasn’t right under my nose. My husband was the one to get on the floor and wrestle, start sock fights, and make jokes when it was time to get serious. That’s not to say I could never be found on the floor with kids crawling all over me, but there’s something different about mommy wrestling as opposed daddy wrestling–a certain lack of abandon and goofiness. My daughter would come home from a party or church event with stories about how Cheri’s dad had made them laugh while driving them to the skating rink, or how Leslie’s dad had played a stupid trick that backfired. It was never the moms. Mothers could certainly be fun (I’d like to think I was. Maybe. Sometimes.), but seldom funny.
Several years ago Jerry Lewis made a controversial statement when asked who his favorite female comedians were. His answer: None, because women aren’t funny. That raised a stink among women, many of whom seriously protested that they were funny—which kind of proved his point, in a way. I would say that women aren’t funny in the same way. They can be witty (as my mother was), clever, sharp, catty, artless, or charming, but there’s a reason male standup comics far outnumber females, and it doesn’t have much if anything to do with discrimination. Of those few successful female comics, most of them are known for the mordant kind of humor: the biting, even bitter kind. It’s because women, more than men, have a tragic view of life. And that’s because of one thing: women have babies.
My first Mother’s Day as a married woman, my husband surprised me with a homemade flower bed and beautiful plants to fill it with. I wasn’t a mom so I wasn’t really expecting anything, but the thoughtful gift left me smitten. Sometimes Mother’s Day is about honoring the women in your life. Preview Open
Early on Mother’s Day afternoon, a woman walked to her vehicle with her two sons. The elder son was in his mid-teens, but not yet licensed to drive. The younger, was a bit shorter and early teen by appearance. The mother and her sons were all carrying bags or containers, heading somewhere for the day.
The mother carried a cooler, of the right size for iced-down drinks and snacks on a pleasant Arizona spring day. The younger son had a school-size backpack and another small bag. The elder son had a small gym bag and a long fabric soft-side case.
That long case was an obvious signal. It is used for only one thing: a long gun, a rifle. Yes, gentle reader, Mom was going shooting for the afternoon with her two sons!
Well, Mother’s Day is off to a great start. Well, it was . . .
I hit the kitchen a little over an hour ago to start the official MDay dinner. On the menu for tonight? Lasagna! I use a modified version of the tomato sauce and lasagna recipes in Craig Claiborne’s cookbook. I had just finished chopping up the vegetables when I remembered the card! I rushed upstairs and grabbed the card from it’s super secret hiding spot (on top of my dresser) and rushed back downstairs to sign it and put it on my wife’s computer. Just as I was about to sign it, I saw the fine print: Happy Birthday!
Previous Entries in Operation Bloom: M-4 M-3 M-2 M-1 M-0 Mother’s Day is actually celebrated on a wide variety of days worldwide. Interestingly, it is associated with the Virgin Mary in many countries, which I imagine makes sense. Former communist bloc countries celebrate it on International Women’s Day. Preview Open
If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?” ― Milton Berle My mother was the best, most beautiful person I’ve ever known. She was kind to everyone, always cheerful, and a wonderful and supportive mother. I never heard her say a bad word about another person. She and my dad were the […]
Those of you that have followed my writing, know about the impact that my mom had on my life. You also know that she passed away a little over a year and a half ago. This mother’s day will be the second one without my mom. Still feels wierd and it probably will for the […]
Here’s my strawberry rhubarb pie. Let’s see your best Mothers’ Day treats. Preview Open
“I know it’s totally useless, but it was so cute I had to get it for you anyway!” Google “utterly useless baby gear” and you get 2,410,000 results. Peepee teepees? Pacifier wipes? Who thinks of these things? More importantly, how does a first-time mother avoid them? Like some other moms on this site, I didn’t […]
One of my favorite images of Mary is the Baroque painting by Johann Georg Melchior Schmidtne called “Mary, Untier of Knots” (Wallfahrtsbild or Gnadenbild in German). The main reason I love it so much is that, (because I can’t think of a better way to put it), it’s just such a mom thing to do. […]