The American philosopher, Henry David Thoreau once said, “It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things”. As a young mother, when I find myself in a desperate situation, I look back in our history to the founding mothers of our great country and wonder how they ever did it! One of our founding mothers, Abigail Adams, raised four children alone on a farm as her husband served the government of the United States. Abigail taught her children about the classics, about culture and language and religion by candlelight, often under the most extraordinary of circumstances. She taught them to respect life, love and the rights of others while instilling in them a passion for history and the world around them. Struggling to survive and not succumbing to the feelings of isolation while her husband would travel for years at a time, Abigail focused her energy on educating her children. Relying upon her faith, Abigail saw the good to be had in every situation.
Our founding mothers certainly had their fair share of societal issues with which to contend. Not having the luxury of cell phones and email, women did not know the fate of loved ones for weeks, months or even years. Child birth was often experienced alone and was dangerous…not the much celebrated and relatively safe event of today. In early America, besieged by war and conflict on the home front, a mother’s fear for the safety and security of her family was overwhelming. I can’t imagine - as many did -sending my nine year old son off to war.
These American mothers had an innate intelligence, what Oklahomans would refer to as “True Grit”. The uncanny ability to do what it takes to survive – and in the process, nurture a husband, raise and educate children and improve for the better, the community in which they lived. Wit and wisdom and humor certainly guided them to do great things.
Mothers of today are no different. Modern convenience has simplified our lives – yet, it has complicated them in other ways. While technology allows us to supervise our children almost everywhere they are, there are hidden dangers which require our immediate attention. The prevalence of drugs at home and at school, the abundance of pornography, violent video games, child predators in our neighborhoods and on the internet, and an unstable world with weapons and war, only reiterate the importance of the strong American mother. Mothers, whose wit tells her what her children do not say. Mothers, whose wisdom allows her to be calm before, during and after the storm. Mothers, whose great faith and humor help them seek the good in every situation
These timeless principles guided our founding mothers to raise generations of great Americans. And, whether it be by candlelight or electric light - wit, wisdom and humor will guide young mothers for many generations to come.
Connell Branan has been a member of American Mothers since 2006 when she was named the National Young Mother of the Year. Connell has an undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California and previously worked in Washington D.C. on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. She and her husband live in Oklahoma with their two children where Cliff serves in the Legislature and Connell volunteers with various local arts and educational organizations.
Posted on Mon, April 17, 2006
by Connell Branan filed under