Order up!

There has been so much happening in the world of politics lately, that I’ve been unsure how to categorize my thoughts enough to write anything sensible. From ‘slutgate’ to the latest in presidential haute cuisine (a nice rice pilaf, with a side of dog) to the shocking news that the media-hungry K. Kardashian is considering a career in the political arena, I’ve had a difficult time deciding what is the most interesting or ridiculous topic to write about. Seeing as how I’ve been dieting, you would think I would go with the dogmeat angle, however, as obsessed as all dieters become with food (since we can’t have much of it), the idea of eating man’s best friend makes me deucedly happy to have broccoli and carrots, so I’ll leave that one to the late-night comedians. Likewise with K.K.’s political aspirations, I do not feel qualified to comment on that topic because I don’t have the comedic skill to eviscerate it properly. That leaves me with the current War on Women turned War on Moms. I’m a woman. I’m a mom. Very well, then, I shall try to frame this issue as best I can.

There is no War on Women.

“The hell you say?!”

Yes. Yes I do say.

There is no War on Women, ladies. It’s all a lot of political theatre to make you feel like a victim so that big daddy government can step in and take care of you. That may sound delightful to you, to be taken care of by big daddy government, but remember: “As long as you live under my roof, you’ll obey my rules.” Life is peachy when big daddy is buying you birth control, but along will come a day when big daddy will tell you that you must do something that you disagree with and when you try to rebel, he’ll cut your allowance.

Now go to your room! Your pretty, pretty room that suddenly feels like a cage.

I know that simplifies things to a point that is hard for some people to understand, so I will try to elaborate. Women have not been ‘second-class citizens’ since they won the right to vote. You may say “But the civil rights movement of the ’60s! Unequal pay! Glass ceiling! Reproductive choice!” Let us take these issues one by one shall we? Civil rights were voted on by our representatives whom we voted for. Women had 40 years of voting rights between suffrage and civil rights to affect how Congress operated. The representatives they helped choose passed the Civil Rights Act, which granted them the right to equal pay. You could say they had won the right to pursue happiness in the workforce. The thing about pursuits is that you may not always achieve your desire, but no one can stop you from trying. Also, there is no glass ceiling. That was a ploy by the women’s rights movement to try to seem relevant after the movement stagnated in the early 80s. If you consider the fact that women typically have less physically demanding, safer jobs and get maternity leave as opposed to men who get no ‘paternity’ time off (and are woken by the same screaming infant at 3am) and do more laborious work, I’d say women have it pretty darn good. {I imagine feminists burning me in effigy at this point} Reproductive choice, likewise, is yet another attempt to make the women’s movement seem relevant. I don’t even want to hear about “cases of rape and incest” as we all know the primary focus of women’s rights is not to prevent or protect women from those acts. If it were, NOW would faithfully demonstrate at every trial of rapists and push for tougher sentencing of the despicable people who violate women. “Reproductive choice” is really about abortion, and ironically denies the same right of choice to men since babies must grow inside a mother’s body. Men may want desperately to be fathers, but have no say over whether their child may live or die. In the battle of “reproductive rights” men are the real victims, as their ability to reproduce rests in the wombs and whims of women.

Now that I have your attention (and most likely your seething anger) let me broach  the subject of the War on Moms.

Recently mothers got their hen-feathers ruffled after a sneering remark directed at Ann Romney. The remark was something to the extent of “she never worked a day in her life” and in its greater context was meant to imply that she has no concept of how the poor economy affects women because she’s wealthy. Again, I shall address these issues separately. Motherhood is very hard work. If it isn’t, you aren’t doing it right. Stay-at-home-moms (SAHMs) are nurturing, teaching, and guiding the future leaders of our world. They sacrifice time, wealth, and social interaction with their peers to devote themselves fully to their family. To acknowledge the hard work and dedication of SAHMs is in no way derogatory towards working mothers. Working moms often wish they could be home with their kids, while SAHMs often wish they could speak to someone who doesn’t say “poop” and “Elmo”. If you would pay someone to watch, feed, and teach your children, then staying home with them (sans paycheck) is work. Now that we have debunked the myth that SAHMs do no work, let us address the greater context of the statement made by Ms Rosen, shall we?

Ann Romney clearly lives in a beautiful, extravagant bubble. The economy has no power over her. She’s a fairytale princess in a castle with a car elevator and she frolics with the unicorns aaaaall day. [/end sarc] To say that wealthy people aren’t affected by the economy is ridiculous. Of course they don’t feel the pinch of it as much as us peons do, but they still feel it. To sneer at Ann Romney because she is a wealthy SAHM managing a household budget is to willfully ignore the fact that 100 wealthy Senators have yet to pass a budget for this country. At least the Romneys have a budget. I also have a budget, and while I’m working with way (WAY) less than the Romneys, I’ve chosen to stay home with my kids. It isn’t easy and at times I’ve had to choose which bills got paid, but it’s a choice I don’t regret. (When money was really tight, I would take a look at the budget and cut the ‘unnecessaries’, which is something that our government should learn.)  So much for the idea that only the wealthy have the option of SAHM-hood, and as for the notion that wealthy moms aren’t affected by the economy… well, none of us live in a bubble. It isn’t so much a War on Moms as it is derision of those of us who choose to forgo careers for what we see as our higher calling, sprinkled liberally with a bit of class warfare.

So there you have it. Your heaping helping of political theatre and rhetoric, all served up hot and fresh. Oh, and here’s your side order of roasted mutt. I’d hate for you to miss the fabulous flavor pairing of faux war and dogmeat.

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Lovely Little Lass

(A poem written many years ago that was inspired by my daughter’s vivacious character and the writings of my favorite author, Tolkien)

There was a little lass

With merry eyes a-twinklin’

And a smile all full o’mischief

With her hair in silken ringlets.

She was so very lively

That she was a joy and wonder,

But if her humor lost she

Then her voice would roll like thunder!;

And if her patience kept she

Then she was a merry maiden

(For her feet were full o’dancin’

And her laugh with music laden).

The color of her lovely eyes

Was warm as rich brown earth,

And when she danced amid the glade

She filled the trees with mirth!;

For her laughter then would fast arise

And set the leaves a’quakin’

And before her dance was ended

Then the whole wood would be shakin’!;

For the music of her joyous mirth

Could prompt the trees to dance

As flowers in the wind they’d sway

While in the glade she’d prance;

But if the lass should stumble

By the trick of envious hole

Then her music and her dancin’

From the glade would then be gone.

If,  in satisfaction, then, that

Envious hole spilled laughter

Then up would rise her ire

As the lass’s mood grew darker;

And anger rising in her then

Would cause the trees to shake

(For the thunder of the lass’s voice

Could cause the ground to quake)

And then in answer to her mood

The clouds would gather darkly

And the lass with searching eyes

Would seek the hole and mark it;

Then up would rise her piercing wail

And set the stones to rollin’

And they in answer to her will

Would quickly fill the hole in!

At this the lass, now satisfied,

Would once again start prancin’

(And with a sigh the clouds would break

While trees resumed their dancin’).

Goodness Gracious

I’m new to the experience of blogging, so yesterday I asked a friend for a topic. Their answer was “Your earliest memory”. I wasn’t sure how helpful that was, as my earliest memory is from about the age of 1 and I can’t expound upon it to any great extent. I was simply a young tot hiding from my mother. I had probably done something which everyone of an age to walk in my family knows is a “no-no”: namely, messed with the pretties in her curio cabinet. All I remember is that I was quite deliberately hiding underneath the dining table and I was aware that mommy was mad at me and I was safer there, because there were chair legs all around me. I had created a prison for myself to escape what was likely a justifiable wrath for my own wrong-doing.

You may think by now that my mom was some sort of monster, coming after a sweet little infant like me. First off, I was not known generally for being very sweet. My nickname was “D”, short for disposition, more specifically a bad one. Stubborn was one of the kinder descriptions given me. I refer to myself simply as “strongly self-willed”. Secondly, I recall clearly my thoughts during this episode. I knew I had done something wrong, and I was running from the consequences. The consequence for all toddlers through the generations who mess with my mom’s curios is a pop on the hand. We’ve all been popped, even my own precious little angels. We all survived the experience. We all know do not touch those trinkets, upon pain of death (or hand-popping)! Finally, I had a lovely and enchanted childhood. My parents are good and loving people. They taught us about right, wrong, and the never-ending love of Jesus. I often think I could have turned out a much different person without their guidance, as by nature I’m a bit contrary and in possession of what might be called a formidable temper. Thank God for hand popping parents! Can you even imagine the life of crime awaiting me had I not learned about consequences early?

As you can see, helpful as my friend’s advice was I had nothing to write about. “Where can I take this? What about a toddler hiding could possibly inspire a blog post?” I thought. So I let my mind wander through some other memories.

My dad was a carpenter. That’s putting it mildly- he built houses. He could pretty much do everything but connect the power and pour the foundation. I remember playing in the wood shavings under his table saw. What fun! Not as soft as sand, but it smelled SO GOOD, and we had sand that was left over from mixing brick mortar so I could play in that, too. My terrible, mean mother put an end to my fun in the wood shavings- she didn’t think it was safe. How dare she infringe upon my right to play next to power tools, right? So mean. Good thing she didn’t know I’d hide in the shed and nail bits of board together with old nails. I was creating.. something. I never figured out what it was supposed to be.

In this manner my thoughts wandered for all of 5 minutes, and I still had no idea what to blog about. There’s just no substance, and the people want substance! Then my thoughts wandered right into a topic that was perfect for my purposes. I think the detour into carpentry did the trick, but suddenly I was thinking about Jesus, and everything seemed to fit.

Today is Good Friday, and on this day we remember a Saviour who died to pay the price for our sins. I know, you’re thinking “How does a hiding toddler and your dad’s work relate to this?”. Allow me to explain; when I was hiding, I was hiding from the expected and justifiable consequences of my actions. I went to a place to escape those consequences that was effectively a prison to me and still did not protect me from my mother. My sins had found me out. I was stuck. I had to pay up. This pattern continues throughout our lives. Our own nature gets us into predicaments that require consequences. Why? Would you rather there were no consequences and we all went about breaking valuables willy-nilly? Of course not. Along comes a Carpenter. He says, “You have sinned, but I’m here to pay the price for you”. You see, we ran up an account that we weren’t able to pay. Over our lifetimes we broke things, lied to people, hurt people, broke hearts, cheated, and generally sullied the living soul we had been blessed with by our Creator. The bill came due. How can we right all the wrongs? We can’t. He can. He wore our sins like a tattered garment and carried them to the Cross. His Blood fell on us and washed our dirtied souls clean.

This Good Friday, remember that you don’t have to hide anymore. There may still be consequences for the things we’ve done, but our absolution is in Him, that perfect Lamb who became our sacrifice and saved us from death. He is Good, and He is very, very, Gracious. God bless.

Life in the Spin Cycle

So I started this blog, and I have no idea what my first post should be. Considering I’m pondering this while I do my best impersonation of “housekeeping” I’ve decided to go with an old poem I wrote, only posting it in a new format like a beautifully re-gifted present from last year’s Christmas party. It’s a combination of housewifery and Bible-thumping, and can best be classified as delightful nonsense. Enjoy!

I prepare the loads before me

in the presence of my washer;

I annoint the water with Downy;

the hamper runs over.

Surely Gain and Clorox

shall follow me

all the days of my life;

and I will shop

in the aisles of Walmart

forever.