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getting on the bus with Elizabeth

getting on the bus with Elizabeth

August 28, 2007

Last night, when I probably should have been putting my children to bed instead of letting them stay up late watching television, I was reading this over at The Silicon Valley Moms Blog.

Worst of all, you are being a terrible mother, forcing your young children, who should be in SCHOOL, to ride in buses and talk to the press when they obviously don’t want to. This election is NOT ABOUT THEM. They deserve some peace, not time with nannies and campaign-trail daycare providers, since, as the Times article describes, you don’t have time to see them when you are busy campaigning too.

Do I sound callous? Perhaps. I am truly, seriously, sorry that you are sick and that you are dying. But let this be your parting gift to the world: give your children some actual QUALITY time with you, which they are not having on the bus or in senatorial-aide-nannycare. Help give your children a next new Democratic president, who is NOT going to be your husband.

It has been rolling around in my head all night. The attack on Mrs. Edwards as if John Edwards has no part in the decision to bring their children on the road with them. The Mommy War makes my blood boil. The insinuating that she is doing her children, and the COUNTRY!, a disservice is maddening. Don’t people take their children out of school for year long cross country trips or around the world trips all the time? How much will these children see while they are traveling? How precious will this year be, whether their father wins or not, when their mother is gone?

And that is what really bothers me the most. The implication that she would be a better mother somehow by waiting patiently at home, baking cookies, wearing her apron and waiting to die. And she should do this for YEARS. Push down her own will and desires so her children could have proper memories of her. As if there is some good parent manual of how to die and leave your children behind.

We all say, or think, if I were dying I would do this, whatever this might be, in a heartbeat. I’d quit my job, stay home with my kids, travel the world, bake cookies, never yell, always smile, sing songs all day. I’d be perfect. So that my kids could have a perfect memory of the perfect me. I would live my last years out to the fullest. Like that insipid country western song that was popular a few years ago.

Which always causes me to wonder, well why aren’t you doing those things now? And the most simplistic answer is because it isn’t you.

Elizabeth and John Edwards have built their lives in the public eye. Have built a life around public service. Why wouldn’t they want to share this with their children? Why wouldn’t she want her children to see that even when she was terminal, that this was what was important to her? Why wouldn’t she want to impart this legacy onto her children? To not share this with her children would be to deny who she is.

Sure if I were dying I have a vision of how I would my children to remember me. Perfectly patient. Perfectly happy. The singer of songs, player of games, skipper of ropes. The mother who served up perfect meals, that were always enjoyed, and did so with a smile on her face. The mother who always had a dessert to put on the table. A home made one, not tossing a box of Little Debbie snack cakes in the center and yelling, “Every man for himself.”

Apparently I want them to remember someone else. Because I have no plans to actually become that new person.

Instead if I were to suddenly drop dead they will be stuck with the memory of the authentic me. A mother who yelled more than she would have liked, who hated cooking, who could be selfish and short tempered. A mother who loved her children more than anything else in the world, but often wanted them to get the hell away from her and for the love of god to stop talking for five minutes. A mother who spent more time typing her feelings than talking about them.

A mother who should be making her children breakfast right now, but instead told them to eat a granola bar and watch Scooby Doo until I finish typing this. Thank God there is no NYT reporter here at my house.

A mother who would love to type up a fabulous and insightful conclusion to this post, but alas will not be able to because her children are fighting over the tivo remote. And yelling, “Knock it off!” has sapped her of any ability to form coherent sentences. But that’s okay. Elizabeth Edwards is living in a bus with two little kids. I am sure that she more than understands.

Posted by Chris @ 9:35 am  

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Comments

  1. Frauke says:

    I adore you for this post. And I couldn’t agree more.

  2. peepnroosmom says:

    The Mommy Wars are an ugly thing.
    I would want my children to remember me the way I was, imperfect as that may be.
    Two years ago we took Peep out of school for a week so we could go to Washington DC as a family. He got more out of that trip in a week than he could have ever gotten out of a book in a whole semester. Sadly the school put him down for 5 unexcused absences because it was not considered a “necessary” trip.

  3. jen says:

    *Clap Clap*

    Well said, Chris!

  4. genpoco says:

    The Edwards family is together now as a family. Whether at home or on a campaign trail, they are together maybe for her last few months. I certainly can’t hold that against Mrs. Edwards either. My SIL passed away from leukemia at age 39 when my nephews were 9 and 11, I will never judge a decision made by a dying mother.

  5. Heather says:

    Although I do not have children yet, I grew up in a house where mom acted perfect, never put out, lived only to service us. I wasn’t sure if I could handle that so I waffle (and still do) on the thought of having kids. It’s mothers like you that show me it’s perfectly normal to be HUMAN and it’s a much better way to grow up. *Standing Ovation for Chris*

  6. Susan says:

    Oh god this made me cry.

    And yes. To all of it.

  7. rimarama says:

    Amen, amen, amen. That was very well articulated, especially for an early morning post written over cries of “Geronimo” in the background!

  8. Hillary in KS says:

    I thought that the OP’s issue was more about how the Edwards don’t spend much time with their children when they’re campaigning, and have said so in at least 1 interview.

    If I were terminal, I’d be all about spending time with my family. You can bet that I wouldn’t have my children spending the majority of our last days together in the company of babysitters. I’d spend those last days, months, or years *withthem* so they’d remember me and the time we spent *together*, and not have to rely on other people’s recollections, clippings, or video segments.

  9. Amy says:

    It’s a shame that your computer is taking so much quality time away from your family! I’m sure your “groupies” will hate me, but seriously, all you do is complain about your kids and brag about your lack of parenting skills.

    What a nice way for them to start out their day, getting granola bars thrown at them and being told to sit in front of the tv. If you can’t get through a simple breakfast, I can only imagine what bitterness your “homeschooling” causes.

    Do them a favor and send the older ones to school and the younger ones to daycare. Just think, you’d have 6-7 hours to sit online, read blogs and post on your own blog.

  10. kate says:

    Rah rah! I don’t think that many people actually take their kids out of school for a year, but I think more people SHOULD. I think that traveling around the country could be endlessly fun and educational. I think that people in the US (and yes, I’m American, though I live abroad) are much more sheltered and naive than they think they are and therefore would not travel around like that and certainly not abroad. I think you’re exactly right that it’s unfair to think that she is solely responsible for these choices when she is one of TWO parents. I think I’ll cork it now.

  11. Mir says:

    Well, Chris, I think you should take Amy’s advice. Not only because YOU and your HORRIBLE MOTHERING was the point of this post, but because your blog is 110% true and completely representative of your life as a whole.

    Now, please go pray about it.

  12. Heather says:

    Instead if I were to suddenly drop dead they will be stuck with the memory of the authentic me. A mother who yelled more than she would have liked, who hated cooking, who could be selfish and short tempered. A mother who loved her children more than anything else in the world, but often wanted them to get the hell away from her and for the love of god to stop talking for five minutes. A mother who spent more time typing her feelings than talking about them.

    And this is the mother whose memory they would love and cherish. To quote poorly from Good Will Hunting - we call them imperfections, but they’re not. They’re what make each of us real, and what make us truly belong to our families. Your children are exclusively yours because they know the parts of you no one else does.

    You’re a great Mom. Just ask your kids, I guarantee they’ll agree. Especially if you let it slip that you’re holding that box of snack cakes behind your back for the best answer.

  13. Carola says:

    It´s funny how people like to judge the decisions made by others…and tell you what to do. Like Amy above. She totally didn´t get the message of your post, which I found excellent.

  14. Nicki says:

    Who ever gave us the right to judge another human being? Why aren’t we supporting each other instead of attacking each other? Here is a women who is dying, and someone is attacking her for her choices. Has this person lived her life? Ever had cancer? Some people really need to get a life and get out of other peoples!!!

  15. Chris says:

    And Amy is the perfect example of the Mommy Wars going awry. You have no idea about my life. My real life. You read what I chose to highlight here and think that it is my entire world, it isn’t. It’s a blog. It’s a small sliver of my life. Should I write all the details? Everyone would fall asleep, including me while I was typing it.

    And I didn’t throw the granola bars at them. Not that there is anything wrong with that. You know as long as you yell, “Heads up!” first.

    I still stand by my assertion that none of us would know what we would do if we knew we were terminal. And just MAYBE we should be living our lives like we are anyway. I mean if you would make sweeping life changes in the way you interact with your family, maybe you need to do something about that NOW before you are dying.

  16. Chandra says:

    Great post Chris! I will never understand the Mommy wars but I suppose most of it stems from judging others when having no idea where they are coming from, what their life is like and what kind of person they may be. It’s really a shame. And as for the ‘not so kind’ comment left for you just another example of this not so kind mommy war. Chris, keep the sarcasm coming and I love all your wonderful mommy skills. Laughter truly is the best medicine…

  17. Jeanne says:

    Again, you’ve written from your soul and touched ours. (maybe Amy doesn’t have one??)

    Thanks Chris. You keep writing, we’ll keep reading.

  18. Jennifer says:

    Chris, I’m an avid reader, but seldom comment…I had to this time, though…thank you for such an awesome post…loved every word.

  19. Amanda Regan says:

    I know schools frown on family holidays during school time but honestly have you seen the price difference once the kids are back in school? I can only struggle to afford in school time holidays. Surely seeing the world & how other people live will broaden their intelligence more than a week of school, it is after all just once a year.

  20. Chandra says:

    I really didn’t copy your comment Chris. Just managed to post it right about the same time :)

  21. Beth F. says:

    Love this. This could not have been worded any better.

  22. Claire says:

    Thank you for keeping it real, Chris. I appreciate this post, especially as a mom who has Stage IV breast cancer herself. I think that you hit the nail on the head with the fact that people (especially moms) should realize that everyone makes their own choices on how to live their lives. The only thing that has changed for me with fighting this disease is that I do enjoy and appreciate every part of life more–even the nitty gritty parts, and it is not worth it to spend worthless time trying to be perfect. In fact my life is probably a lot less perfect than before (a lot more frozen dinners and little Debbie cakes) and that is okay–even better than okay, because I love me a good Nutty Bar. It is life, and a good one at that. The fact is Elizabeth Edwards may live many, many more years as there are many new therapies coming out for breast cancer all the time. She is doing what SHE wants to do with her life regardless of how long it is.

  23. Rebecca says:

    Just to clarify, I don’t cook and I work full time. The post was about how dragging the kids on the campaign doesn’t mean that she sees the kids. They are using the kids to get elected and that bothers me.

    Hm, perhaps I should have made that all clear….

  24. Rebecca says:

    Also, I blame Elizabeth because she admits it is her decision. She even says so.

  25. Rachel May says:

    What an awesome post, Chris… very touching, and very real. I also love how you can ignore the assvice … Comments like Amy’s somehow make me think of the monkeys we saw at the zoo. Their favorite thing to do? Fling poo.

  26. Danielle says:

    Yay! That was great. Although Canadian, I have been watching the Edwards and their campaign story for quite some time. I admire Elizabeth Edwards and what she stands for completely. I found myself nodding my head throughout this entire post.

  27. Barb Cooper says:

    When I was five years old, my father was electrocuted in Viet Nam. It has given me a whole different perspective on losing a parent because I still miss him every single day. I’m 42 years old now. I miss him every single day.

    Loads of people don’t have the luxury of quitting work and staying home to bake cookies, especially when they are ill or terminal. I think what Elizabeth Edwards is doing is the greatest thing you could do for your kids if you knew you were dying–she’s exposing them to her world (which happens to be the world they will have to navigate all their lives since their father is a public figure) and she’s making sure she gets to spend as much time as possible with them before she dies. She’s traveling with her husband, whom she loves very much, in hopes that she might see his dream fulfilled. Can that twit who wrote the piece that inspired Chris’s piece really make a case for her being a selfish mother and wife? Dude, I’ve had cancer and it’s not exactly a VACATION. I don’t see how doing this at HOME would make it more acceptable.

    This past week, my next door neighbor’s 17-year-old son was killed in a car accident. As I have watched my dear neighbors try to come to terms with their loss and grief and tried to fathom how one survives the loss of a child, I keep thinking that life is too short for the Mommy Wars. Amy, if you’re going to come over here and blast Chris for stating her opinions on HER OWN BLOG, then at least have the decency to log in so that we can all contact you directly to let you know how inappropriate and hurtful and uninformed your views are.

    Barb

  28. Karen Vogel says:

    Such a nice reminder that all we need to be is good enough, not perfect. I think all of us spend way too much time browbeating ourselves over what we’re not, instead of just enjoying who we are - imperfect human beings, who love our kids (most of the time).

  29. Susan says:

    Great post, and very real.

    Must’ve hit a nerve with Amy; she must wish she were less of a phony and more honest like you, Chris.

  30. Lucy Locket says:

    Why do I have this weird feeling that I should apologize to you for a mean-spirited comment written by a person that I don’t know? It appears that she has been reading your posts for quite some time. If she is so disturbed by your parenting skills, why does she continue to visit your site?
    I have my own thoughts, but I won’t embarrass her the way she tried to embarrass you.

  31. Diatribal says:

    Hi Chris. I subscribe to your blog(s) and read them VERY often. I just have one question…how can anyone doubt that you ADORE your family? I can tell by the way that you write about them. The way that you are constantly carrying that camera around to catch all of the precious moments in time that you never want to forget and that you want your children to remember when they are old. Perhaps Amy above does not understand your hilarious wit that is often dripping with sarcasm. (Or at least what I perceive to be sarcasm.)

    As far as the post on Mrs. Edwards, if my son was killed in a car accident, I would likely never ever let my other kids out of my sight. I KNOW I would have them with me all the time…so I understand her decision to take them on the road with her. Why do some people feel the need to judge other people? Seriously? How can someone get off calling another human being a “bad mother”? ESPECIALLY if you don’t know that person “in real life”. Thanks for your perspective, Chris.

  32. Jenny says:

    As a mother and a teacher I am grateful for this post. Parents know their children best and have to make decisions as they see fit. Thank you for this.

  33. Lizzette says:

    Loved your post - well said. I wish more moms were honest about how mothering is for them, that there are times they ACTUALLY want to be alone and without their kids. I believe we are better parents when we stay true to ourselves, and give ourselves time to be us. It’s amazing how much less screaming there is around here if mommy has an hour or two to herself on a regular basis. If mommy’s happy, chances are the kids might be too, but if mommy ain’t happy, you better believe no one will be.

    I hate how some think that just because we are mothers we should forget all the past experiences that have made us who we are. Isn’t that really how and what we want our kids to remember us by. My mom use to say mean things to us, and occasionally spank us, but I really don’t remember that most. I remember the stories of her struggles and experiences as a kids, how she worked hard to be the best mom she could with very limited schooling, her persistence, innate desire to always want to help others even if she really had nothing more to give, that no matter how angry she got or how upset she’d get with me, that she would always love me and go to the ends of the Earth to protect me. I have yet to find that unconditional love from anyone else, and sometimes I feel its the best thing we give our kids. We aren’t perfect, so be prepared for a lot of screwing up. Everyday we are learning right along with our children.

  34. Garnigal says:

    The best memories I have of those I’ve lost are the ones that arose out of imperfection. My grandmother’s moue of distaste when someone she didn’t like was mentioned; my grandfather yelling at his adult sons for spilling paint on the walkway while trying to paint his house; my cousin letting me come along to bush parties so I could drive her drunk ass home.

    Those are the memories that truly stick with me. Those are the memories that allowed me to smile through my tears when they died. Those are the memories that we still talk about.

  35. Ree says:

    Amen. One more example of why I visit your blog every single day. Thank you.

  36. Amy (totally not the rudey head who posted above) says:

    This post made me feel like I had been holding my breath for a year and just got my first big gulp of fresh air. I always felt like no one understood, till now….
    I came down with cancer last year at 30. My life prior had been in utter crisis mode, 8 kids, in 11 yrs. I was very intimate with of all my shortcomings. The fact that I couldnt just pull up by the boot straps and become a Mary Poppins overnight, was a real downer. Actually that was the hardest part of the whole ordeal.
    While it may be ‘funner’ (yes I homeschool my brood) to act like the Amy in the above slander/comment. Stepping on the backs of others to appear……higher up. The best/hardest thing cancer taught me was who I am and who I am not. And to love people for who they are and not to worry about what they lack. I’ve got enough of my own to worry about!
    Thank you Chris.

  37. arduous says:

    Hi Chris

    I am a frequent lurker, seldom commenter, but I have to say, that this was a beautiful, beautiful post. And you’re right. If Elizabeth stayed home to bake cookies and what not … that wouldn’t be her. By staying on the campaign trail, she is showing her children her values. She is showing her children what she believes in and what she is fighting for.

    Thank you so much for this.

  38. oshee says:

    I read, but almost never comment to you.

    It is easy to look at another person’s public life and say, ‘I’d never do that.’ The Edwards are living as they feel they should. If one believes they are dragging kids around and her cancer out to the public eye to get him elected…then don’t vote for him. It is that simple. But, the public should never question a dying woman’s choice with her kids. If there is room to question it should be done by those close to her, her husband, parents, by those who know the situation privately.

    Just like your public blog, they present an image to the world. They present a small part of their live, a sliver as you put it. There’s no room for us to judge harshly at what you or they are choosing to share. If we truly disagree..we can gently express it..or go elsewhere.

    What you shares touches so many because I sometimes toss the granola bars out for breakfast. I’m so far from perfect, that I find comfort in your less than perfect moments. Thank you for being brave enough to share them.

  39. jules11 says:

    That post was amazing, I totally agree, well done.

  40. Beth B. says:

    Most excellent post!! I fed my kids cheerios while I linked to your post and added my own thoughts over at the Silicon Valley Moms Blog. We should have a cold cereal blogosphere breakfast at least once a week..:-)

  41. QofS says:

    You realize if Elizabeth (as she said we can call her, so I am) stayed at home with the kids she’d get hung out to dry for that decision too.

    As for her admitting to not spending enough time with them (her reason, the campaign) don’t we ALL do that for one reason or another? I mean, I do that to go to the gym and to get my hair done, which I can’t imagine is nearly as important and trying to change the F’ING WORLD with my husband.

    As for trolly-mctroller pants up there-come pick on me. Chris is way too classy for you.

  42. Belinda says:

    I thought this was a really good post. And I’m really, really glad I don’t know “Amy.” Hmmmm…only four uses of the word “really” there. Will try harder next time. Really.

  43. Debbie says:

    Those children have been raised on being in the public and with their nannies AND parents. It is normal to them and is how they will remember their Mother. They will remember her as loving their Dad so much and them too by taking them on the campaign trail. And lighten up Amy, those chidren of Chris’s look very happy and well adjusted. Hope they have their Mother’s sense of humor about life.

  44. Mary Alice says:

    I think many people forget that the Edwards family has lost a son….and through that experience they probably know much better than most of us how to live with death. I would never presume to challenge their family choices since I have never walked a mile in their shoes. I admire their strength and grace.

  45. Laundry & Children says:

    I agree that a mother should be able to make the decisions that she thinks are best for her family. So Mrs. Edwards can do whatever she wants with the time she has left here on earth. However, being the wife of an elected official and having experienced many campaigns first hand, I know that if I were to become sick, the campaign trail would be the last place I would want to be. Campaigning is about as far from glamorous as you can get and nothing about it is family friendly. The hours are long, the work is exhausting both mentally and physically, you have to be nice to people even when they are saying the most horrible things about you and your family (and trust me they do, throw your hat in the ring and the common courtesy that someone would show a stranger goes right out the window), even though you are around hundreds of people it is very isolating and it takes a huge toll on everyone close to the candidate. Is it worth it? Yes, if that is how you choose to serve your community. Is it worth more than time, especially limited time, with your family? In my opinion, no. When you live a public life, you know that the choices you make will be debated publicly. When the Edwards family decided to stay in the race, they did so knowing that their every decision would be questioned and debated. It’s not their first time at the rodeo. They knew what they were getting in to and if knowing that they still made this choice for their family, that’s their choice.

  46. Busy Mom says:

    I was unfamiliar with the brouhaha at SVMB.

    Unbelievable. I have no words for stuff like that. There’s a way to discuss this matter, and, that wasn’t it.

  47. cameron says:

    SV Moms Blog put up another post about Elizabeth Edwards, from a different contributor, Beth. Here is the link. Guess their writers have differing points of view:
    http://svmomblog.typepad.com/silicon_valley_moms_blog/2007/08/getting-on-the-.html

  48. Karen says:

    Ahh the big debate on Mommy’s choices. Isn’t it great? Elizabeth, John and their kids have the choice to experience family life in a really exciting and memorable way, Chris chooses to share a snippet of raw family truth laden with sarcasm and humour, and gets berated by “Amy,” who chooses to speak out of her ass.

    Amy, look up the word “choice” in the dictionary. Then lookup “jackass” - your picture will likely be there. If Elizabeth stayed home, you’d say she’s wallowing in self pity. If Chris cooked bacon and eggs every day, you’d say she was clogging her spawn’s arteries.

    Being a mom is tough, but not just because kids are selfish, demanding little shits - it’s tough because we are the most criticized people on the planet.

  49. Redneck Mommy says:

    I wanted to stand up and applaude you for your well written post but then I (unfortunately) read Amy’s comment.

    Now my blood is at full broil and my mommy protective gene has kicked in.

    My serenity has dissipated and my eloquence has left the building.

    Damnit.

    Thanks for writing this post. I’m cheering for ya. I’ll even provide you with the granola bars for you to toss at your kiddies.

  50. Joy H says:

    Amy —apparently you miss the sarcasm of a LOT of bloggers. Bitch about your kids via typing so in the REAL WORLD you can survive. It’s not about perfection or whatever your definition of it is; have you ever tried homeschooling? Do you have seven children? Do not judge lest you be judged. In all your anonymous-ness.

    Chris—I have to say BRAVO! once again.

  51. Renae says:

    Amen, I say. And Amen again.

  52. Amy Y says:

    Very well said… I agree with you 100%!!

  53. KT says:

    I, too, toss my granola … and I often miss.
    A beautiful, beautiful post.

  54. Stephanie Chance says:

    Aww, you guys, I’m sure Amy has a wonderfully fulfilling life and tons of genuine friends. With perfect kids to boot. I’m sure she has a perfectly good reason for reading and commenting on the blog of a person she deems inferior. I would so call her and revel in being called a terrible parent because I gave my daughter a Blow Pop for breakfast (hey, it’s fruit - ish) and play Webkinz more than she does. Hooray for Amy and her admirable people skills! We should all strive to be more like her.

  55. GreenCanary says:

    I love this post…

  56. Andrea says:

    Amen to you and to [almost] everything else that has been said here.

  57. Anna says:

    I was a child of a parent with political aspirations. Much of my childhood was a production, as a result, and I carry some scars. We all make decisions that can be nit-picked to death by third parties. My rule of thumb is to ask myself how my decision will affect the person doing the nit-picking, if it does not directly affect them, they don’t get a vote. I don’t have to answer any questions, I’m not on trial.

  58. Emily says:

    Nine years ago, my best friend died of breast cancer. She was a mom with a young girl and, after her cancer spread, she was overwhelmed by the idea that her daughter would grow up without her. After a lot of thinking and praying, though, she focused on having this limited about of time to live her life and be with the people she loved, and she shifted her priorities and found a new sense of purpose. We ended up writing a book together called Living with the End in Mind and through it, Erin touched a lot of people. She was an amazing mother and friend and she lived fully up until the very last minute. The thought that someone would criticize my friend or Elizabeth for how they choose to spend their remaining time with their children is deeply offensive. My friend left a legacy for her daughter that includes baking cookies and time together, and so much more. Her daughter is growing up with her mom’s love in her heart and the example of how fully and well she lived her life, and so much more. I could only hope to leave such a legacy.

    Chris, you wrote an amazing, wonderful, spot-on post.

  59. Occidental Girl says:

    It’s so easy to judge others, hard to live up to the ideals we all have for OTHER PEOPLE. I would guess that a lot of thought went into the decision to take the kids on the road with them. And you’re right, this is a unique time for all of time and they are spending it together, as a family.

    I will never be perfect, and I have no idea what I would do in a similar situation. But I do think we ought to stop beating up other mothers over every little thing and start worrying about bigger things! There are many things we could change if we put our energies toward them and not snarking one another.

  60. Glennia says:

    I commented at length over there about this topic, but just wanted to tell you that I *heart* you. Perfect, just perfect.

  61. elizabeth says:

    Chris,

    Being in my early 40’s - I gotta beg you NOT to concern yourself with bitter/mean/whacked people like Amy.

    Not only is this a beautiful post (though I am a Brownback fan - who also brings his whole family on the campaign trail - HIS and his wife’s choice!) and brings tears to my eyes - but so does such an attack upon you. Shame on you, Amy - get some mental health help A.S.A.P. I ain’t no groupie - honey - I barely read blogs anymore, mostly thanks to fleas likes you. I sure would prefer home schooling over sending my children into an *arena* with the type of animals you must be raising. Spite spreads…

    God Bless, Chris!

  62. elizabeth says:

    OH - and “using the kids to get elected!????” - what is rebecca (of sunnybrook - obviously) talking about! The kids are part and parcel of their lives. Does my husband use our kids when he takes us all on business trips? Some of your readers are clueless - and of course, that has nothing to do with you. I just wonder why they bother reading here - when they could be reading MAD magazine or something intelligent. (Okay - dating myself…)

  63. Jordana says:

    Of course, kids can’t possibly be educated while traveling around with their parents either. I know that all those days my children aren’t sitting in an actual classroom at a desk are turning them into little morons.

  64. Heth says:

    Another lurker.
    I love this Chris. So thought provoking. Thank you.

  65. Manic Mommy says:

    1. I didn’t read the referenced Elizabeth article but from what I have seen and read, I think what she’s doing is admirable; she is being who she is for her kids and her husband. I do often wonder why no one has further questioned John’s decision to run. If he were to drop out of the race, they would not be on the campaign trail. I’m not saying he should, just looking at other options.

    2. Much like in a marriage, the only ones who know everything are the ones involved. I try not to judge (seriously judge, not the snarky stuff I do all the time) to harshly because I’m not there.

    3. I never thought you didn’t like your kids - actually, I admire how you show the same love and genuine interst in Miles as you do to the older boys. Nor do I think that I know you or every side of you. We write what we write.

  66. sarcastic journalist says:

    Amy, please get it right. Chris throws raw meat at the children.

  67. jm says:

    Loved your post here. Spewed my rant in the comments there. Have only a few minutes before Miss Grace is awake and I must fly. So, I’ll only repeat part of what I had to say over here for the benefit of Amy:

    Putting down another parent and their choices (unless that person is breaking a law in their raising of a child) just exposes your insecurity and pettiness. Whenever someone does this to another parent, I think the person who is making the accusation has the problem. It is not our place to judge anyone else’s parenting choices about breastfeeding, about travel with their kids, about if they decide to make their kids share a room or give them their own room.

    Amy, if you’re following these comments and you’d like to know why I posted the above, you can step over to the comments section for Rebecca’s post in the SVMBlog and learn why you don’t have as much control as a parent as you think you do.

    Chris, at least you are throwing a granola bar TO the kids and not AT them. No one is putting their eye out with flying granola bars, yes? All righty then.

  68. carrie says:

    I wish we would stop slinging mud at each other and allow ourlseved to BE ourselves. I commend E.Edwards on being “real”. More moms should be, no matter what their situation.

  69. Pamela says:

    You are way off base on this one, Chris. The author of the post took issue with Sen. Edwards, who is the worst offender of dragging his kids around the campaign trail, and forcing them to speak publicly to the press.

    She took a harder look at Ms. Edwards only AFTER she criticized Hilary for her choices. Pot calling the kettle black maybe?
    Part of the reason we have “Mommy Wars” is because some people don’t allow women to criticize other women.

  70. elizabeth says:

    “people don’t allow women to criticize other women.”

    That is ALL we do - get a grip, get a life. Kettle - black…

  71. Stephanie Chance says:

    “Part of the reason we have “Mommy Wars” is because some people don’t allow women to criticize other women.”

    Um, and part of the reason we have murder is because the government doesn’t allow people to kill other people.

    Duh. What kind of sense does this make?

  72. Stephanie Chance says:

    I LOVE to criticize women. But only when they are criticizing other women. :)

  73. Barb Cooper says:

    Have you all read the comment posted by Elizabeth Edwards on the SVM’s site? I think it says it all, except, possibly for how incredibly hurtful and snide and ill informed some people are under the guise of using their freedom of speech.

    I think Karen R had my favorite quote of the day: “Ahh the big debate on Mommy’s choices. Isn’t it great? Elizabeth, John and their kids have the choice to experience family life in a really exciting and memorable way, Chris chooses to share a snippet of raw family truth laden with sarcasm and humour, and gets berated by “Amy,” who chooses to speak out of her ass.”

    I love it when people can sum up an entire situation in a single sentence and include a really hilarious visual!

  74. qalballah says:

    Wow. Amy - are you a MAN? Only a man would think a woman sits in front of a computer all day. In fact… are you my *husband*??

    Just checking…

    Oh and a final comment - for someone who has seven kids a big house to clean and homeschools and who happens to a beautiful and thin woman (bitch!) Chris obviously is doing something right, Amy. Does that make you jealous??

    Yeah, me too.

  75. Phoenix says:

    Chris, I don’t have time to read all the comments or I’m sure I’d have more to say. But this was an amazing post. If I knew how to submit it for a Perfect Post award I’d do it.

  76. MamaLady says:

    As a conservative (NOT Republican, per se), I can’t believe I’m defending the Edwards family in any way. But this conversation just proves that all us mommies are in it together. Every family has to do what they think is best for their family, at that precise time. I have mad choices that would not be right for this time in my life. But when I made them, I was right on. Elizabeth Edwards has received much criticism where her younger children are concerned. So she is no stranger to this line of conversation. SHE and her husband have to make the decisions they think are best.
    Personally, I would rather drive nails into my ears than be stuck on a bus with two young kids and a bunch of politicians in the middle of summer AND being sick to boot. But more power to her.
    And Amy (#1), you are the reason I was kicked out of a playgroup 4 years ago. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. Perfect people only want perfect people in their groups. That’s why my friends and I started the imperfect mommies group. And we’re still together. The other group is struggling. Coincidence, no?

  77. Rebecca says:

    No mother is perfect no matter what we do. Our kids will find something to gripe about just like we can find ‘faults’ in our mothers {same goes for fathers by the way}. My mom died 8 months ago. It was unexpected. There are conversations I never got to have with my mom asking her about her parenting choices. I can sit here and look at everything I think she did ‘wrong’ or could have done better. Or I can realize that she loved my sister and I with all of her heart and did the best that she knew how. I wouldn’t want to have some ‘June Cleaver’ image of my mom to remember because I know that’s just not her. Instead I can look back and remember how my mom responded to hard times, continuing on and doing her best. And I think that’s what Elizabeth Edwards is doing. If I were terminally ill I’d want to leave my kids with a true picture of myself.

  78. Mocha says:

    How about we just set up a time to kick each other’s asses so that it’s set and we know it’s coming? Every time we come to this point again I am reminded of the Mean Girls I deal with at school and wonder where we learned this. How do we know that it’s ok to criticize a mother’s parenting? How do we find out that it’s acceptable to demand that other parents do exactly what we want?

    You know what? We don’t. It’s just bad manners to do so.

    Those, however, are learned. Rebecca’s mother should really be talked to about that.

  79. genpoco says:

    Just came back to read what was posted after my response this morning. Holy flaming eggbeaters! “Amy” needs a Time Out. And she didn’t even waste our time by commenting on Mrs. Edwards; which was the topic of Chris’s post. Me thinks “Amy” is a troll with nothing better to do than incite ickiness.

  80. Ginny says:

    Just a ‘groupie’ checking in…love ya, Chris! You made my day!

  81. Regina says:

    It is like “Mean Girls!” GOOD GRIEF! Snide comments, flying granola bars…wow. I would like to say that I respect Elizabeth Edwards very much, I think that she is making the best choice according to what she and John believe, and she shouldn’t sit back and wait to die.

    I have wondered if I should feel guilty if he was elected, and then she dies. Will he have enough time to be there fully for his children if he’s president? That’s my only concern.

    Lay off, people. It’s a weak person that waits to accost someone else because they can hide online.

  82. Leah says:

    I think lots of people missed one of the most important points that Chris made - Elizabeth Edwards is not the only person who made a choice for this family. It’s so easy to criticize mothers and their choices, but I don’t hear anyone flinging poo at the fathers. As if those fathers didn’t exist or didn’t have anything to do with the choices being made. This isn’t just about a mother - it’s about a family.

    As an aside - I have a “perfect” mother. It’s not a great legacy to live up to. Not only have I failed to be a perfect mother myself, but I haven’t even managed to be a perfect daughter. Our children have a right to know us as human beings so they can learn that it’s ok to be a human being.

    Keep up the great work, Chris! Fish crackers for dinner, anyone?

  83. Chris says:

    growingupartists,

    But see I did NOT criticize Rebecca personally, in fact I did not even mention her by name. I criticized the her attack on Elizabeth Edwards based on what newspaper reporters have said about the family. I criticized her assertion that there is a RIGHT way to be a mother, and that there is a right way to be a terminally ill mother.

    Don’t think reporters twist the truth or lie to make their story seem more exciting? Ask my friend Isabel Kallman,

    I debated deleting Amy’s comment primarily because I thought it would deflect attention away from what I was saying, which boils down to we women are our own worst enemies. Do men care that Elizabeth Edwards is out on the campaign trail with her husband and children. No, not at all.

    But I was too busy to delete the comment in a timely manner as I instilling bitterness into my children and forcing them to watch cartoons and throwing processed food at them.

  84. Jessica says:

    sigh………I just don’t even know how to put all my thoughts together. But, I just wanted to say that this was a very good blog. Your stuff is always interesting, but this was great! We all have choices to make in our lives and no one has the right to judge. I mean who knows what people think about me. I have a child and my husband is in the military, will some one think I’m a bad mommy because I’ve been draging him all over the world? who knows?
    Anyhow, great job on this blog Chris. I think we’re all imperfict and I for one imbrasse it LOL.

  85. Lulu says:

    Well, I’m glad I’ll never have to know what I’d be like as a dying mother. In keeping with my imperfections I’m pretty sure what I would want is plenty of morphine and Mad Magazines!! Maybe some pot!

    Thank God for good parents like Elizabeth and Chris!

  86. judi casey says:

    great post chris!

  87. Christine says:

    De-Lurking to add my WAY TO GO! What a great post. Thank you for putting into words what I have been feeling/thinking. Gosh, you are good-to get into my mind all the way here in Idaho =) I just couldn’t agree more……….

    PS I feel a freaky weird conection to you, since I am married to a Rob too. Hmmmm, do you think there is something special about Christine’s that marry Rob’s?

  88. sarah says:

    No one knows what really goes on inside a family. Maybe the Edwards children are unloved and being taken care of by nannies, I don’t the reporter actually knows what is going on. This is the reason we shouldn’t judge, we could never never know all the facts. But try to judge these particular people, and their parenting skills, we must because they want our vote. If they are not being good parents to their kids, (and I am not sure taking children on a cross country trip and making sure that they get proper care by bringing a nanny makes one a bad parent)this is important to know.
    I generally do agree with you about the whole non judgemental thing but in this case we do need to understand their family and decision making processes because they want to make decisions that effect our entire country/world.

  89. brit says:

    Hear! Hear! How right you are…if only we could choose the memories our kids have of us, in the absence of that lets give them a variety to choose from.

    I know for me, figuring out how to live my own life is a daily struggle…I don’t have time to boss other mother’s around and tell them what they should be doing to. Shame on Mrs. Edwards attacker.

    and ashame…that they have nothing more worthy to contribute to the world then criticism.

  90. Lauren says:

    Damn straight, Chris. This was beautiful and intelligent and spot on the money. I think we are allowed to think about the choices the Edwards family makes, even scrutinize them a little bit, as someone who lacks the ability to parent concientiously (for the record, I think John and Elizabeth are great parents — the fact that he was willing to reprimand his child in front of a reporter to me shows that he’s not afraid to actually parent, which I completely respect) probably lacks the ability to run a country effectively. I do not think we’re allowed to attack those choices. I sound like a whiny five-year-old when I say this, but: it’s really not nice.

    And Chris, you have SEVEN KIDS. Every day you don’t throw a freaking grenade at them, someone should come over and give you a medal.

  91. tuesday says:

    I also couldn’t agree more. Also, if I was dying I would want to spend as much time with my family as I could, that means my husband too. If he was traveling doing whatever, I would want to be with him and my children.

    Those children are being taught a invaluable lesson not taught in a classroom, love is strong, family is so important and memories will be forever.

  92. Kim says:

    De-lurking to say how much I appreciate your thoughts on this matter, Chris. I am a John Edwards supporter who is sick and tired of the public lashing Elizabeth Edwards continues to endure over her decision to stay on the campaign trail. It is unfortunate that Rebecca at SVMB actually read the crap written by hack reporter Jodi Kantor, but that was her choice. The media will stop at nothing to sell papers - or to hint that the Edwards family should just pack up and head home so we can all focus on the Clinton/Obama prizefight.

    Aside from Rebecca calling Mrs. Edwards a “terrible mother,” the thing that irritated me the most was her use of that stupid, ambiguous term “QUALITY time.” I am fifty years old, with one child who is twenty, and let me just say that you will be amazed when your children grow up and tell their most favorite childhood memories of you. My daughter’s recollections have certainly surprised me, and have challenged every definition of “quality time” that the “experts” like to throw at us.

    In closing - really cute kids, really smart mom, really great blog. Keep on keeping it real, Chris.

  93. Renee says:

    Chris:

    It sickens me to think strangers can pass such judgement on mothers without walking in their shoes. I applaud you Chris for this post, it was perfectly written and I apologize for comments made by people such as AMY. You give me such support in my parenting skills knowing that everyone besides me is not a June Cleaver mom, sometime I seriously think I am the only mom who doesn’t COOK a 4 star breakfast and have a sparkling home 7 days a week.

    Well Done !!!!! A++++ Blog.

  94. Maddy says:

    Great post, Chris. I agree 100%. I wish the Edwards family all the best.

    Btw, I toss granola bars down the stairs into our basement rec room all the time. “Kids! Here’s a snack!” Someone thinks that’s a BAD thing? I always thought it was a very efficient way to deliver a snack!

  95. Stephanie Chance says:

    Throwing processed breakfast food at children: Abuse or Developing Hand-Eye Coordination? On the next Oprah.

  96. Penny (mama26blessings) says:

    Excellent post Chris! Thank you for keeping it real!!
    Applauding your post here in western Canada!!
    God bless, Penny

  97. coloradomommy says:

    Can’t really add anything new-just adding my support! Any time I feel myself judging another mom even slightly I think back to the times my kids and I have eaten dinner with Arthur on tv while Daddy is working late or out of town. Yep, can’t judge.

    Oh, I’m a Christina married to a Rob. Hmmm….

  98. Mom101 says:

    I love love love LOVE this post. (Did I mention I love it?)

    I also mentioned in my comments over there that this is a matter of public service. And if Elizabeth feels that her time is best spent together with her family on the road, helping her husband to achieve something good and positive for the entire world well then a big whoo for her.

    I also am going to petition linguists to change the expression to “It’s all fun until someone loses an eye to a granola bar.”

  99. qtpies7 says:

    I can’t believe how much the “public” thinks they even have a say in what others do just becuase they are in the public eye. Those kids need to have their parents together, doing normal things for their family. They need to see that families support each other. They need to know that life goes on even when bad things happen, because that is a lesson they are going to need.
    I am sure they are stealing moments as a family as often as possible each day, and I bet the kids love it. I know most of my kids love traveling with us when my husband has to work away from home.

  100. becky says:

    all i can think to say right now is

    there, but for the grace of god, go i.

  101. Phoenix says:

    Hey, just as an aside here…don’t all your kids play baseball? So throwing a granola bar to them is really practice, right?

  102. Charlotte says:

    Thank you for defending Elizabeth Edwards. No one knows what they will do if they are ever faced with that situation, so who are we to judge?

  103. Vicky says:

    Oh, wow! Chris, I’ve been reading you for about a year. I have no children, and have thoroughly enjoyed yours. I think you’re more normal than you’d like to admit, and I applaud you approaching motherhood with a sense of adventure and humor!

    As for the Edwards and their children — I can only think of the education these children are getting. There are only a handful of children who will ever have this experience, and I think they will be better for it. I don’t believe you have to spend 24/7 with your kids. I think the best parents are those who teach by example. Politics aside, Mrs. Edwards is an amazing woman. But putting politics back into the discussion, I wonder how many nannies Mrs. Clinton’s child has had, and she turned out to be a pretty remarkable young lady.

    Your blog is thoughtful and respectful, Chris. Thank you.

  104. celeste w says:

    Another fabulous post. Okay–I’m being lazy. Where can I learn more about your educational and professional background?

  105. Mary W says:

    To me, it’s not about political stances or stay at home vis working vs vegan vs carnivore. It’s about a mom and her kids.

    If it were me I’d rather my kids got to see me doing something I loved to do rather wallow in self pity like a pig in mud.

    Elizabeth is giving her kids that. Her kids will have memories of watching their mother doing something she loves

    They will get to lear from their parents the political processes of our country. They’ll get to see new things and new people in an amazing way.

    They’ll get to learn from BOTH of their parents how to support one another.

    I guess I suck as a mom too because i was in no mood to cook so my oldest kid made tuna fish. - darn good job he did to. Plus he was proud of himself.

  106. Mommy M says:

    I agree with you-there is no manual for how to die. You just have to do the best you can to do what you believe is right for you and your kids if that, unfortunately, ever comes up.

    I also have to say that I really enjoy your honesty about being a mom. It’s refreshing to see that someone else admits to not being Donna Reid and still knows they’re a good mom.

    I’m still new to blogging, but I am definately putting you on my blogroll!

  107. Amy says:

    Wowzers. I thought 107 comments??? And then I clicked and read. And all I can come up with is wowzers. If I knew I were dying, I do believe my children would be on the bus with me as well. Some of my best childhood memories are from the summer my family drove up the East Coast–GA to Canada and back another route! I could be wrong, but when it’s all said and done, I think the Edwards’ children will be all better for having spent the year with their family.

  108. amy says:

    100% I agree with you and am furious about the attack on a mom who is doing what she feels is best for herself and her children. I admire her and hope she never reads that meanspirited post about her, but then again I do hope she reads what you wrote about her and her decision. Thank you for your articulate outrage.

  109. Vanessa says:

    De-lurking to say great post (again!) and so thought provoking. I am a mum of two, I’ve had cancer and I’ve also worked in Palliative Care for over 15 years. How can anyone presume to know what is right for anyone else, their family or their situation? It beats me ! I’m now going to try and create some lasting, happy memories for my lot so that I’m not remembered as shrieking, wooden spoon wielding, wild haired, mad woman in the kitchen. Wish me luck!!

  110. Rae says:

    I want to be like Chris when I grow up, and make houses out of cardboard boxes for my kids, and have a beautiful, clean home with thoughtful toys for them, and throw something healthy like granola bars at them when I don’t feel like getting breakfast, and feel compassion for a dying mother living in the goldfish bowl called modern day America.

  111. Fairly Odd Mother says:

    Awesome post. I’d beth EE’s kids would say so too.

  112. Ruth Dynamite says:

    Woo Hoo!!! Rock on, Chris. After a post like this, I promise to never spill wine on you again.

  113. Monique says:

    I don’t know what Mommy Wars is..But I loved your post.It brought tears to my eyes.

    I like the saying You know what happens when you point a finger.. 3 point back at you..You are so right in saying that the Edwards should not be judged.
    I have been a young mother and an now a nana to two.
    Loving our children more than anything else in the world..is what really matters.

  114. Marci says:

    I read your post a few days ago. It was great and thought provoking as usual. What irks me the most is the “they should be in school” part. My kids are away from me for almost 8 hours a day once they go to school. Why would this be a better solution for Elizabeth? What about all the workng parents? Being a good parent does not mean having to spend every minute with them. Just like you, I believe that traveling with the family is great education. What about all of the celebs who schlep their kids around the globe with nannies and tutors? Should this also cause an outcry?

    By the way, in case you missed it, Good Morning America did a report on this exact story on tv this morning. I couldn’t believe it. They even showed a picture of the blog that attacked Elizabeth. I bet the author of that blog had no idea the notoriety and press she would get for her opinion!

    Rock on!

  115. Melanie says:

    I loved this post as well. I have long said that a good mommy is a happy mommy and our kids have the right to know us, warts and all.

  116. Lovebabz says:

    I find this whole notion of mommy wars ridiculous. And to that I end, I say as women we have bigger fish to fry than to concern ourselves with whether a not a smart and accomplished woman like Mrs. Edwards is a good mommy. The real issues women need to be asking and blogging about is how to move this government forward to ensure that all women, mothers included are able to provide a decent life for themselves and their families. It is so easy for us to get off track as to what is important in politics, all one has to do to is question a woman’s role as it relates to family and somehow everybody and their mama has an opinion. I know I am being long winded, but I just think that we get caught up in these “I am a better mommy than you” crap and we lose site of what is at stake. I think we are right to beat back negative talk that belittles women, but as we are beating back the foolishness we have to also refocus the attention on where it ought to be. And it ain’t on so-called mommy wars.

  117. Amy says:

    AMEN!

  118. Priya says:

    Another excellent post, Chris. Thank you.

  119. Priya says:

    Chris, did you notice that Rebecca (the writer of the original article on SVMoms blog) commented twice (one right after the other) early on in the comments. Not sure if you responded to her or to her comments…

  120. kelly says:

    Everyone who said you don’t what you would do unless you were in her shoes is absolutely correct. I hope none of you ever have to find out.

    I am 42 and I am currently living with the same terminal illness Elizabeth has…Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer.

    I do not have any children and for once in my life I am happy about that fact (Chris made up for the ones my body and fate wouldn’t allow me to have!). It’s hard enough thinking of all of the hearts that will ache when I most likely die 30 years too early. But like you, I want my loved ones to remember me the way I am…flawed, imperfect, REAL.

    For what it’s worth: I agree with Elizabeth. I agree with you. And I think you are both good mothers.

  121. kelly says:

    oops, that first sentence should say, “…you don’t KNOW what you would do…”

  122. liz says:

    Chris, you totally nailed it.

  123. Mocha Momma » Falling Below says:

    [...] work and often it inspires. Sometimes, it frustrates. Others, it resonates. Recently, my friend Chris responded to an angry, hateful diatribe against Elizabeth Edwards that was itself a response to a newspaper [...]

  124. Jurgen Nation says:

    Sigh. I’m always late for everything. I can’t even make it on time to read one of my favorite person’s blog. Two sighs.

    Anyway, I don’t think it’s fair or right to make fun of Amy’s opinion. There. I said it. Here’s the thing: Not only is she entitled to her opinion of your parenting, but as an expert in parenting and psychological and intellectual socialization, she may even have a point. I’m sure Amy’s children are (will, or would be) completely well-adapted because her entire perspective is fair and just. Clearly she lives up to the Buddhist tenet: Do unto others no harm. I think we can all agree on this. And we should all be taking notes on her comment because as the old saw goes, “She who has a dull and uninformed life and goes around judging others quickly and with no foundation is happiest.” Clearly, no? She is setting a fantastic example to our world’s children with her attitude - how could the children of the world ever learn to be judgmental, hateful and mean to others? How else are children to be brought up if they’re not surrounded with honesty and love and being able to see the world as it really is? That’s a joke, come on, Chris. Our children need to be loved by TEACHERS because that is where they are SUPPOSED to be. There’s none of this homeschooling bunk. They should be in school learning that the only way to succeed in this world is to do just enough so that they pass their classes and get into college. And that is it. They don’t need to see the world up close unless it’s through a Houghton Mifflin bound book written in 1997. Okay? So leave her alone.

  125. Skyzi says:

    Brilliant!

  126. MammaLoves says:

    This is just me, standing on my chair, giving you a much-deserved ovation.

    Thank you for saying EXACTLY what I feel.

  127. dana says:

    It’s nice to see another point of view on this. I’m a day late to the discussion, but I was shocked to see the story all over the place today!

  128. sara says:

    I came across this post thanks to Lisa @ Continue and it made me laugh outloud! And then I read the last few paragraphs to my kids and they laughed too! And then they asked if I wrote it…bravo!!

  129. Caffeinated Librarian says:

    First time visitor who came here via Mocha’s place. Wonderful, wonderful post - well done.

    Don’t you wonder what their kids think of all this; of people insulting their parents for choosing to taking them along on the campaign bus? Because you know that if they haven’t seen it yet, they’ll see it one day. And, if I were one of their kids, when I did find out about it I’d be all kinds of pissed off at the folks who presumed to judge my parents in the guise of wanting “what’s best for me” when they didn’t know squat about me.

  130. PunditMom says:

    I still can’t get over the depths to which some people are wiling to go to perpetuate the Mommy Wars. I was appalled at the comments Rebecca made at Silicon Valley Moms and also talked about it at DC Metro Moms. Enough already.

  131. Cynthia Samuels says:

    This is just so sad. The only redeeming fact is the response to this very sad attack on SVM. In Judaism there is a concept called “Lashon Hora” - which means speaking badly of others - I think the literal translation is “evil speech.” This entire episode has reminded me of why evil speech is considered a major, major sin — because of the pain it can cause - and it’s un-take-backable-ness.

    The good part is that so many have come together in support both of Ms. Edwards and of her right - in fact responsibility - to make decisions in ways she sees right for her and her family. Chris your post was one of the most profound. I found it through our beloved Mocha Momma and am so grateful to her for it. I wonder if anyone is aggregating all these - they could almost be a book. Mine is at Don’t Gel Too Soon if you’re interested. Chris — for real - this is a wonderful, generous, profoundly honest and moving piece of writing - and thinking - and feeling.

  132. One Hot Mama says:

    awesome post. You are so right to say - we have to be who we are!

  133. mary says:

    A Freaking Men Chris.

    I admire Elizabeth so much.

  134. superblondgirl says:

    That post was just perfect. I always think those “if I were going to die tomorrow” thoughts, but really? I would just go on doing as I do, because that’s me and my life, and I can’t change who I am for death. My son loves me, warts and all, just as I love him, warts as all. And even when he drives me crazy, he is perfect the way he is, just being himself. I wouldn’t want either of us to change.