Friday, March 25, 2011

Odds & ends

  • Little Girl Next Door -- my yardstick for how big Katie might have been, what she might have been doing, how she might be dressing, etc. etc. -- turns 12 very soon. For all intents & purposes, however, she is already looking & acting scarily like a teenager. I've noticed a big shift in attitude lately. Until just recently, whenever we'd see each other coming & going, she'd wave enthusiastically, yell out, "Hi Sam! Hi Lori!" and sometimes come over & regale us with longwinded chatter. During the recent March break, however, we saw her coming & going with her friends several times (cellphones in hand)(!!), & were lucky if we got a perfunctory nod. I had to laugh, though -- I saw them leaving one evening, tote bags & pillows in hand, obviously headed for a sleepover. For all their grownup airs, they both still had teddy bears sticking out of the back of their bags. ; )
  • Speaking of 12-year-olds... dh & I have to attend a funeral visitation this weekend (nobody close, but a relative's inlaw). There will be lots of his relatives in attendance, including one of his cousins & his wife. The oldest of their two sons is 12 -- his mother was pregnant with him at the same time I was pregnant with Katie. Katie was stillborn in early August, he was born in late September, & Katie was due in mid-to-late November. Difficult as it sometimes is to hear about what he's doing in school, etc., I'm always thankful that (a) he's a boy & (b) his parents are often yelling at him. ; )
  • Interesting article in the New York Times about the preference among some (mostly evangelical Protestant) religious congregations for married ministers. Preferably with stay -at-home wives (who presumably have lots of time & energy to spare to helping run the church -- free of charge, of course). And children, of course. How many great ministers are these congregations missing out on because of their insistence on conforming to a certain ideal?
  • So many new people -- YOUNG people, most of them women in their early/mid-20s, unmarried -- have joined us at work in recent months. And each time I get talking to one of them, up pops the question: "Do you have any kids?" I just tell them no. Sometimes I'll add that I have two grown nephews. I can see that they are so eager for role models, for someone to tell them that it's possible to have it all -- marriage, motherhood, a career. I'm always sorry to disappoint them. Although (proud feminist though I am) I'm not entirely convinced that it IS possible to have it all -- all at once, anyway. (Which certainly doesn't mean we should stop trying.)
  • I've been thinking a lot about work issues lately & the relationship between work and childless/free life (and MY childless/free life, specifically) -- fodder for a future post, perhaps....


  1. The article is spot-on about pastor's wives being slave labor.
    My friend is a pastor's wife and got stuck teaching 14-18 year old Sunday school because no one else would take it.

  2. Interesting to read your point on minister's wives, we have the same attitude in Northern Ireland. It is changing a little but more rural communities still expect Mrs. Minister to stay at home when she has kids and do all the social side of things.

    As to working and having kids, it still isn't easy, often something has to give.

    Very interesting post, thank you.

  3. I read an article recently that said parenthood being a source of a joy is one of the lies we tell ourselves--that statistically speaking, childless people are overwhelmingly happier than those with children, and that people who have kids have a spike in happiness after those kids leave home for college. So much unaccounted for, obviously, in these measures of "happiness," but something I've been contemplating. Here's the link:

  4. A college acquaintance/FB friend is a minister's wife/SAHM of at least five kids/homeschooler (the latter almost goes without saying). She works her ass off. It's a hard life with lots of moving around and living on a very small income. Chasing dreams takes a toll on one's family, no matter what the dream, but I think it must be a heavier toll when it's a religious calling.

    I don't believe in having it all, for either men or women, because (1) I've never been that ambitious, LOL, and (2) I honestly don't know what to think due to the wave of divorces amongst my friends, most of whom are married with young children. It's all kinds of awful.

    It's too bad that the girl next door is entering the standoffish stage. It might be a few years before she's back to her chatty self, but she'll get there eventually!

  5. PS. The NYT article makes me think of the comments on unmarried ministers in the 1st Anne book and Rainbow Valley. : )

  6. Interesting food for thought as always. Glad you are there to mentor me, my dear.

  7. I like the image of the grownup airs and teddy bears. You made me laugh about the parents yelling a the boy :)

    I also read your previous post. Sigh...abiding with you.