Aunt-ing

First of all, I want to say that from my observations as a childless woman, being an aunt is nothing  like being a mother. Yes, if you’re lucky you get to interact with the kids a lot, and you adore them beyond all reason, and sometimes they drive you crazy. But you just don’t have the same level of responsibility for them. Crucially, you have the luxury of being able to return them to their parents and flee to a child-free wilderness if it gets to be too much. From what I’ve seen, motherhood is a bone-deep thing and you are never really off duty. (Even when you’re sleeping. In fact, certainly not when you’re sleeping if your children come and get into bed with you.)

I start with that because I don’t buy that in being an aunt, I’m “learning to be a mother” or expressing my intrinsic motherhood (along the lines of “all women are mothers”). Nah. Not really. But, that said, being an aunt is one of the most fun things in my life, and I’d like to think that aunts (and uncles, too), while they don’t replicate actual parenthood and are rather a thing of their own, can contribute some good things to everyone: the kids, their parents, and the aunt herself. Read More

Defending the White Family

In last month’s (August) Ensign, Elder Bruce C. Hafen purports to put the Proclamation on the Family into its historical and cultural context.1 Hafen’s view is that marriage as an institution is collapsing, and the family with it, because society has come to value the individual’s interest at the expense of social interests, one of which is the support and privileging of stable heterosexual nuclear families. He views this as a cultural shift driven by legal changes in the last half decade, before which “laws maintained a workable balance between social interests and individual interests.” In the 60s and 70s, however, the courts “began to interpret family laws in ways that gave individual interests a much higher priority than social interests, which knocked the legal and social system off balance.” (52) Hafen picks out no-fault divorce laws, the availability of child custody and adoption to single people, abortion, and (as always) same-sex marriage as elements of this threat to the family, and mourns how far the family has fallen since the year 1960, to which he makes repeated and regretful reference, as his reference point for a happier time when families were stronger and we better enforced pro-social values.

But here are some other fun things going on in 1960: Read More

  1. “The Proclamation on the Family: Transcending the Cultural Confusion,” Ensign August 2015, 50-55 []

Mom, To the Rescue

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post discussing the negative responses that have come from a few Church members in response to Ordain Women. My mom read my post and wrote this sweet email which I am posting with her permission. Thanks, Mom!

My dear son,

I have been thinking a lot about the thoughtful commentary you wrote in which you reference the image of a boat searching the tempestuous waves for the lost soul, but that you do not feel lost, just wounded and hurting on the shore. Read More

My Lucky Day

If I were playing the lottery, I know what numbers I would choose. They would have some variation of 0803 in them (but no, would-be scammers, that is not my debit card PIN number). If I were starting a land war in Asia, I would invade on August 3rd. If I were having elective surgery, I would do it on this day. Today is my lucky day.

You see, August 3rd is the day that my organizing, funny-story-telling, contagiously-laughing wife and my creative, ear-to-ear-grinning, anime-loving only daughter were born. What an awesome day!

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Making it Work

“Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face.  You have to be fully committed.”  ~ Eat Pray Love

It was rainy yesterday.  And sometimes, when it’s rainy, all you want to do is wear pajamas and watch a movie like Eat Pray Love.  Paint your toenails.  Eat…yogurt?

I don’t know.

The point is that I netflixed Eat Pray Love because I could and this particular quote jumped out to me.  Mostly because I thought it was hilarious.  Secondarily because it had relevance to my life and a certain psychological battle I’ve been dealing with recently.

Babies. Read More

A Day in My Life (a few years ago)

This is a repost of a post I did for FMH‘s A Day in the Life series. I’m resurrecting it now because my little sister recently had her second baby and is feeling overwhelmed. Hopefully this will help her realize that she’s at least doing better than I managed at the same time. Also, I hope to follow this up by finishing a post I started when the second was about a year old and things were much more under control, so look for that soon.

I’m a SAHM with a BA in anthropology and a minor in computer science. I have a 21-mo-old and a 3-mo-old (both boys). I write, and hope someday to publish a book, but not for a while at the rate I’m going.

Here’s my post… Read More

You’re like a mother to me

When my wife was young and she was first learning to talk, she called two other women “mom” in addition to her mother. Polygamous family? No. The other women were her then-teenage sisters. Given the often large families that Mormons have, I suspect her experience of being well over a decade younger than some of her siblings is not uncommon. I’m interested in how these large age differences affect sibling relationships when everyone is grown.

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Blessings of Understanding and Love

I’ve been wanting to put this post up for a while. The second annual World Autism Day gave me the impetus I needed to actually finish and publish it.

A while ago I was in the waiting room of a local children’s clinic, waiting for my son’s doctor’s appointment. There was another boy there with his parents and his grandmother. He was probably about 12, and while I’m not sure what exactly was wrong with him, he had some obvious developmental delays. I watched as his grandmother took him outside in the small garden adjoining the waiting room, and the boy expressed obvious delight in nature and the outdoors. When he came back inside he came up behind me and gave me a hug. It surprised me at first (I didn’t realize he’d come up behind me), but then I turned around, gave him a big smile, and said, “Hello.” He smiled back. His grandmother immediately rushed into a defensive explanation of him and his behavior. I just smiled and said, “I know.” Read More

Memories of Family Council

When I was growing up, my family had two regular Sunday activities. The first was going to church. The second was the weekly ritual of family council, a meeting which all family members were expected to attend. (It helped that there were usually treats at the end.)

Family council could go on for hours and hours. The length of the meeting was at least partly due to the fact that so many of the members of my family (including myself) find it rather difficult to stay on-topic for even five minutes at a stretch. Read More

a visit from my mother-in-law

My mother-in-law and I are very different people. Almost polar opposites, in fact. (The only reason I don’t say complete polar opposites is because that’s probably her and Seraphine, and I’m just most of the way to the Seraphine end of the spectrum). Nevertheless, we have come to understand, appreciate, or at least tolerate each other better over the past few years. She tries not to rearrange my stuff when she comes to visit (but she does anyway), and I try not to mind when she rearranges my stuff (though I still do sometimes). Read More

Sisters

I’m sitting in my bedroom, and thinking about the fact that all five of my sisters live hundreds (and in the case of Kiskilili, thousands) of miles away. Looking around, though, I can see traces of them everywhere. On my wall hangs a giant poster of Aragorn–a recent surprise gift from Amalthea (who personally prefers Frodo). Over my desk is a calendar of “Nuns Having Fun,” courtesy of Melyngoch. Read More

The “Master Plan”

My next youngest sister and I weren’t the best of friends growing up. In some ways, we were a lot alike, and I think the hostility that emerged between us was there, in part, because of the ways we were always being compared to one another.

Once I left home for college, the tension in our relationship decreased, and by the time she decided to attend the same university, I was excited for her to come. While we didn’t spend a lot of time together the two years our stays there overlapped, it was the beginning of a change in our relationship. Read More