15 February 2009

Have you read the online article with this title at ParentDish.com? (To give credit where due, it was written by Bethany Sanders, Feb. 13, 2009.)

You wonder what our society’s coming to. We have a single mother of 6 young children giving birth to eight more. We have a father who for 17 years has fought his own grief while his daughter is maintained on life support (in Italy)  and finally when he wins the legal battle to disconnect her feeding tube,  the Pope speaks out against anyone letting her die…and now this.

It would seem a 12 year old English boy had intercourse with a 14 or 15 year old young woman ONCE, and she got pregnant. NOW his father thinks there should be a father-son birds and bees talk. NOW?

When my ex-husband decided he wanted to be free of our marriage I took a long hard look at myself. Especially after his uncomplimentary parting comments about me.

I looked back. I had been a very ardent feminist in college. I even led what we called consciousness-raising groups for fellow women college students. And yet all those years later I was dependent on my husband to pay the bills, and the mother of 5, count ’em, 5 children. What happened to the feminist?

That feminist  devoted herself to raising boys who would have sensitivity, and girls who would be strong. I took my job as mother very seriously and think I did an okay job, but I remember constantly looking around at other parents to kind of compare myself to them.

I came to realize that one thing we’re not taught is how to be parents. How to guide children into growing up to be able to make good choices and acquire practical skills. All of my boys can sew on a button, even Nathan who is disabled. My older daughter knows how the engine of a car or diesel vehicle works. My younger daughter can handle, program, use all kinds of electronic equipment I probably can’t even name. And I’m proud to say even when they make bad choices, they’ve shown the ability to grow and try to do better.

And here’s a little boy who will learn how to change diapers, and probably feed and burp a baby, but does that make him a father when he isn’t yet a man? Excuse me for ignoring the fact that he is capable of having intercourse with a woman, or rather a teenaged girl in a woman’s body.

What would the world be like if people actually became parents because they wanted to be AND they had the skills to insure there children grew up loved, happy, fed and housed appropriately, and were taught in turn how to one day take responsibility for the choices they’ll make as adults. And what if these same parents were actually respected for the difficult job of parenting?

If we don’t take direct responsibility for our children, we deserve the results. Because we would be releasing our children into the world, like setting off a destructive bomb.

A 13 year old father? A mother of 8 babies who’s going to leave them in day care seven months after their premature birth? Religious leaders determined to tell parents their own insight into their children’s needs shouldn’t be taken into consideration? Sheesh!

Little Boy_atomic_bomb_2

A ‘Little Boy’ atomic bomb returned to the Air Force Museum Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio July 15 after a yearlong restoration project. It is the same type as the one dropped Aug. 6, 1945, over Hiroshima, Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jeff Fisher. High Resolution Image)