Friday, April 13, 2012


Anyone who even suggests that a full time wife and mother doesn't "work". 

This one is for Mom, watching over me from above, and my friend Auntie J , watching over her own little ones.

My Mom quit her job as Deputy Sheriff  to take on two kids out of foster care. We came with scars and  fears and needs and it WAS a full time job. I was just a baby, but Dad said if anyone touched me I'd scream.  Loads of fun, I imagine.  My older brother would rock in his crib, hitting his head gently but repeatedly on the frame.  Silent demons.  They didn't falter. They didn't fuss, They watched us carefully, pacing the room each night in that rhythm that is not a clock, but is the beat of a heart, of love. The love was expressed gently and often and it was not long before we were simply giggly, laughing children, with no memories of those early days, of anything that came before that wonderful, loving woman and our Dad.

She grew up in the depression.  Her Dad was killed in a logging accident when she was a teen. There was no insurance policy, only her own Mom working to support them all.  She graduated college with a degree in criminal justice in an age when women rarely did so.  She worked and supported her family until my Dad came back from WWII and they married, moving her widowed mother in with them.  Their first child died in infancy and after that, there was to be no more pregnancies. So they put in to be foster parents or to adopt.  I don't think they realized how much work that would be. Being a Mom at an age when her friends were having grand babies, to babies who came with built in burdens, had to be hardest job she probably ever had.  It's a job many "professionals" could not do well

 It doesn't matter if you have money or not.  When the kids try and dye the family cat black for Halloween with your Miss Clairol, when someone wakes op crying with a nightmare or someone runs home with a report from school with a smiley sticker to tell you all the details when all you wanted to do was sit and have 10 whole minutes to yourself in the entire day, you have worked. 

It's a labor of love, but it IS a full time job. The end product may not be a paycheck, it may not be awards on the wall or even tangible.

It's kids that grew up to serve their country, honor their flag and never take anything from a taxpayer that wasn't earned with blood, sweat and tears.  It's a man that adored the very ground you walked on for what you did, what you sacrificed, all the traits of your toil that you passed on to us. It's the family that grieves for your passing yet still sees something of the best parts of you, in all of us.

We lost her too young, but that will happen with a parent that's already middle aged when you come into their lives. But we wouldn't trade that for anything.  Because we gained so much from her, possessing, not our peers never ending obsession with time's dragging weight, but the fluidity of joy that is life constantly rediscovered, the bright comets of all those brief , shining moments that are never lost, only redefined.

At night, I put my badge in a drawer in my bedroom where it lays next to her ID and badge. I'm proud of my Mom for being the Deputy Sheriff.  I'm even more proud of her for just stepping away from a career that she loved to simply be my Mom.