Monthly Archives: May 2008

The Last Graduate from High School

Father and Daughter at the Belles and Beaus Ball, May 2008Lord willing, there will be further graduates within our family, but this month we see the last graduate from high school, as Veronica — the baby of the family — graduates.  With her departure this summer to take up residence with her oldest sister while she begins undergraduate school at the University of Texas, our nest here at home will finally be empty, except for the periodic return of our nestlings for a visit.

Honestly, I’m not sure how Barbara and I are going to navigate this change.  I expect us to find ourselves conflicted with relief and sadness.  It won’t be boring, as we’ve learned when our eldest (Alexa) and her younger sister (Geneva) both departed for university studies.  In many ways, parenting simply changes gears at that point.  What’s going to be different this time is that the nest — which Barbara and I will continue to occupy — will no longer domicile our daughters.  Some months down the road, if I find myself with something to report about that time, I’ll let you know.

Meanwhile, our days are filled with much coming and going.  This photo shows me and Veronica at the Belles and Beaus Ball.  Later, if I can figure out how to do it, I’ll post a video clip of me and Veronica walzing at this ball.

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Coming Soon: Iron Man

UPDATE: While we’re still discussing Iron Man here at home, we’re also overflowing with end of the last year in high school for the last child at home. And there’s more: Prince Caspian has just come out and I haven’t seen it yet. But, I have heard that the screenwriters decided to change it in the interests of altering Susan’s part in the plot. And, when 21st Century screenwriters do that … well, I’m not optimistic that its going to be a change to advance the orthodoxy of sexual roles in the West.

So, I’m going to have to see Prince Caspian now, so I can compare/contrast it with the way Iron Man handles the roles of the sexes.

Stay tuned.

I’ve been looking around for someone else to say what I want to say, but haven’t had much sucess.  Lots of positive reviews, but the film’s most amazing features are either overlooked or where noticed (just barely) they elicit feminazi wisecracks.

Iron Man is just about the most honest statement about male and female and how they are supposed to relate that I have seen in any film in years.  Once Big Thangs this weekend are safely in the rear view mirror (including a dandy Daddy-Daughter Walz in a couple of hours ago; watch for pictures, maybe a video clip, of me and my baby walzing), I’ll try to pull together my thoughts on Iron Man for next week.

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Filed under Man, the glory of God

What’s in a Name?

Mother knows best!Anthony Esolen over at the Touchstone blog Mere Comments ponders  the way we name things and how this affects our perception of what is named, particularly when speaking of women in marriage and family. His meditation was launched by a friend’s lament that among women she encountered at a school reunion, she was the only “stay-at-home-mom.” Esolen first notes that this term “… seems to describe somebody who lacks the imagination to do anything other than stay at home.” He goes on to consider the senses attached to homemaker, house-wife, and mother, as terms used to denote the nature or vocation of women today. He concludes by reflecting on the term hook-up, used commonly today for what a previous generation would have called fornicating.

What Esolen considers here goes beyond simple words. Try using Google  or Live Search  to search for images associated with the terms housewife or homemaker. Be sure to set the sexual filters provided by these search engines engaged.

As you scan the results, you’ll see one strata of images such as the ones in this blog. Homemaker or housewife often find graphical representation that signifies that they are archaic callings, antique avocations, redolent with sights, sounds, styles, and activities of an era half a century or more in the past. And, most such images of housewife and homemaker are rendered in a way that is graphically condescending or patronizing.

Now, what do you suppose happens when a married woman who devotes herself to her husband’s and children’s well-being fills out an application for credit, or a bank account, or an application for insurance, or any of the multiple forms the public schools insist parents fill out. Invariably, there’s a blank line labeled “Occupation.” Read the comments to Esolen’s blog to learn what some women think when confronted with this blank on an application.

There was one ray of hope down in the comments of Esolen’s blog. One woman commented:

I never liked home-maker” because … it makes me feel guilty: it evokes images of a peaceful, orderly haven presided over by a serene woman, with smells of something baking wafting from the kitchen …

In her situation, evidently, seven children contributed to a different effect. But, I cheered because in her mind, at least, was the notion that “homemaker” – at least in its ideal expression – is a serene woman, presiding over an orderly haven. It reminded me immediately of what Paul sets before older women to teach younger wives, and I think this particular woman may find herself one day achieving what looks to her, from the trenches, as a presently unrealized goal.

To get there, she will need to keep that serene woman and her peaceful haven clearly in her mind.  The world despises such women and seeks to redefine the term homemaker for all of us.  

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Filed under Feminism, Woman, the glory of man