Mothers are Born of Children

By Piper Bayard

image by Sam Pullara, wikimedia commons

image by Sam Pullara, wikimedia commons

It’s children who deliver mothers into the world. Before children, we are daughters, girlfriends, and wives. But until we love a child, we are not mothers. The part of us that grows into a mother remains a child until a child becomes more important to us than we are to ourselves.

Mother’s Day is the day we honor the women who were delivered by children. The women who love us more than they love themselves, whether they are our actual mothers and grandmothers, or the sisters and mentors who have come into our lives and taught us what love means.

Today, I not only think of my beloved mother, who smiles down on me as I love her grandchildren and laughs at me each time I use the klunky electric skillet I always teased her about. But I am also made complete with gratitude toward my children. The people who gave birth to the mother in me. I would not be me without them.

This one is for the babies. The ones who keep us forever young . . . Thank you.

To all women who love a child more than they love themselves, Happy Mothers Day.

All the best to all of you for staying forever young.

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Life, Death, and the Sex License

By Piper Bayard

Themes of death and birth, that cycle of apocalypse and renewal, surrounded me this week. A dear friend’s father died, a good soul who made the planet better by his presence. Another friend hit the magic 28 weeks and breathed a sigh of relief that her unborn child now has the odds in his favor. And in our house? My 9th grade son, who I could swear just started walking yesterday, applied for his Sex License.

 

Canstock photo -- Not my son.

Canstock photo — Not my son.

 

“So Mom. How old is old enough to have sex?”

I’m well aware that almost any religion on the planet would offer a moral answer to that question. I’m also aware that the guiding light of morals tends to dim in the dashboard lights. I mean, think about it. How many “good kids” did you know in high school who lost “it” at church camp or spawned prom babies because THEY would never do THAT? I needed to give him something real. Something tangible. So I said what I think most parents would say in my shoes.

“Uuuuhhh . . .”

“I get my Learner’s Permit at 15.”

“Not fifteen!”

“Well, I get my Driver’s License at 16, and driving a car is a serious responsibility.”

“A car doesn’t get pregnant when you drive it. And you don’t get hepatitis or AIDS from a car.”

“So Mom, how old is old enough?”

“Well, you know you can have a baby every time you have sex, even with birth control. I mean, have you noticed your little sister running around here? Latex loophole baby.”

“Eeewww! Maaahm!”

“Hey. You opened the door for that one.”

So we talked about sex. We noted how young men are most biologically suited for killing bears and starting families. I commiserated with him about how the modern economics of supporting families are out of sync with natural urges and the sight of teen girls in mini-skirts. We pondered the fact that the most important decision he will make in life is choosing the mother of his children. And I can hear some of you dear readers now . . .

“He asked his mother? He needs to talk to his dad. His dad will set him straight.”

I’m sure his dad WOULD give him a different answer. And my writing partner, Jay Holmes? Let’s just say he’s been a student of sex, C4, and hollow points for a very long time, so it’s safe to assume he won’t be backing me up on this one.

But as I studied my man-child and tried to give him real world answers to his real life questions, at least from a mother’s perspective, I realized something. Life so loves Itself that no amount of death can discourage it for long. At least not while there are teenage boys, and girls in mini-skirts.

Answering the Bumper Stickers

By Piper Bayard

Bumper stickers. Sort of like Bathroom Readers for the road. I wonder sometimes if people even think about what they put on their cars. Take this popular one, for example:

image from cafepress.com

image from cafepress.com

Why stop with random acts of kindness? When did the goal for kindness get lowered from “habit” to “random”? How lazy is that? This assumes I’m normally a jerk and need to upgrade to “random” kindness, or it lowers the bar from “habitually kind” to “randomly kind.”

And how about the second half? An act of “Senseless beauty.” What the heck does that even mean? Beauty is a noun, and the word “senseless” means “with no apparent purpose.” Since when does beauty need purpose? It is not an act, but a subjective experience of aesthetic appreciation of something external to ourselves.

Perhaps a more meaningful bumper sticker would be “Consistent acts of kindness and experience of beauty.”

Another favorite is this preachy beauty:

image by pbyrne, wikimedia commons

image by pbyrne, wikimedia commons

Can someone please tell me why the people driving the cars with this bumper sticker are always the first to flip off others in traffic and keep “competitors” from merging?

Then there are the politically preachy bumper stickers. “Wow. That bumper sticker really changed my mind about the upcoming election!” . . . Said no one ever.

And, of course, no discussion of bumper stickers would be complete without  the honor student bumper stickers.

image by cafepress.com

image by cafepress.com

image by zazzle.com

image by zazzle.com

image by zazzle.com

image by zazzle.com

And my personal favorite . . .

image by zazzle.com

image by zazzle.com

Seems like a few folks have their egos a bit tied up in their kids. All of this glorification of children on bumper stickers makes me want to answer with this license plate that I saw last week at Costco.

image by Piper Bayard

image by Piper Bayard

And Costco has just the lime cilantro chili sauce for that.  🙂

What are some bumper stickers and license plates that stick out in your mind?

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Dolphin-Assisted Childbirth

Dolphin-Assisted Birth: Heather & Adam Barrington Plan Cetacean-Filled Labor

I’m sure I saw these people down on Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado once. Just hope thier precious moment doesn’t turn into shark-assisted childbirth. Click on the title above for the text version.

image by Javier Yaya Tur Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias

Midwives
image by Javier Yaya Tur
Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

“Susie Strong” is the phrase for the day. My friend, superblogger Susie Lindau, is having a double mastectomy this morning. After much thought and consideration, she decided to share her journey through her fight against breast cancer at her blog, Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride. The Boob Report – Laughter is the Best Medicine  Many prayers for Susie Lindau. I’m confident that she will beat this.

Screenwriter, author, and bacon connoisseur Ryne Douglas Pearson has some great insights into the current publishing world. Peeps: Ryne Douglas Pearson

The latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, known as the DSM, is out. Some folks in the business are saying it looks more like a Psychiatrists Relief Act, since pretty much everything can now be classified as a Mental Disorder, right up to and including drinking too much coffee. Drinking Too Much Coffee is Now a Mental Disorder. I guess there’s more money in labeling it than in just saying it’s bad for you.

image by Hendrike wikimedia commons

image by Hendrike
wikimedia commons

Ellie Ann has another Bad Girl for us with her Bad Bible Stories. She certainly has a way of making theology come alive. Bad Bible Stories: The Woman Who Ended the Battle with a Rock

World War I Veteran: The Last of the Great War’s Soldiers Speak

Summer storms are worse than ever. EF-4 and EF-5 tornados, once freakishly rare, are becoming par for the course. Jenny Hansen gives us some great tips on surviving disasters. In the Wake of Tragedy: What’s the Most Important Survival Question You Can Ask?

Patrick Stewart, best known as Captain Picard or Professor Xavier, gives a passionate response to a question at Comicpalooza 2013, opening a window into his personal experience with domestic violence as a child and the connection to Shell Shock, a.k.a. PTSD.

I’m lucky enough to have an Advance Release Copy of Susan Spann’s CLAWS OF THE CAT. You could get one, too, by entering her contest over at Summer Publaw (& a contest): Conference Style. Set in 1500s Japan, CLAWS is the ultimate cozy mystery with a healthy dose of “Cool, I didn’t know that” on the side.

Fae Rowan has an outstanding series on attachment disorders and Why We (and Our Characters) Fall in Love over at Writers in the Storm. This link leads to part four in the excellent four part series. And as far as which ones we identify with, I’m taking a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell stand.

What do you remember about prom? Renee A. Shuls-Jacobson takes a fun look back. I Remember Prom

Which of your favorite shows survived the May Sweeps? Tiffany A. White keeps us informed on the TV Scene. Spring Cleaning – 2013 Edition

Aaron Patterson of Stonehouse Ink isn’t just an awesome publisher to work with, he’s also a #1 Amazon Best Seller and a YouTube sensation. This is his take on a Mentos commercial. Mentos Commercial Spoof 2

All the best to all of you for a week of good health care choices.

Piper Bayard

Prodigal Hope

image by 4028mdk09, wikimedia commons

image by 4028mdk09, wikimedia commons

We’ve all felt it. The intense gravity of Life’s long, cold winters. The incessant pull of one bad break after another that obliterates the very memory of easy laughter. Awareness condenses to a pinpoint where tomorrows are as meaningless as yesterday’s forgotten smiles, and the entire of existence is no more than the next footstep. Just keep swimming . . . just keep swimming.

And then it happens. A leaf breaks through the frosty soil that we had given up for barren. A wild rabbit grazes in the yard purged years ago by foxes. A child is born. Innocent life that isn’t screwed up yet. And sometimes, that life holds a special promise. A seed of greatness that shows us a light we had given up on as simply not possible.

As parents, we search for that light in the faces of our infants. Are you a Mozart? An Einstein? A Michael Jordan or Kristi Yamaguchi?  We put them in sports and music lessons . . . we even read to them while they are still in the womb. It’s more than wanting our children to be objectively special. It’s wanting to know that somehow, some way, they will have a gift that will carry them through the darkness. A quality that will guarantee their survival when Life lands its inevitable kicks in the gut.

Most of us have children who, for better or worse, prove that the apple truly doesn’t fall far from the tree. But once in a while, just often enough to keep us hoping, it happens. A special talent is born that makes us stop and wonder at the potential of mankind and the undiscovered country that lies between our own ears. Someone who gives us hope for our entire species. Ryan Wang is one of those children. He is five.

All the best to all of you for a week of prodigal hope. We’ll see you back here in April.

Piper Bayard & Jay Holmes