To the Mother of My Children

G. K. Chesterton has a wonderful quote on the role of women in society.

“It is not difficult to see why … the female became the emblem of the universal … Nature …. surrounded her with very young children, who require being taught not so much anything as everything. Babies need not to be taught a trade, but to be introduced to a world. To put the matter shortly, woman is generally shut up in a house with a human being at the time when he asks all the questions that there are, and some that there aren’t. It would be odd if she retained any of the narrowness of a specialist. Now if anyone says that this duty of general enlightenment … is in itself too exacting and oppressive, I can understand the view. I can only answer that our race has thought it worth while to cast this burden on women in order to keep common-sense in the world. … How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No. A woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.”

Today we tend to think of “stay-at-home” moms as settling for some sort of “second best” or “inferior” role for a woman. The truth is quite the opposite. Today I celebrate all moms who are content and are willing to be a little revolutionary; those who are willing to take on an often thankless job and to invest theirs lives for the good of society by pouring themselves into their own children. But I especially want to celebrate the mother of my children! She is a hero! She wears so many hats in a day, and is called upon for so many varied and significant things. Thanks for introducing our children to the world and telling them the profundities of the universe.

Happy Mother’s Day Ma Cherie!


2 Responses to “To the Mother of My Children”

  1. 1 Casey
    May 13, 2007 at 3:49 am

    I love that quote. I’m going to put it on my blog tomorrow. 🙂

  2. 2 bec
    May 13, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    For your wife- you go girl, I admire you for all the hats you wear- the ones that sit kinda sideways and even the ones that fall over your eyes. Remember, some hats could make you look like a drunk homeless person on the streets of Paris- I love you for all the hats you wear- not letting the fear of their awkardness keep you from the task. You are a great mom. Cheers.

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