Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wall of Separation or Good Neighbor Fence?

Whilst looking for the perfect illustration, I found this at

Hello Internets!

I need to get to bed, but I wanted to check in with you to see what you think about the concept of the wall of separation between church and state. It seems to be a hot button topic these days, but usually comes up pretty regularly at this time of year because of Christmas displays in public places and celebrations in schools.

I have my own stories and thoughts to share, but I thought I'd ask you for yours first. Please comment! I'm going to be teaching a Mature Learning college course on the Wall of Separation in January, so I'm eager to mooch off your experiences and mighty brains.

Bonus points if you also share your favorite holiday memory/film/song!
Note that I say "also" - be sure to answer the main question first!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Just a quickie for you darlings this afternoon, I'm afraid. I've been more than a little busy with this life thing. But I'm just bursting to share something, and I know that you are a sympathetic ear.

This morning, I read a blog post from a friend who has three girls. She entitled it Fathers, Daughters and Boys, and began with the words:

Our girls are precious cargo, treasures, like fragile crystal.


My husband is protective, cautious, wise and strong, and he will go out of his way to make sure our daughters are treated like beautiful creations of God. My husband used to joke with the girls about the day they brought home a boy. “I will be cleaning my guns.” He would say, and they believed him.

For some reason, this Facebook page title popped into my head:

If you hurt my son I will make your death look like an accident.

Yeah, that pretty much sums up what's in my heart. Boys are quite possibly even more fragile. And girls can be unbelievably brutal.

I think that many parents of just girls think that boys are the enemies.
And that many parents of just boys think that girls are the enemies.

But many parents of at least one boy and one girl realize that all other children, regardless of gender have the potential to hurt their kids equally.

Right now, with only my teen son out in society, I tend to think of girls as cruel, capricious and generally all the spawn of Satan.

Some day, when my little girl enters the wild world of dating, I will undoubtedly hate and fear boys as well.

I'm glad I have a boy and a girl because I see their strengths and weaknesses, and cherish both. And I hereby send a fervent request out to the divinity that shapes our ends that no one hurts either one of them.

We are all God's creatures.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Laurence Olivier, Eat Your Heart Out

Andrew Forrest as Mr. Darcy, December 2010

Imagine this image enlarged to 20 x30, framed, hung above a fireplace, lit by gleaming brass chandeliers. A shy young woman acting as the housekeeper at Pemberley inquires of a more confident young actress portraying Elizabeth Bennet whether she has met Mr. Darcy, the character who is depicted. Another confident young woman in the role of Elizabeth's aunt, Mrs. Gardiner, asks her if the painting is a good likeness.

And my heart is full.

It has been a busy couple of months preparing for the local high school production of Pride and Prejudice. I have worked harder than usual and performed a number of new tasks to support the students and their wonderful directors. And, honestly, even if everyone had missed their cues and forgotten all their lines, it would have been totally worth it.

But of course they didn't. The students and their teachers are incredibly talented, and put on a fabulous show. I have loved every minute working with them, assisting whatever way I could in order to be part of this magical process of transformation.

I have also made some fantastic friends in the form of my fellow drama mamas. They are women I might never have met were it not for the fact that our children are in a production together. And what a loss that would have been. Kim, Robyn, Tracie, Rachael....four busy women who have shared anxieties, hopes, triumphs and a lot of laughs and hugs.

There is also the experience of watching my son. My firstborn, my pride and joy. He interprets Darcy in his own unique way, with his beautiful deep voice reciting the classic lines of Jane Austen. I confess I am probably quite prejudiced, but I think his English accent is gorgeous. I am so thankful for all the hard work the directors and so many students have put into this production. They capture their characters so very well, and have so much enthusiasm. We've all seen shows where one or two people are super, but the rest are mediocre. That's not the case here. While I might tell myself that my son is the best thing evah, I also honestly feel that his peers are great. And I am so happy he has some very good friends in the group.

Like I told you, my heart is full.