Children, Memories, and Love: Two Women Respond to the Culture of Death

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.”

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  • Cooky642

    How can Mrs. Palin be accused of being “continuously pregnant”? Anyone with eyes in their heads (and, maybe, a brain behind them?) can see that her children are “spaced”. Know what I think? I think they are JEALOUS!

  • Claire

    Excellent article, Stacy. Anyone who can navigate the streets of Washington with babies in the car is far from dumb.

  • Stacy,
    God bless you and your beautiful family.

  • Warren Jewell

    Stacy, you and the Mister have (at least – old head, bad count) TEN?

    Way to go, Momma! Give your old man a hug of congrats from me.

    I can see that you believe in ‘It Takes a Village’ – so, you had one for your own. Finest Kind.

    God bless you all in every way He can. You must have Him beaming, ear to ear.

  • lmalteagles

    Stacy! I have to say I was surprised to see your name show up in a byline. It brought a smile to face to remember how connected we are, even across state lines.

    I know over the years, I have heard about the blunts comment people have made about large families, and the ways strangers will ask questions without batting an eye at their derogatory tone. But wow! That “pink slip” beats them all. Wait. Didn’t you say you had the baby and a 2 year old with you? How do two children mean “all those kids”?

    It amazes me on a daily basis of how ignorant people can be, and just how much more there is to learn and share.

    Thank you for sharing your experience, as shocking as it was.

    Lindsay T., currently in Alabama

  • Daughter of the King

    I can certainly relate, Stacy. When I was having an ultrasound with our forth child the doctor of the department was called in to examine the results. He looked at me and said, “Well, at least you don’t have teenagers at home.” The tech. doing the ultrasound piped up quite innocently and said, “Oh but she has.” The doctor looked at me and said, “You stupid stupid lady.”
    Being eight months pregnant and feeling every day my age it hurt. Still does. But I wouldn’t trade that child today for anything. Or the one that has come after her. God is good.

  • lmalteagles

    Daughter of the King, I’m sorry the doctor made that comment to you. Totally uncalled for!

    I’m assuming that ultrasounds always happen at the OB/GYN office. I’m not married and have never had children, so that’s why it’s an assumption. Anyway, I don’t understand why some OB or GYN doctors would be so against children. It seems like they’re in the wrong field if that’s the case!

  • Bruce Roeder

    Show me a culture that regards babies and children as a curse, and I’ll show you a culture that is on its last legs.

  • goral

    Why am I having deja-vu about this article?
    The Author and the Giver of life can not find acceptance.
    How then can one of his “dumb” followers?
    Stacy, you have your reward now and into eternity.