When I was a young girl I looked to my mother as the provider of warmth and security. She supplied us snacks after a long day swimming in the desert sun. We would attend Mass together, a mother and her little girls, and all seemed right with the world. We weren’t always angels but there was a sense of wellbeing and an ease of which my mom performed her vocation as a mother. She, and Daddy, worked as a team and from a young child’s eyes it looked rather uncomplicated.
Now the torch has been passed, and I realize the complexity of the role of which I have joyfully agreed to take on. But how have the changes in the world affected what I do in my day versus what she did? I have the perfect example:
My daughter is in a Hop-A-Thon. What mother wouldn’t be excited by thinking of her preschooler in a gymnasium jumping up and down with 20 other kiddos? I can almost see each of them soaring, laughing and experiencing the “in the moment” joy only an innocent child can know.
My involvement of this event should end there, right? Write a check to sponsor my little leaping “frog” and then wait to see how the events of the day unfolded. But, it isn’t that easy. The “charity” in which she is raising money for is known for their involvement with stem cell research. This is the point where my role as mom changes from chief cookie-maker to internet researcher and advocate for the preborn. But it doesn’t end there.
I spend many hours on the internet searching the local sex offenders databases, to make sure our children are safe.
I write companies to complain about their near pornographic advertising, displayed prominently in the windows at the mall.
I mail letters to the editor of the local paper in order to defend the Church from some journalist’s emotional (and false) accusations.
It all comes down to the dignity of human life. Society has decided to loosen its value of sexual morality and has failed to come to the defense of the helpless. It has trickled down in every aspect of our lives and who will stand up for morality, Truth and life? I contend that it is the parent, especially the stay at home mother. We are not a voiceless group. During the day we have numerous opportunities to touch the world through sociopolitical change.
It would be nice to spend every moment playing with the kids, though the reality is that I can't. But I will show my children my love, 21st Century style. I will protect them from the ugliness that is out there in this world, while pointing out the great blessings God has given us. I don’t doubt my mother had to do the same when I was a child. But that is what made her successful at what she did, she allowed me to enjoy my innocence, while she shielded me from harm.