Monday, January 28, 2008


On Mother’s Day she wrote a play for me, assigning parts to her brother and sister so they could borrow my video camera and act it out. It was full of pathos and moments of solemn reflection, as the three children dreamed of Moses and Joseph, and Samuel—all of whom were separated from their mothers at an early age. I don’t know if my younger two children fully understood the purpose behind this masterpiece of poignancy produced by their eleven-year-old sister, but it made a dramatic Mother’s Day present nonetheless.

My eldest daughter always wanted to be a journalist, to fearlessly oppose the evils of society and defend that which was good by blasting or commending with a shower of well-thought-out words. She promised me that she would never turn into a “teen-ager”—well, not one of those typical ones anyway—and she didn’t, surprisingly enough. She kept her head, and we remained friends throughout all those years that prove so difficult for some. One summer she worked as a volunteer apprentice at the Gunnison newspaper, and the next year she began college, declaring journalism as her major.

Then it happened. Even though her teachers encouraged her, and assured her that her name would make a catchy byline for editorials, she turned her back on the profession and began to seek another. Three things deterred her: first, she was instructed to write at the third-grade level, and that seemed like a galling retrogression; second, and more important, she was introduced to the “ethics of journalism” which bent the standards upon which her soul was anchored. To succeed in this world, she would have to give up precious values; the third troubling aspect was the realization that a true reporter must belong to the story first. By now, my daughter had met and married the man of her dreams, and she didn’t want to abandon him and any children they might have to be raised haphazardly while she dashed off for Beirut to impress the American public with her valor and/or disregard for personal safety. She graduated as an English major and left journalism untried. Perhaps she remembered Moses, or Samuel, or Joseph. I don’t know.

Today, Carina writes from home. She blogs, a major that hadn’t yet been invented when she attended college. Nobody makes her write at the third-grade level, but she sometimes willingly stoops even lower when making up marvelous stories for two-year-old Mim and three-year-old Zaya. She’s their Mom. She’s home. And I’m proud of her.


aftergrace said...

Lilibeth, you have brought tears to my eyes. This is beautiful. You are right, babystepper is pretty amazing. (but the apple did not fall too far from the tree, cousin)

Babystepper said...

I'm so glad you and Dad gave us the chance to be who we are, without recriminations for who we could have been.


Awww...that was so sweet...truly!

Anonymous said...

How special!
Michelle :)