The transition to parenthood is one of life's biggest milestones. Through one route or another parents find themselves living with and caring for children. In our culture, this transition is rarely celebrated. It might be marked with a baby shower, an occasion to gift parents with useful material things, but the emotional transition is rarely acknowledged.
Enter Mother Rising, an ambitious book by three local women that seeks to help women prepare for the transformation into motherhood, or the transition from a mother of one or two children to more. Mother Rising helps women plan "blessingways," rituals originally from the Native American tradition, to help a woman prepare for the physical act of birth, as well as the emotional act of becoming a mother. The book outlines a step-by-step process to help plan a blessingway for a mother-to-be of any faith, so that the circle of women who surround her can honor and support her as she prepares to give birth.
This book is a rich resource, leading women through the planning and execution of a blessingway event. It offers many choices of elements to include in a blessingway, from creating a sacred space, to poems, meditations, and even recipes for a feast afterward. I have been fortunate to attend a number of blessingways, including two of my own. They are singular events in which time slows down, and a web of loving support is woven. You can order Mother Rising from www.seeingstonepress.com. Buy this book for yourself, or for someone you love.
--- Lynn Malooly
This week for families:
Arts in Action Program Full scholarships available for Hochstein's summer arts camps. 454-4596, www.hochstein.org
Bart and Kevin Thurs, July 1. Family concert, Gazebo, Fairport Public Library, Fairport, 7-8 p.m. Free
Cool Kids Thurs, July 1, Tim Allan, 7-9 p.m. | Fri, July 2, Little Native American Festival, 7-8 p.m. | Sagawa Park, Erie and Main Sts, Brockport, Free. 637-3984, www.brockportny.org.
City Summer Kids Club Mon-Fri, June 28-Sept 3. For ages 6-10, various recreation centers, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. $50 per week. 428-6767, www.cityofrochester.gov
Henrietta Public Library Patriotic craft, Fri, July 2, ages 8 and up, 2-3 p.m.| Family bingo, Wed, July 7, 7-8 p.m. | 455 Calkins Rd. 359-7093
Mr. Beau the Clown Wed, July 7. Arnett Branch Library, 310 Arnett Blvd, 2:30 p.m. Free. 428-8214
RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium 657 East Ave. A Trip to Saturn and Pluto, Saturdays 1 p.m. | The Sky Tonight, Sat 10:30 a.m. | I See The Sky, for ages 3-5, Sat 9:30 a.m.| The Beatles Laser, Sat 10 p.m. | Reserve seats. Tix: $4-$7. See "Movies" section for large-format film showings. 271-1880
Rochester Museum and Science Center 657 East Ave. Surprise! It's Science, through May 2005. | Body Carnival: the Science and Fun of Being You, ongoing. | Rochester's Frederick Douglass, through Jan 2006. | Live Science Demos, Wed-Fri 3:30 p.m., Sat 2, 3, 4, Sun 1:30, 2:30, 3:30. | Hours: Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 12-5 p.m. Tix: $5-$7. 271-1880, www.rmsc.org.
Seneca Park Zoo 2222 St Paul St. Hours: daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tix: $5, $4 seniors, $2 kids. 467-9453, www.senecazoo.org.
Strong Museum 1 Manhattan Square. Make patriotic crafts, Sun, July 4, 12-4 p.m. | Making America's Music, through Sun, Sept 12. | Long-term exhibits include National Toy Hall of Fame, Can You Tell Me How To Get To Sesame Street? and Super Kids Market. | Hours: Mon-Thurs 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 12-5 p.m. Tix: $7; $6 seniors, students; $5 children. 263-2700
Summer Food Service Program Free lunch and breakfast for kids under 18, Mon-Fri, various sites. Call for registration and info. 428-7872, 325-1440
Vacation Bible Day Camp Registration Wed, July 7. Trinity Lutheran, 1008 Main St, E Rochester, 7-8 p.m. $5-$15. 586-6088
Volunteers of America Universal Pre-K Programs Openings available, for 4- and 5-yr-olds, free to city residents, 100 State St or 214 Lake Ave, 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. 647-1344, 263-3103
Wood Library Thurs, July 1, pizza tasteoff, summer reading campaign kickoff, 12-2 p.m. | Thurs, July 1, high school book club, grades 9-12, 6-7:30 p.m. | Tues, July 6, Reel World Film Series, grades 7-12, 6-9 p.m. | 134 N Main St, Canandaigua. 394-1381
It was just three days after the dedication of the World War II Memorial that our family again visited Washington, DC.
The war memorials struck us most deeply, especially the WWII Memorial. Its soaring fountains and arches, meant to be impressive, were dwarfed by the handful of veterans, tourists themselves, who held court in pockets of shade. Though elderly and often frail, each man patiently and proudly answered questions put to him, mostly by younger members of the crowd. Through tears shed for fallen brothers, the eyes of the wizened veterans sparkled with the pride of young soldiers who fought for a great country caught up in a great cause.
We experienced this as my nephew, a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, rosy-cheeked 19-year-old, was in boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina. We couldn't stare into the bronzed faces of the statue-soldiers slogging through the rice paddy of the Korean War Memorial without seeing the soft peach fuzz of a boy barely old enough to shave.
We looked at the thousands of names on the wall that is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and knew that every one of those names represented a complete human being, a much loved son or daughter, cousin, brother or sister, mother or father who is still mourned by family and friends.
I think about my nephew, now a freshly minted US Marine, and pray that the only memorial dedicated to his generation of warriors will be one of peace everlasting.
--- Marjorie Sangster Rolleston