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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Secrets

It's Sunday, and I just finished reading the Sunday Secrets at
Post Secret is one of those guilty pleasures that make the weekend special.

So here's a convoluted secret from long, long ago:

My Dad came from an immigrant Czechoslovakian family. Language barriers, lots of kids, no money- and the father picked up and left the family, leaving his unstable wife to raise the kids as best she could. My Dad's dad was always referred to as a "skeleton in the closet." Needless to say, as a young child I spent time inspecting the closets, making sure there were no skeletons hanging around in there.

My Dad was the youngest and probably the cutest, very charming and with a great smile. He married my mom, and shortly thereafter was drafted to fight in WWII. He was stationed with Patton's army in Europe. He drove a tank.

He never talked much about the war, except that during the final days, and during the "clean-up" - he met a Countess, who lived in a castle in Czechoslovakia, where he was stationed. Since he spoke Czech, they hit it off immediately, and when he left, she gave him some lovely jewelry to take home to his wife. So, amongst the war memorablia - a bloodied Nazi armband, medals and coins, two large and heavy swords from the 17th century (I think) - he brought my mother the Countess' jewelry. A poison ring, gold beads, cut crystal beads with earrings to match- beautiful, museum quality, fine jewelry. The absolute best she would ever have.

Over the years, my sister and I would be allowed to play dress-up with it, try it on, pretending we were girls in a castle, in Europe. ( We were also reminded to clean our plates because "children are starving in Europe!")

My Mom & my Dad have both passed on now. So we can't ask them what really happened back then. But the story of the Countess and my young and handsome father might have been a good start for a Sunday Secret-- Don't you think?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I Just Had ONE Kid..

All this buzz about the woman who had octuplets last week has got me thinking. (And usually my husband thinks that's not such a good thing.)

When I first heard it, I wondered why her husband wasn't there with her- after all, when people have fertility treatments, it usually means that they (husband and wife) want children. But not in this case. You'd think with 6 kids already, there would be no need for more. And as a single mother, how does she plan to support them all?

I guess it will be up to us as a nation to kick in the millions of dollars it will cost to raise all these children. Of course, no one asked us if that would be OK.. (Well, in all fairness, they didn't ask us if we wanted to bail out Wall Street either)

Maybe the book and the TV deals will pay the bills., but it seems unlikely.
Maybe the mom's parents can step up and pay the bills. Maybe even the frtility doctor who thought implanting 8 embryos wa a good thing. The bills for the birth alone are astronomical.

When I had my son, back in 1971, the hubs and I were poor folk, living in a ghost town, with a couple goats and a garden. We ate beans and rice, made our own bread, cooked from scratch. We gave birth at home (no bills) and had a friend help with the delivery. And we knew immediately that one child would be our legacy, and our limit.

He'll be 38 in a couple weeks, and I'm real proud of how he turned out. He grew up just fine without book deals or TV specials (we didn't even have a TV til he was 8.)
We went to the library, and read books together, did outdoorsy stuff, arts & crafts, grew peaches and had homemade ice cream birthday parties.

He's all grown up now, with a wonderful wife and two beautiful teenage daughters. Granted, like many young families, they could use a bailout right about now. The economic collapse has been unkind to a lot of working folks, and they're no exception. It's a struggle to make ends meet.

I just don't know how a single mom with 14 children (some with special needs) would do it. What would childcare for 14 kids cost?

Sunday, February 1, 2009