The night Nicolas was born (not premature but a month before we expected him), I held a Home Interiors party. My guests left at 9:00, we got to the hospital at 9:30, and he was born at 9:45. Following his birth announcement, his next mention in the newspaper was on the front page: he was the "baby" in this sentence about my appearance at a public hearing on water rates: "....addressed the City Council with baby in arms..."
For Ethan's birth, we went to a midwife, and both of us came home about 4 hours after he was born. I did miss the Parks Board meeting that afternoon, but went grocery shopping the next day.
So when I read that Trig was a month earlier than expected, and that Sarah, at a conference in Texas, went ahead and gave her speech after her water broke, that sounded like something I thought I might have done.
Sarah Palin treats ordinary things as though they are ordinary things, and giving birth is an ordinary thing for a woman to do. She doesn't allow the commonplace to become novel. Instead, she treats ordinary people as worthy of her time because that is the gift of life: each ordinary person and ordinary task is worthwhile.
And because she lives this way, her actions reflect the most natural compassion there is: a mother's own everyday priority of mingling love with the necessary tasks.
And so Trig is a baby who takes his place in the midst of the family like any other baby, and like so many large families he has a nephew his own age to grow up with, and that's that. While Sarah understands all the things people love to talk about and worry about and gossip about, when it comes down to the wire, Sarah Palin rejoices in the great goodness these babies bring to
And whether they agree with her politically or not, the great majority of mothers in the world recognize their own approach to family in Sarah: to whom a child is a child is a child that needs what all children need: love, direction, care, a place in the family, the blessing of his parents.
Some years ago, Ryan T. Anderson wrote a parable for First Things that illustrates this manner of living:
The Parable of the Good Soccer Mom
"You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself."
" Consider the Parable of the Good Soccer Mom: An embryo fell into the hands of ambitious scientists after she was left over in the freezer of an in vitro fertilization lab.
" A molecular biologist happened to be journeying through the lab. Seeing that the embryo was very small and didn't look like other human beings, he decided that it was not a human being. And he passed to the other side of the lab and left the embryo for his colleagues.
" Likewise a moral philosopher came to the place and launched into an exposition of human embryology and developmental biology. He concluded that the human embryo was a whole human being at the very beginning of her life. ...... [B]ut the embryo could feel no pain or pleasure and exhibited no consciousness of any type, and so the philosopher concluded that the human embryo had no moral status and possessed no rights. And he, too, passed to the other side of the lab and left the embryo to the tender mercies of the scientists.
" But a Soccer Mom who came upon the embryo was moved by both scientific fact and right moral reason.... [So] The Soccer Mom rescued the embryo, transferred her to her womb, and cared for her."
The most loving approach to life is unsentimental. It sees reality as matters of fact. Compassionate love rejoices in the present and in the future. It remembers the past but understands life looks forward. Love focuses on health and on creating and keeping health within the realm of reality.
When Sarah Palin came onto the national stage, she brought a family with her that affirmed these kinds of choices. When faced with embryos some in the world would define as "inconvenient", Sarah's actions said here's a reality that love will make good. And she not only followed her heart: she followed her beliefs.
That's healthy. That's pragmatism. That's transformative. That's normal.
And that's one reason that Sarah Palin is a Great American.
Photos: from the Sarah Palin Information Blog Photo Gallery