Archive | November, 2007

Le mauvais quart d’heure

Let’s call this the “before” picture: bucolic bibliophillia at the local library.

And this would make a suitable “after” picure, if only I were capable of overcoming the strong disinclination to photograph my kids when they are in the midst of feeling big feelings. And by big I mean BIG. I mean, I think the technical term for what the lil’ monkey had later in that afternoon was a COW.

Details to follow when we’ve all sufficiently recovered our senses. Meanwhile, if my mom was right (and she usually was), this period of her life, along with all things, shall pass.

[Later note: COW ennumerated here.]

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Sick boy

Sick boy sleeps now, heals
Meanwhile, my sister’s firstborn
Keeps distant vigil

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What’s sadder than missing the Sound of Music once?

Yep: missing it twice.

I received as meager consolation the sense of genuine arrival as a parent, as I watched myself nobly sacrifice my own joy in the best interests of the chlidren. Because their happiness and well-being is my own. The girlie, no longer feverish, went off to see the last Sing-Along Sound of Music screening with the parent she doesn’t have enough time with these days. Even though I’m one who has been muttering “High on a hill was a lonley goatherd” in my sleep for weeks. Ole dime-a-dozen, familiar as the wallpaper, primary caregiver Baba.

And alas, there was no leaving the little brudder behind with a babysitter. He simply couldn’t resist (a) getting the sister’s cold, and (b) topping her version of it — which featured fever, congestion, and sleeplessness — with that thing that only babies do so well, the cough-induced hurl. Hourly. It was a job fit for a parent.

Above: When The Bee Stings gets her nose wiped by her lovey-dovey Auntie R, before forging out.

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Flash: Coontz on marriage at the NYT op-ed page

Stephanie Coontz’ op-ed piece today in The New York Times, “Taking Marriage Private,” is very much worth a read (it’s short and to the point), and absolutely worth passing on to anyone who is a bit befuddled about the history and current limitations of that strange institution, marriage.

Some choice clips (all stuff that should be in the talking points of thinking folks whenever they take up the topic of marriage):

• For most of Western history … marriage was a private contract between two families. The parents’ agreement to the match, not the approval of church or state, was what confirmed its validity.

• In 1215, the church decreed that a “licit” marriage must take place in church. But people who married illictly had the same rights and obligations as a couple married in church: their children were legitimate; the wife had the same inheritance rights; the couple was subject to the same prohibitions against divorce.

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