Sunday, May 8, 2011

"Manning up"

Real life interrupted my blogging life: A week of rehearsals leading up to Beanie's dance recitals, translating into late nights putting kids to bed and even later nights prepping classes and answering e-mails from students about their grades.

Classes end this Wednesday, and I have finals to write for this Friday and next Monday.

In our neck of the woods, the end of term also coincides with the start of milder weather and heralds a season of sociality with friends we hardly even saw all semester.

Also, Bubbie has been having renewed separation anxiety during his drop-offs at child care and at nursery school. Thankfully, we know and trust Bubbie's teachers, who all seem to take his meltdowns in stride as "a phase" that will pass. They and the parents of other children in Bubbie's nursery school have been kind and reassuring, which is fortunate for Bubbie b/c I admit to being a bit exasperated with him. Here is a child whose mother has worked all of his life. So, I have to confess that I am a bit miffed to have him cling to me and tell me not to go to work when I know that he is otherwise well cared for and even enjoy himself at child care and nursery school. B/c I know that I am a good mother and the fact is that being productive (and dare I say even successful) at my work makes me a better mother to Bubbie.

Happy Mother's Day :)


Unless you have been hiding yourself in a cave in a Tora Bora - or never mind, especially when you have been - you have been subjected to an ever-churning spin on the news surrounding the assassination (?) of Osama Bin Laden.

I have been interested especially in responses surrounding the news:

(a) The posting of a quoted attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr. on Facebook. I had "liked" it every time I saw a friend post it. I actually was familiar with the last part of it because it appears in a children's picture book that Beanie and I have read (Martin's Big Words). However, there turns out to be a story behind the first part of the quote, which is mis-attributed, as Megan McArdle, a blogger at The Atlantic, reported.

(b) I am not alone in believing that Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" might be one of the most misunderstood popular songs ever. All due respect to The Boss, but I have to say also that the song as produced on the album might be the most spectacular failure at irony ever recorded. We took a little drive this morning, listening to Greatest Hits, and Beanie and Bubbie were singing along to the chorus at the top of their lungs: "I was - BORN in the USA! - I was - BORN in the USA!" At one point, Beanie improvised: "I was - BORN in Michigan." Pause, then: "Michigan is part of America."

(c) I am not entirely exaggerating to claim that I have been devastated to learn that Hillary Clinton's response in the Situation Room - as captured in a photograph now widely reproduced in the news media - is attributed to allergies, not to the burden that she carries as a human being. I am right there with the blogger at The Stir:

Do I wonder if Clinton is covering up the truth about a personal and emotional moment for fear of being seen by the world and her peers as a (gasp!) woman? I do. But even scarier to me is the idea that she or anyone else in that room might not have actually had a reaction that looked like the one she was or wasn't having when the photo was taken. After all, while I want my leaders to be strong, fierce, and determined, I also want them all to have deep insight and emotion about the decisions they are making for our country and the world. In a nutshell, I prefer for them all to be a little, well -- "womanly," I guess, is the only word I have that encompasses all that. It's a good thing.

Remember that someone deliberately chose this particular image to represent the Obama administration. Clinton's reaction creates an impression. It suggests a good story.

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