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Today is my wife's birthday. Here name is Laura.


Her birthday and the comments by Teresa Heinz-Kerry on another Laura, Laura Bush, got me reflecting on the impactful job that is being a wife and a mother.


After my wife and I got engineering degrees in Mexico we moved to Canada to study graduate programs in Computer Science. During that time she twice took time off to have each of our two daughters. I finished my degrees, we moved to another city where I worked as a professor and she was working part time, continuing her work on her Ph.D. dissertation and raising our two daughters.


When we became pregnant again we had just bought a house through which we qualified with our joint income. She invited me to a date so that we could talk.   The desire of her heart was to focus on our growing family but she was concerned we wouldn’t be able to afford the house we just bought. I told her not to worry about that, worse come to worse we can sell the house. It was one of the best decisions we took as couple. Focus first on your family, the rest will follow.


She is the ballast in our ship that steadies us during storms. She is the sail that pushes us forward when there is a wind. I might be the head of our family but she is the neck that holds the head up high (and turns it in the right direction when needs be). And I'm not alone in these blessings. The contributions to our society by moms and wives cannot be measured by any amount of money and cannot be matched by any government programs. It is a fool he who does not recognize the importance of family in our society and the unique burden that women bear in making families successful.


So today I want to raise this tribute to Laura, and to Laura, and to all the women (wherever the have a "real job" outside the house in addition to their real jobs or not) that by raising our children and being our wives contribute more to our well-being, our prosperity and our society than we can ever acknowledge.


Pedro Celis, Ph. D.

Republican National Hispanic Assembly

Washington State Chairman


The Weekly Standard


Mama T on Moms
Teresa Heinz Kerry pulls off the rare and amusing triple gaffe.
by Hugh Hewitt
10/21/2004 12:00:00 AM

Available online at: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/004/805zjzny.asp

I UNDERSTAND moms don't read websites. Moms don't blog either (except for, say, MommyPundit or 200 other momblogs) or read newspapers or magazines. They probably don't even vote.

At least Teresa Heinz Kerry should hope they don't.

When the would-be first lady decided to take a shot at Laura Bush in yesterday's USA Today by stating that Mrs. Bush had never held a "real job," she committed the rarest of things--a triple gaffe. Like triple plays in baseball, these are rarely seen in these days of well-coached candidates and spouses. But Tuesday's was one for the ages.

First, it is bad form--very bad form--to speak in anything other than the most complimentary terms of your opponent's spouse. It's just tacky. But after the assault on Mary Cheney's privacy by John Kerry, Mary Beth Cahill, and Elizabeth Edwards, I guess more appearances of the merely tacky should not surprise.

Blunder two was to denigrate, by omission, the professions of teacher and librarian. Ms. H-K quickly figured out these were interest groups in good standing in the Democratic party and rushed out an apology: She had "forgotten" Laura's service as both. Not believable, of course, but acceptable damage control.

The worst part of the Ms. H-K triple feature was failing to mention Laura Bush's "real job" as a mom. The apology crafters were no doubt in a bind when it came time to deal with that oversight. It would be hard to claim that Ms. H-K had "forgotten" the twins, but she couldn't exactly double-down on the status of mom not being that of a real job. So they said nothing. Mistake again. She ought to have begged the forgiveness of the tens of millions of American moms wondering: "What am I, a potted plant?"

A century ago--in a different era, certainly, but with still applicable wisdom--Teddy Roosevelt wrote about the "real job" of mothering:

"No ordinary work done by a man is either as hard or as responsible as the work of a woman who is bringing up a family of small children; for upon her time and strength demands are made not only every hour of the day but often every hour of the night. She may have to get up night after night to take care of a sick child, and yet must by day continue to do all her household duties as well; and if the family means are scant she must usually enjoy even her rare holidays taking her whole brood of children with her. The birth pangs make all men the debtors of all women. Above all our sympathy and regard are due to the struggling wives among those whom Abraham Lincoln called the plain people, and whom he so loved and trusted; for the lives of these women are often led on the lonely heights of quiet, self-sacrificing heroism."

Teddy was himself a tremendous politician because he was full of good spirit and an appreciation for what Americans appreciated--especially their moms. Of the Kerrys perhaps the best thing that can be offered is the explanation that the super rich aren't like you or me, and cannot be expected to understand that most moms have very real, very difficult jobs. Is this the defining gaffe of the new millennium? For the time being, at least. But don't rule out the possibility of even more eyebrow-raisers as there are 12 days left. Would somebody please ask either or both of them what they think of apple pie?

Hugh Hewitt is the host of a nationally syndicated radio show, and author most recently of If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat: Crushing the Democrats in Every Election and Why Your Life Depends Upon It. His daily blog can be found at HughHewitt.com.



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