The Caretaker’s Dilemma: Where am I needed most?
The world (particularly here in the USA) is full of “working moms,” and yet we regard ourselves and others with emotion, anxiety and something bordering on distrust.
If you’re a working mom (or if you are married to one) you know what I mean. You’re chatting with another mom at the park, and while your kids (and her kids) climb up the slides, the conversation turns personal. She tells you that she’s watched her kids climb the slide for the last six hours and in turn, you tell her that you saw patients (or graded papers, or drove to a client, or filled orders) for the last six hours.
And though at this moment both sets of kids feel the same sense of security married to freedom, both of you feel like maybe the activities that comprise your everyday conflict with your children’s needs.
Which brings us back to why we work in the first place, really…Not to give our kids more stuff, but to give them more of what they need: experiences, education, food and shelter. And, when the time comes to buy stuff (which, for most of us with kids happens quite a bit, actually) we like to have the means to make a choice about what we bring into our home. (more…)
My son recently celebrated his ninth birthday. Like most parents I delighted in giving him a special day and honoring him for the kid he is, the man he’ll become, and (with a feeling just-this-side of sadness) the little guy he once was.
He was once a little guy, it’s true. During the days preceding his birthday thoughts bubbled up from my memory, imprints from the little-guy-days, with a visceral intensity.
There they were: my first contractions, the evening ride downtown to the hospital, the delicate blue knit cap the nurse pulled onto his tiny head. The first feeding, then the first steps, the story of The Three Little Pigs announced in his little-guy-voice. The whole experience displayed in my mind’s eye and my tender heart.
It was my son’s whole experience but from my perspective, filtered through everything we’d shared together and also through the realities that had shaped me as a mom. (more…)
This week has been lovely in most parts of America. Here in Illinois, it’s been better-than-spring warm weather and sun. It’s only March (generally a chilled and cloudy month) so everyone has been moving about outdoors, soaking in this blessing.
My daughter and went to one of our favorite spots, Lincoln Memorial Gardens. We live in Springfield, Illinois which is the adult home of President Abraham Lincoln. He and his family lived here for over 28 years before his presidency, and he returned to Springfield to be buried in a somber, grand tomb in the Oak Ridge Cemetery. Lincoln Memorial Gardens is a vast natural space cultivated to maintain the wild feel of the natural Illinois landscape as it was when Abe lived here over 150 years ago. (more…)
Call it the weekend-phenomenon. Good things seem to wrap up just as they are getting started. It’s the truth, and it hurts, but it wouldn’t be vacation if it went on forever.
A friend writes on Facebook:
Every morning during our break, our little boy has woken us up with a long snuggle and a game of “Cars Memory” (or two, or three) in bed. I am desperately going to miss this morning ritual when we go back to our working reality tomorrow. I have decided I want to be a millionaire so that we can all just stay home like this together forever. Any ideas? (more…)
Hot and dry.
Words don’t grab it. Roasty days, kids with sweaty foreheads and dirty nails. Grass brown and parched enough to skewer a birthday balloon. Sun, grand and proud and framed in abundant blue. Pools become priceless, sprinklers work like heck. Kids and land and plants are wildly thirsty.
School kids must bring water bottles, parents assured that at least: we won’t let them dehydrate. A Midwestern parent says a prayer of thanks because even though it’s dry and hot, we’ve got access to water and our kids are safe.
Farmers worry on low yields. What they worry on, so should you. Today, the average U.S. farmer feeds 155 people.* A scorching drought spells trouble for each of those folks and families. High prices, high demand – it’s all a part of what happens when there isn’t enough. (more…)