The weekend is a blur, as I was completely entrenched into a softball tournament -- which was nearly entirely under drizzle; not enough to call it off, but just enough to make those of us sitting on the sidelines a bit damp, cold and chomping at the bit for a hot toddy and a fireplace back in the comfort of home.
Of course, sitting there day dreaming between games, my mind went whirling into a two column expose of the differences between the Nanny State vs. Mother Nation, and that was all it took -- still in the midst of unseasonably moist weather conditions -- to provide this morning's inspiration.
So consider the boundaries like this:
The Nanny State, left.
Mother Nation, right.
See how it flows so easily.
The thing is, in this age of big, bad government, what we are seeing under the current Obama Administration, is a deterioration of our inherent civil liberties and a pure nullification of our founding principles, as they continue to inch their way into our lives in unimaginable ways; the constant indirect, and sometimes blatant, display of "we know better than you", as if the government really can cure all societal ills, along with it's huge price tag, is unprecedented. While to question their authority to do so, or wonder if any of it is even Constitutional, is considered unamerican, racist, bigoted even, and simply cast as out of control right wing extremism in action.
America has changed over the course of the last forty or fifty years, indeed; but the greatest difference is our growing indifference to how we define and grow beautiful families, ones that when lined up all together, hand in hand across the country, personify a loving, strong, healthy and vibrant nation.
You can believe what you want, but in these days following the recent death of Barbara Billingsley, one of America's first moms portrayed on TV for all the world to see and model after, we haven't entirely done the family thing very well -- over the last couple of decades especially; sure, we have more women advancing in careers, more women bringing home the bacon and frying it up in the pan, more women still shouldering the household duties while holding down a 9 to 5 job, more women reaching their personal dreams of having it all -- but at what price?
No, now before you all jump on my little butt -- yes, I wholeheartedly believe it is possible to have it all as women, if that equates to having a little bit of everything; there is no question in my mind about that; while, there are many women who make it look easy; yet, even still, there are many more who fail miserably at it everyday.
But when we look at our children, and the next generation or two in the pipeline -- coupled with an honest observation of the very issues we used to excel at pretty much across the board, as in education, morality, self-reliance and the individual pursuit of happiness -- we are breaking down somewhere; and I believe that somewhere is not over the rainbow but right here, right at home.
The thing is, if we are really brave enough, and open enough, to have a real conversation about this -- and look deeper into this relationship of the family unit, and the country's future prospects to create happiness and liberty and freedom for all, then we must face some heart wrenching truths about how we are doing at this; and the place to start is at the heart of the home, mom.
For California, nannies are common place -- and that should tell you something, as we are failing everywhere you look; a huge segment of our population just waltzes along with their heads in a salon, complete with cucumbers over the eyes, and all. Of course, overtly generalizing here, but let's face it, many mommies in California are simply no longer hands on -- they are above it, have no time for it, are completely frustrated by it, or economically challenged to have that privilege -- and it shows.
It may sound like I am beating up on my own people -- and maybe I am -- but can we get real? Can we not talk about the reality housewives era we are living in, or vicariously living through, and realize the waywardness of our own ways -- or is that no longer politically correct? And sure, why stop there -- it's not just a so cal thing, a hollywood thing, or an elite Senator from Northern California thing -- this is a national epidemic.
While I can almost applaud the Angelina Jolies's of this world, the truth is, the importance of motherhood is being all but ignored these days -- while we continue to sit idly by elevating the federal government to evermore control over our lives like in a warped 'who's your daddy' kind of way; it's a strange marriage of ideologies, to say the least.
It's not just about the restrictions of salt and sugar and soda, that this nanny state merrily tramples all over; it's not just about happy meals being villainized, and the maker of such as simply corporate greed at the expense of our kids; it's not just about over zealous regulation in everything from what we eat to what we drive, to how we fuel it, to where we bank, how we spend, to what we buy and why -- it's deeper than that --
We've changed how we do mom --
- it is the nanny being home after school -- and probably, in broken English, making sure they do their homework (hardly the perfect candidate to offer help with writing the review of The Odyssey).
- it is the nanny preparing the home-cooked meals -- or family dinner broken up with band practice, soccer games, working through dinner, business travel and take out.
- it is the nanny spending the quantity time with the children, with returning parents feeling guilty -- making up for it with presents, cell phones, and cars -- with no real parental supervision or care until basically bedtime.
If you add the element of religion, the prevailing attitude is one of dismissing the importance of worship altogether; or it takes on a whole new meaning under the mindset of a new age hierarchy of a "collective salvation" -- almost acting as if God told them this is the way it works, basically ignoring the principles upon which America was made, while having the audacity to redefine the entire premise of Christianity at the same time; under the mommy state, we simply go to church, and if we can't do that, we teach the golden rule and try our best to live by the same, and lead by example.
If you add the element of common sense and self-reliance, under the nanny state, "the little people" have none -- the government can better manage your money, your diet, your business, and seemingly every one's needs under the sun through the relentless and reckless actions of breaking one glass ceiling after another by ruthless taxation; quite the contrary, the mommy state believes in individual responsibility, individual liberty, and that less government intervention the better -- thereby allowing for real growth in the private sector and creating the opportunity for real wealth for all, just the way our founders intended.
There is a possibility we could reduce the state of mommy dearest we are currently living in by simply realizing that many of our maternal issues stem from being deficient in a single attribute, that being able to utter the word "NO!" -- as if a whole chorus of mamas and papas heard round the world piped up all at the same time. But then again, maybe that's just too simple minded of me; what do I know, right?
But then I realized something, as a gazed over the umbrellas yesterday, there is not one family on the team with a nanny; every mom or pop on the bleachers is hands on, whether it is a Sunday afternoon, a Monday morning, or smack dab in the middle of the week. Now, even though I carry a special fondness for the beauty of 'less organized' activities -- thinking of days dating back to The Sandlot era and Leave It to Beaver -- I must say I get a special chill up and down my leg knowing I share my experience raising a family with at least 14 other families close to me; it is a feeling I can build on, at least, and feel good about.
Our modern world makes a whole new June these days -- and that's okay as long we remember how we make good kids; they don't just happen, you know. A nanny can never take the place of what our children truly need; they require undivided attention, hands on care, and unconditional love, from an actual parent, whether we want to admit it, or not; our nation was built, generation after generation, making a point to make it a priority -- that is until we took the shaping of our kids, and our families, and ourselves, for granted, leaving the duty in someone else's care.
Long has it been understood that the hardest job in America -- and the most thankless one to boot -- is that of being a mother; and I have to say, indeed. Having a little money can make it easier; throwing more money at it might turn things around for awhile; but buying the kid a car when they really don't deserve it, hardly ever works -- and only real moms and pops know that, through and through.
Our country is having a mother of a time finding itself again; perhaps, breaking it down in ways we can easily understand is where we need to begin -- starting with some of the first words we learn, "mama"... "dada" ...and "no"
...sure, it sounds a little juvenile,
a far cry from showing any sign of an Ivy league education, right....
there was no study taken, publishing a decade of research...
I am, as you know, just a girl -- what do I know, right...
but please, feel free to question -- feel free to come up with your own argument of the nanny state vs mother nation; go for it. But like a pop fly meeting up with the inside of the glove like it was second nature, we are bearing witness to a pop culture uniting with the nanny state without thinking twice about it.
It may feel like a rush in the moment, but experience tells us it will fade into the reality of having to be ready for the next play, being prepared for whatever life dishes out, a future that anything could happen, at any time -- which unexpectedly, then, hits us in the face with the very prospect that the kids today may want to have kids of their own someday... an idea which very well might, for a few of us anyway, sound utterly frightening, considering the way they are being raised...and if we think Social Security is in trouble now...just you wait.
Isn't progress just wonderful.
And on that note, all I want is my mommy wahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Make it a Good Day, G