Ma's Vacation

Jul 31, 2004

In our home, Anna rules the TV. That is, she gets to watch Little House on the Prairie whenever she wants. Erin bought Joanne Shaughnessy gave us the first season of Little House last Christmas, and we’ve watched the six-CD set countless times. One of the episodes is “Ma’s Vacation,” about Charles and Caroline’s second honeymoon in Mankato (birthplace of my brother, Joel, btw) that is marred by worries of the three girls left back in Walnut Grove with Mr. Edwards.

We let Ma Erin take off for a mini-vacation. She left this morning for a trip up to the Washington, D.C. area to shop at Potomac Mills and IKEA and visit friends Briton Bieze and Jon Herstein. They’re set to have their first baby in the coming weeks, and Erin wanted to visit her classmate before she gave birth.

So I played the part of Mr. Edwards, caring for Anna and Malia. My solo time with them makes me yearn for my stay-at-home-father days. Let the Roman Catholic Church say what it will about the roles of men and women1 (we keep our genders beyond the grave? Seems wishful thinking to me, like 10,000 virgins waiting in the garden), I thoroughly enjoy exercising my nurturing spirit.

Speaking of Mr. Edwards, anytime a reporter on NPR mentions the Kerry/Edwards campaign, Anna wants to know why the man on the radio is talking about Mr. Edwards and Cary Ingalls. At the moment, Anna’s asleep on the bedroom floor in her new REI sleeping bag, no doubt dreaming about life on the prairie.

1 Text of the Vatican letter is here

Anton Zuiker

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