Jennifer Granholm @JenGranholm
To press lamenting
@HillaryClinton‘s health/transparency: “powering through” illness is what women do: Stoically, every. single. day.
This is well worth the thirteen plus minutes it takes to view it.
From a Trump rally in Janesville, Wisconsin:
As Trump spoke, some listened. Peggy Sue Metz, 47, a trucking dispatcher from Rockton, Illinois, lamented not making it inside and being forced to share the sidewalk with the protesters, who she suspected, were raised with the values of unionized schoolteachers rather than those of their own parents. “It would be nice go back to the days when the father worked and could support five kids and the mother could stay home and raise the kids properly,” she said.
In other words, Donald Trump will make sure women stay pregnant and in the kitchen if he’s elected.
I came across this 2009 post of mine deep within the bowels of my blog’s archive.
(Sorry for the colonic imagery.)
I think it’s still relevant today, so…here you go.
By today’s standards for parenting, my entire generation shouldn’t have made it to adulthood.
The other day my daughter attended a “meet and greet” with the teachers at the private school my grand-kids attend. She figured it would be the usual get-together where the teacher expounds upon the lesson plan for the year, the parent listens while politely munching on a cookie provided by the room mother, and then the teacher fields a few questions on mundane topics such as “can little Herkimer wear his orthodontic headgear in class.”
Instead, my daughter was taken aback by the grilling some of the mothers gave my grandson’s second grade teacher, Miss F., a young single gal with a bookish demeanor but, apparently, nerves of steel.
The intensity and depth of the questioning were quite surprising.
Sarah Palin was given more leeway by Katie Couric than the young Miss F. received from her inquisitors.
The climax of the interrogation arrived when one of the mothers said she wanted to personally deliver a Subway sandwich to her daughter every day for snack time. (I will interject here that the kids in kindergarten through second grade get out of school at 12:15, so there is no actual lunch period.)
Our Miss F. maintained her cool while informing the mother that this was not an option. She explained if the children want a snack, they must bring it with them from home. Anything out of the norm would be disruptive to the class and interfere with the egalitarian atmosphere that the school was trying to project.
The mother wasn’t listening. She pressed on by asking if she could just “hang it on the classroom doorknob” so as not to disturb anyone. Miss F. wasn’t buying this either, but apparently it took some discussion before the case was closed.
When my daughter related this conversation to me, I raised my hands to shoulder level and made little fluttering motions with my fingers.
“What is that?” she asked.
“Helicopter parents” I said, to clarify that I wasn’t having a stroke or something.
She hadn’t heard that before, so I went on to explain the concept of parents who continuously hover over their kids, anticipating their every need. These are parents who have completely invested themselves in their children, possibly setting up their kids for a rude awakening at some point when they discover the universe is not centered around them.
In the days since hearing of Miss F.’s inquisition, I’ve been reflecting upon my own upbringing. Certainly my mother worried about things like me putting my eye out if I ran with scissors, but there wasn’t a lot of concern about many of the things that are taken for granted with child raising today.
We rode bikes everyday and didn’t wear protective helmets. We wandered around the neighborhood and beyond all day and into the dusk, only returning home after hearing my father’s loud whistle from the front yard.
My mother used to put big gobs of Vicks Vapor Rub up our noses when we had colds. If you actually read the directions, it emphatically says not to use it anywhere internally, only on the chest. I should be dead right now. But, if my mother had her way, she would have found a way to cure cancer with Vicks, she loved it so much.
My parents had a baby-blue Oldsmobile. There were no seatbelts and the dashboard was solid metal. We kids used to rattle around in the backseat and very often I would ride in what we called “the way back”, that spot that was sort of a ledge behind the backseat and below the rear window. If there had been a quick deceleration, I would have been a projectile object. No one gave it any thought.
I practiced a form of benign neglect with my own kids. Yes, they wore seat belts, always. (By that time we did have them, thankfully.) But when it came to overseeing every little detail of their day, that I didn’t do.
Maybe this attitude of “live and let live” was a result of my mother always wanting to know what I was thinking. It wasn’t out of concern for my well-being. She just wanted to know what was going on in my little head at all times. So perhaps allowing my kids to have some independence from the Thought Police resulted in my being more of a laissez-faire parent overall.
Yes, things have changed in this country since the 50’s and 60’s and not in good ways. There are a lot more threats out there to children than there used to be. But kids need room to grow into individuals and they can’t do it with Mom and Dad always fluttering overhead.
Be like my mother. Send the kid to school with a warm tuna sandwich.
Now, that’s living dangerously.
From CNN regarding the Zika crisis:
In December, authorities in Brazil urged women not to get pregnant. Then last month came the warning from Colombia to delay pregnancy until July. Then in an interview, a health official in El Salvador recommended that women “try to avoid getting pregnant this year and the next.”
Does this mean couples in these largely Catholic countries should abstain from sex for two years? Or should they use so-called “natural family planning”? The method, which involves a woman monitoring her basal body temperature and vaginal secretions to avoid having sex at fertile times of the month, has a 25% failure rate, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Or, because of Zika, should couples use more effective methods of birth control?
So far, the church hierarchy has remained silent on these questions.
The Catholic catechism states that besides “natural family planning,” anything else that works to “‘render procreation impossible’ is intrinsically evil.”
The Rev. Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, said that means birth control is wrong no matter what. “That prohibition doesn’t change based on circumstances,” he said. “So couples have a responsibility to live according to the church’s teachings in whatever circumstances they find themselves.”
Back in 2013 I wrote a post about receiving a sign from my deceased parents letting me know they were okay, entitled “It’s Not Your Mother’s Oldsmobile.”
Today I found myself back in that same gift shop. I had decided to walk around in town and soak up the Christmas spirit before things got too crazy with tourists crowding the sidewalks. We’d had rain and colder temperatures earlier in the week but today was sunny and around 60 degrees. A perfect day for poking around in the stores.
I must confess that I was more than a little hopeful that I would have some kind of reprise of my last experience in that shop. I was already in a very nostalgic mood after gawking at a large collection of Shiny Brite ornaments in another store. They reminded me of the ones I’d lost to the storage locker thief.
And here, again, were my old friends, the Christmas stockings with the 50’s Santa on them, propelling me back in time to when I was a kid, lying under our Christmas tree at night, gazing up at the lights and breathing in the wonderful scent.
I went over to the card rack just to see if they still had that same card with the Oldsmobile on it, but they didn’t. Of course not. It’s been a couple of years and they had put new cards in its place. Kind of silly, really, to expect the same experience, wasn’t it?
As I made my way around to the front of the store, I stopped at a table with some interesting small books on display. One set was called “The Little Book of Saints.” I’m not Catholic, nor were my parents, but the cover intrigued me. It looked like (and was) a copy of a vintage holy card. I love artwork like that, so I picked up one of the books out of several in the stack. It had a padded cover that felt smooth and soothing in my hand.
I noticed it had a pale blue satin bookmark attached at the top. It was marking one of the pages that was not quite in the middle of the book. I opened the book to see what saint it was and found that it was St. Jeanne of Valois.
The patron saint of those who lose their parents.
I picked up a couple of the other books and found only one other one had a specific page marked with the satin ribbon. Most had the bookmark pulled down just inside the front cover.
Why did I pick that particular book and not the others?
Because I needed it, I guess.
My daughter really loves Vincent Van Gogh’s art, as do I. Recently she asked me if I would paint three acrylic copies of his work for her birthday. She gave me a book of some of his paintings and marked the pages of the ones she particularly liked. This is one of them. Only two more to go. Oy.
I’m reminded of the episode of “The Addams Family” where they think Morticia is getting art lessons from Picasso.
Turns out it was Sam Picasso.
That’s me, Sam Van Gogh.