With the selection of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate, a dim memory rekindled itself in my heart.
Years ago while descending the steps of the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History I noticed a pink slip of paper fluttering under my windshield. “Oh no!” I muttered, “I must have gotten a ticket!” As anybody who has ever visited The Mall in the District of Columbia knows, tickets fly like confetti on DC streets decorating many a windshield with an unhappy fine. After a pleasant morning reliving my childhood fascination of Wooly Mammoths with my two small girls and baby boy, the apparent ticket annoyed me. However, I probably deserved it. I noted, even from a distance, that I was over a yellow line by about two feet. “Darn! I wish I could’ve backed up more.”
I had arrived at the Mall an hour early to park and await the ten o’clock hour when I could leave the vehicle. Then I realized the “call of nature” and started driving around DC trying to find a spot to park so I could use the restroom, which was a fruitless endeavor. So, back to the Mall I went to park again. By now it was about 9:30. I celebrated my good luck at finding a spot directly in front of the Museum of Natural History. With my 8-month-old nursing baby in the back seat beginning to whine, I decided to nurse him while waiting. I felt very proud of my organization, indeed. As I began relaxing under a prolactin buzz, I looked up and noticed the sign directly in front of me: “Taxi Parking Only” it screamed.
Frantically, I jumped out of the car with the baby under a blanket. I saw 100 cars parked bumper to bumper about 50 ft behind me. “Oh no”, I mumbled. Then I proceeded to ask the first five or so cars behind me if they would kindly back up about a foot or so. Most folks obliged. One said, “I wondered what you were doing parked way up there.” (“Yeah”, I thought, “And my SC license plate and car top carrier didn’t give you a clue that I am a tourist? Why didn’t you say something?”) A couple of folks scowled at my stupidity, but moved anyway. Relieved at my ability to back up and still get a spot, I unfolded my stroller, grasped my two year old’s hand, and entered the museum with the crowds promptly at 10:00 AM.
Sixteen years have elapsed since that episode. I returned home and resumed my duties. Now that former nursing baby waits in the car with his nursling sister if I need to use the restroom. I believe I am doing my duty to God and country by raising virtuous kids who will hang out with old moms such as myself. I believe I am doing my duty to God and country by providing a loving and nurturing environment in which children can maximize their talents and potential. I thought I was a patriotic mom doing my duty to God and country by raising loyal citizens until I read some liberal blogs. Statements in those blogs brought the flapping pink slip under my windshield into my memory. The blogs have accused Sarah Palin of harming society by knowingly bearing a child with Down’s Syndrome. Some have called her a “breeder” who couldn’t possibly govern while being “continuously pregnant”. They have denigrated the privileges of marriage and motherhood, and mocked humanity with a few strokes of the keyboard.
However, I knew that particular evil lurked in America 16 years ago. I knew contraception and eugenics, and population control and abortion, and misogyny and hatred of the human person thrived under the cloak of well-groomed citizens driving compact cars. I knew the insidious nature of the Culture of Death as it jeered my innocent parking error.
Sarah Palin recognized Evil, too, and chose life for her precious child. She encouraged life for her unborn grandchild. She chose love and family, and duty to God and country over expedience and power.
Ah! I digress. What about the pink slip waving at me? My “ticket” was nothing more than a nasty note which read, “To the Dumb Lady With all Those Kids: It’s people like you who ought to be neutered.” After my shock, I have gone on and lived my response. Heeding the call of John Paul II to combat evil “with an explosion of love”, I have given birth 8 more times since that note. Love and life, and love of life have embraced in our family. My family is my witness to the goodness of the human person. Furthermore, the human family can only be born one child at a time. Sarah Palin’s family is her response to the Culture of Death.
I feel certain she would join me in jotting a brief — signed — note to “Mr. Anonymous”. It would simply say, “We love you and so do our 16 (total) children. We’re praying for you.”