My husband Ivan and I do not happen to adhere to the practices of any organized religion, and before we had kids that seemed to be working just fine. We come from different backgrounds (mine agnostic with varying degrees of Christianity in my heritage, his a mix between Jewish and agnostic), but had generally landed in the same spot in adulthood: We believe in a Higher Power, and He or She may or may not be bearded (which does not necessarily designate gender; perhaps just a divine aversion to wax).
So! I had a pretty awesome realization the other day, and I thought I would share. Bear with me because I'll get around to explaining why it's so awesome- Okay.
I have been doing lots of thinking and reading and re-evaulating.
I have had a difficult year; I want a NICE Holiday season. I do not want perfect; I do not want anything I have to work at. I do not want to be let down and I know about how setting unrealistic expectations is what causes the being let down feeling. I have learned this long ago. I have shifted my expectations and desires every year and I have dealt better as time goes by.
This year-- oh this year, sigh.
When Mother's Day was first born in 1872, breakfast in bed, Hallmark cards, store-bought bouquets and being taken out for brunch wasn't anywhere near the point. Then called Mother's Peace Day, the holiday was supposed to celebrate the values represented by motherhood -- peace, mercy, charity, and patience -- and the broader social and political implications of those values.
For those who follow the news about the American occupation of Iraq, the name Jeremy Hinzman might sound familiar. Hinzman is an American infantry soldier who went AWOL, brought his family to Canada, and is claiming refugee status because the military will not recognize his conscientious objection to performing combat duty. As a result, he has been the subject of numerous news articles in publications from around the world. The name Nga Nguyen, on the other hand, is not quite so familiar. Nga is Jeremy's wife, and the mother of their 22 month-old son, Liam.
I attend a peace rally in Sylvester Park on Wednesday afternoon and I am joined by a bunch of Catholics with ashes on their foreheads. I decided to join the rally at the last minute. Baby Tate still has boysenberry jam on his face from his afternoon snack. It looks as though it will rain so we have bundled up in fleece, long johns, gloves and snow hats. A woman walks toward us. She is wearing a white t-shirt with a large fluorescent orange peace symbol on the front. The shirt reads, "Don't kill innocent babies".