They Fly Away

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The ultimate goal of motherhood

Is to raise up baby birds

Who will someday fly away.

We know that we’ve succeeded

When they no longer need us

To drive them to school

To walk them home from school

To brush or comb their hair

To give them sweet milkie at bedtime

To advise them of the dangers of riding the Blue Line at night

To advise them of the dangers of smoking cigarettes

To advise them of the dangers of drinking too much beer

To advise them of the dangers of premarital “relations”

To advise them of the dangers of washing their whites with their darks

God bless all of my fledglings today!

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Mother Goose Prays

For the past twenty-five years, I’ve been Mother Goose to six beautiful children of my very own. Together, they constitute my largest reservoir of smiles. When I’m having a day that isn’t going according to my own personal expectations, I look at one or more of these young ones and suddenly nothing else matters except that I connect and love on my babies.

That’s when the smile of Mother Goose stretches wide and her eyes crinkle up with mirth. The first sign of my laugh lines began when my firstborn looked into my eyes — the laugh lines just get deeper everyday. Do you have laugh lines? Those curves in the skin of your face that miraculously connect the corners of your nose with the space on either side of your mouth? Do you hide them? Do you call them wrinkles? Mother Goose wears them as proudly as a medal of honor.

My puny words cannot express enough of my heartbreak for the moms and dads whose laugh lines are shadowed now by their tears and their sorrow and their loss.

My heart breaks these days as I consider what so many dear families are facing now after madmen stole away the lives of their babies. There is no evil as black as that which blasts away at innocent little children. There is no pain as deep as losing a child — nothing compares.

And the media will buzz for days about what should be done, and what can we do to prevent this from happening, and the politics of gun control will shout back and forth. And then life will get back to normal for most of us, and we’ll remember … but mostly we’ll just want to forget.

I beg you, do not forget. Use the tears, the pain, the grief, the images and the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness to motivate you. Each of us in our own way, in our own worlds, in our various circles can instigate change. Some of us in small ways, some of us in large ways — but all change is important and necessary to make this world a safer and better place for our children.

Mother Goose prays. Every morning before I turn on my typewriter, I spend time with the Lord. We go over the day a little bit, but mostly He listens to my concerns, my fears, my challenges, my complaints. Then He takes me by the hand, and we proceed to travel through the day together.

This morning I sent out an email to the mothers of children in my daughter’s fourth grade class — it was an invitation to come to the home of Mother Goose to pray on Monday morning. Being together, nothing fancy or formal — just praying for our precious ones and the families of the fallen across our country, but especially in Portland and Newtown.

In the world’s broad scope, maybe a few moms sitting around a table praying doesn’t sound like a solution to a horrible problem. Mother Goose believes that it’s the best thing to do right now. Wherever you are on Monday at 9:00 a.m., please feel free to join us. There is power in prayer.

There will be hero stories that come out of this tragedy, there will be stories of hope and stories of great love. Watch for them and cling to them. Love is the great conqueror. In this strange and scary story of life, Love wins.

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There’s a Toxophilite in My Heart!

Without a question, you are asking yourself, “Mother Goose, are you OK? Is there something I can do? How can I pray for you?”

My dear and gentle readers, have no fear for Mother Goose — all is well.

I have done my American civic duty this morning; I have eaten my chicken vegetable soup for lunch; I have taken my dog for her morning walk.

And yet, I must confess — there is a toxophilite in my heart. It surely sounds serious, doesn’t it? It sounds chronic. It sounds, well…downright TOXIC. But it’s not bad at all.

Simply put, a toxophilite is one who adores the sport of archery! The toxophilite in my heart is named AnnaRose — she’s a nine-year old with a passion for the bow and arrow. And she’s really really good at it! This fall has been her first experience with archery — the teacher spent the first two sessions instructing these kiddos on the basics of stance, posture, safety and shooting at a target.

Look! There’s a young toxophilite now!

By the third week, the children were ready for balloons! Popping balloons became an instant Olympic sport at the Archery range! And, this proud goose is happily honking that my own daughter has successfully popped every single balloon attached to her target. The final class was a super-terrific day — four times up to shoot, four balloons bit the dust!

Pretty toxo-stupendous, if you ask Mother Goose. Honk! Honk!

Monday Reflection of Mother Goose

With the beginning of the school year upon us, Mother Goose hearkens back to days gone by. Often she contemplates the history of her children, their plans, her dreams for them and where they are today. Mother Goose just LOVES doing compare and contrast studies, even on her offspring.

I bring to you today, a document that Mother Goose has kept posted on the refrigerator or washing machine for the past ten years. I created it ten years ago in order to imagine where all of my goslings will be in the “next ten years”. The time has come to compare and contrast — plans, dreams and reality.

Crumpled plans…

When I made the chart, oldest daughter Jessi was in high school and the baby, AnnaRose, was not yet a year old. I listed out the grades that each of the kids would be in for that year and for the next nine years to come. This became a very handy tool when somebody would ask me, “Mother Goose, what grade will I be in when Adam and Erik are in 8th grade?” or “Mom, when Jessi is in college, where will I be?”

Everything went according to the plan until the school year 2005-2006 when Jessi didn’t go to college. Well, she went to college for a little while. We drove her to upstate New York and left her at a Bible College, but that didn’t work out. She soon returned on a train after spending the semester in the Dean’s office…

So then she was not in college until 2008, but I didn’t bother to change the chart because it was so charming to see how it was all working out.

Then the plans for Adam and Erik were all fine until the year 2010 – 2011 when they should have been Juniors in college. They decided to work for awhile and then they joined the U.S. Navy. And by then their older sister WAS in college, but not working. Fortunately the younger siblings have all stayed on track so far. They have been going to their correct grades and following the plans of their Mother Goose.

It seems that the children follow the plan very well until they reach the end of high school! And then they begin to make changes to reflect on their own hopes and dreams. Imagine that!

At some point, the offspring of Mother Goose become independent thinkers. For that, I am most grateful. I reach my wing around and pat myself on the back for raising these children to think for themselves. I am singing for joy, and honking in merriment that this bit of family history has been preserved for the generations to come.

Do you see the far right column where it says that the three older goslings would be working? Yes, they are working out just fine. Jessi is working and applying to a Masters Degree program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Erik and Adam are working for Uncle Sam as “nukes” in the greatest Navy in the world.

Here’s a proverb that seems to apply today:

“In her heart a goose plans the course of her goslings, but the Lord determines their steps.” Proverbs 16:9 (paraphrased…)

Love, Mother Goose

Changes in the Family Goose

Mother Goose is just getting a teary-eyed today looking through some old pictures. Most mothers experience this — some more than others as we remember how our children were as little tator tots, and how they appear to the world now…

Of course, children grow up. Even goose children and goslings eventually turn into adults and some into full-blown gooses. I do not cry tears of regret or disappointment. Oh no! Au contraire — I’m just bursting with pride at my fine offspring. Please just enjoy these pictures today — please leave appropriate comments! Comments that might prove an encouragement to this mother and a promise of good tidings in the days to come.

“Let’s ride!”

“Let’s ride!”

Important Stats for a Goose

  • 64,381 honks to date

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