Monday, March 23, 2009

Me and Mom

Today's Link
The View from this End

Today's Saying
A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after. ~Peter De Vries

Today's Picture
Mom and one of those babies

Last week when I put the newspaper clipping about my mother on this blog somebody left a comment saying she was an angel.
I suppose she was. Someday I will write about all of what she went through but not today.
Today I want to look at my mother’s act of taking in children as it was seen by my sister and I at the time. It is strange how what one person sees as the act of an angel can be seen as something entirely different by others.
I thought it was crazy and unfair.
I was old enough to baby-sit so three or four nights a week my mom and dad left Dawn and I with the babies and drove downtown to play canasta with my Aunt Viola. I really hated that, it was so unfair.
I wanted to be outside climbing trees or playing in my tree house.
I wanted to be down at the neighbor’s playing with his American Flyer train.
I wanted to be playing cowboys and Indians with the neighbor kids.
I did not want to be taking care of up to four squalling babies.
I really didn’t.
They needed to have diapers changed, formula heated, and to be rocked.
I really hated it.
But she who must be obeyed because she pulled hair said to do it, so I did.
When the Agency asked her to take four babies instead of two because of the shortage of foster parents she didn’t hesitate.
Being a legalist I pointed out that she was only licensed for two .
She ignored me. She was an angelic law breaker.
It never occurred to me she need some time for her. Time to just play cards. Time to not think and not worry.
Being a kid I was concerned about me.
In all honesty those years were good for me. I came into marriage with an ability to change diapers. How many men can say that?
But right after our first baby came ma showed up to give us a hand and make sure we got it right.
Looking back I marvel at all she did.
From this side she looks really special.
But as a kid things looked different.
But we do learn don’t we.

News from Pigeon Falls
The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal
There seems to have been a break in at the museum last night. Nothing was stolen but things were moved around. This week’s volunteer says that she is sure the white rabbit was facing the door as usual when she locked up last night but this morning it was facing the back wall. In the Grengicoff Room all the driblets were spread over the reading table as if somebody had been reading them. In the children’s room the old model train was running and it hadn’t run in years. They thought the motor was burned out. So it certainly looks like somebody was there but the door was locked and the alarms never went off.
It could, of course , be the museum ghosts but why are they acting up now? Eino says there has to be some rational explanation. They just haven’t found it yet.
Tammy and Tommy UK intend to stop in after school and see if they can see something that the others have missed.
The museum now has an antique model train that runs and that’s good news. It was easy enough to put the driblets back and turn the white rabbit around. So no harm was done.
But it is a mystery.

Wrap Up
Another great day. I put the church bulletin on the website. It took longer than it should have. For those who asked I think I was twelve and they were only gone for an hour and a half. My Son Peter and family stopped here on the way to Madison and we went out for lunch. My sister Dawn called.I visited all the blogs that left comments yesterday. Now I need a breathing treatment.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a town where dragons fly and ghosts and poltergeists are known to hang out, this bit of weirdness really doesn't rate too much attention.

2:04 AM  
Blogger Jientje said...

Oh yes. We learn and we grow every day!

Dr John, I have created a new site for my heaveninbelgium pictures. I'll be able to show much bigger pictures. From now on, you can find me here:
Hope to see you there again soon?

3:22 AM  
Blogger Gary's third pottery blog said...

you and your mom have both been angelic!

5:17 AM  
Blogger Jinksy said...

From the age of seven, I had cousins to practise baby skills on - I loved it! Better than dolls, anyday.

5:20 AM  
Blogger Connie T. said...

How old were you when she left you with all those babies?

6:35 AM  
Blogger Finding Pam said...

Perspective is a wonderful thing. A view from a child's eye to the reality of an adult.

It sounds like someone came and played all night at the museum. Little uneventful things lead to bigger happenings.

6:59 AM  
Blogger Ari_1965 said...

My grandmother was a small-town Methodist with strong prejudices against just about everybody. I can remember her making comments about "those canasta-playing Catholic women" over in the next town. She didn't approve of the Lutheran's cribbage contests. And the nearest Episcopal church had a Ladies' Bible study and Mah Jong combo on Thursday evenings. You didn't ever want to get Grandma Murphey started on THAT. I was nearly an adult before I found out that canasta, mah jong and cribbage are not specifically outlawed in the Old Testament.

6:59 AM  
Blogger Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

So now I know where you get your "specialness" from!

7:21 AM  
Blogger Melli said...

I'm so glad you shared this post today. When I was reading about your wonderful mom, I was wondering what the natural children thought about all this! Your mom was probably NOT a "perfect" mom ... so few are... but God used her well! And you survived it! ;)

Ah! Mystery and suspense in Pigeon Falls! With benefits! Life IS back to normal!

7:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It amazes me how we don't realize that mom's are angels until we are a grown man and can change diapers.

I still say the patron at the bar in Pigeon Falls is on to something.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Sandi McBride said...

Our mothers were angels on earth, no doubt about it...I just knew that when Mama got to heaven there'd be a kitchen and a nursery...her two favorite places on earth...

8:42 AM  
Blogger aims said...

Your mother taught you far more than changing diapers.

My question is this - did the model train have any streetcars?

10:31 AM  
Blogger Jeni said...

I think it matters not how old you are, how smart you think you are too when you have your first child, but it is then that the true learning process really kicks into full gear! Amazing how dumb one was prior to the arrival of that little one and how once you have children, even when they are grown, you still continue to learn and learn -sometimes those things we learn are not so great and at other times, again -quite wonderful and amazing too.
And Mothers get a bad rap from all of us much of the time when we're kids but as adults, especially then as parents, we can see them in a much different, usually a gentler light then too. I really enjoyed this post as well as the one with the article about your Mother. An outstanding lady, for sure!

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your "then" impressions of taking in those babies. You also gave us a view into how wise your mother was: she knew she needed regular breaks. (A sabbath rest??)

11:48 AM  
Blogger Akelamalu said...

Your thoughts remind me of what my father says about his mother. Apparently she was always at everyone's beck and call - family, neighbours etc and she expected him to be too from being 9 years old. He hated it but it taught him so much, he recognises it now and things she was a saint. :)

12:34 PM  
Blogger juliana said...

when you're a child some things just don't seem right. and some really are not. but all of them help us grow and become the person we are.
glad you shared this.

12:49 PM  
Blogger starbender said...

Your mom was a 'super~Angel'.

~☼♥ Starbender ♥☼~

12:50 PM  
Blogger Carletta said...

My question is the same as Connie -how old were you? That might perhaps put a different perspective on the story.
I agree with Aims that your Mom taught you more than changing diapers - kindness, love for others, charity, and more.
I am wondering about three or four days a week. That seems like a lot. Yes, any mother can tell you that Mother's need time to themselves - absolutely.
The key for me would be balance - for you - to play with trains and be a pretend cowboy or Indian.
I've seen so many young children (as young as fifth grade) be given responsibilities that they are just too young for.
Your Mom came full circle with you when she came to help you and Betty with your first child.
Sadly, some stories don't end as sweetly.

1:07 PM  
Blogger Nessa said...

Yes, Dr. John, perspective is all. I am always trying to consciously change my perspective. How you look at things always makes a big difference.

Your mom sure was an angel to help all of those children and teach you a valuable service for your wife.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

Good job. I'll bet you still hear from some of those babies.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Cherie said...

It is fascinating how different something can look from an alternate perspective. We can be so sure of what we know to be true that we don't listen to another person's reality. It kind of reminds me of your "truth in love" post. That minister thought that he was serving the greater good. He didn't see anything wrong with it, but he couldn't see how much he was injuring a grieving sister. (I'm sure that's not where you were going with this ... sorry about that. lol)

9:03 PM  
Blogger Gattina said...

With me it was the opposite. I thought I had marvellous parents and it's true I got everything what I wanted. Today I know that I only was born because my mother wanted to escape the bombs in Frankfurt and only pregnant women were allowed to move to the country side. They left me with my grandma (fortunately) When I was 6 they picked me up and I lived with them as a Barbie doll. Loved and played with and put away when it became too long. It's sad to say, but I am really happy that they are both gone ! I feel much better ever since.

11:37 PM  

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