Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category
“Sigh No More”
Today it has been pouring rain in Gelderland so aside from going out to the barns earlier to tend to the animals we have all been stuck inside watching the waves of rain sweeping back and fourth across the fields and woods. These sorts of days always produce slightly restless and frustrated children so this afternoon we cleared my mothers big refectory dinning table and got out her paints and pencils.
As the children made a start I found a book of poetry and started reading one from William Shakespeare
From this my lovely little daughter Mariakse and I drew and doodled and doodled and………………………………
In het Nederlands:
Sigh No More, dames, Sigh No More.
Mannen Waren bedriegers Ooit,
Un Voet in zee, en un op de wal,
Om un ding constant Nooit.
Dan zucht niet zo, but Laat ZE Gaan,
En Wees JE Blij en bonny,
Het omzetten van al your Geluiden van Wee
Into hey nonny, nonny.
Sigh No More liedjes, zingen niet meer De
Van stortplaatsen Zo saai en Zwaar.
De fraude van de Mannen werd Altijd Zo
Sinds de zomer van eerste was lommerrijke.
Dan zucht niet zo, but Laat ZE Gaan,
En Wees JE Blij en bonny,
Het omzetten van al your Geluiden van Wee
In hij, nonny, nonny.
An estimated 300,000 babies were stolen from mothers at hospitals, sold for adoption by catholic clergy in Spain.
I was baby sitting at my sister’s house the other day and watched a BBC documentary on British Forces TV. We do not have a TV in house it was kind of pure chance I saw this as I did (and the BBC close caption everything, bless them!). The programme detailed a financially lucrative baby trafficking crime run by the Catholic Church in Spain for fifty years over which up to 300,000 Spanish babies were stolen from their parents and sold for adoption over a period of some five decades. The children were trafficked by a secret network of doctors, nurses (who were mostly nuns), priests and nuns in a widespread criminal practice that began during General Franco’s dictatorship and continued until the early Nineties.
As a mother myself I cannot imagine the pain of having just given birth to be told my baby had died and that no I was not permitted to see them, to be then left having a suspicion that it was in fact alive but denied to me by a body as powerful as the evil Catholic Church.
This particular evil of religion began as a system for taking children away from families deemed politically dangerous to the regime of General Franco, which began in 1939. The system continued after the dictator’s death in 1975 as the Catholic church continued to retain a powerful influence on public life, particularly in the area of social services.
Just to be absolutely clear on this;
Catholic priests and nuns assisted a tyrannical dictator by stealing the infant children of his political enemies, no doubt the church was compensated in some way by the government.
Catholic priests and nuns lied to the families that their children were dead
Catholic priests and nuns sold the babies to those more wealthy and politically connected for financial gain in order to further boost the catholic churches vast wealth.
Catholic priests and nuns having found a good money spinner just kept right on stealing babies from mothers and selling them, but now it was just for money, a great deal of money.
All this came to light when two men, Antonio Barroso and Juan Luis Moreno, discovered they had been stolen as babies. Mr Moreno’s ‘father’ confessed on his deathbed to having bought him as a baby from a priest in Zaragoza in northern Spain. He told his son he had been accompanied on the trip by Mr Barroso’s parents, who bought Antonio at the same time for 200,000 pesetas. This was a fortune in those days, enough to by a very good apartment outright.
DNA tests have since proved that the couple who brought up Mr Barroso were not his biological parents and the nun who sold him has admitted to stealing him from his birth mother, lying to her that her baby had died and then selling him.
The church was deciding who were “appropriate” parents, a church riddled with pedophilia, theft, fraud and lies were deciding which women were fit mothers. The church forged official documents so the adoptive parents’ names were on the infants’ birth certificates.
It gets worse……..
Those birth mothers who maintained for years that their babies did not die – and were labelled hysterical or insane, some were even locked up in mental hospitals for many years with the connivance of the catholic church. Now finally they are believed as babies’ graves have been exhumed, revealing bones that belong to adults or animals. Some of the graves contained stones or even nothing at all. One hospital even kept a baby in their freezer to be wheeled out and shown to mothers that “their” baby had died
To summarise; the catholic church believes deeply that Abortion is an abomination yet kidnapping newborn infants from their mothers, making fraudulent instruments (birth certificates), baby trafficking for profit, lying to mothers and parents, profiting from crime, perverting the course of justice, threats & intimidation are all perfectly right and justified.
As the programme unfolded my belly actually hurt, and as the birth mothers told their heartbreaking stories I cried. It seems that only women who can produce a virgin birth are worthy of any compassion, the rest can just have their own flesh and blood ripped from them at one of the most pivotal emotional moments of their lives just so the evil edifice that in the catholic church can become even richer.
Now I am learning that this practice was not restricted to Spain. How can this depraved organisan be allowed to continue.
Author: Judith vd R
The women’s group that Nina and I are members of does some small work in helping women from around the world get aid that they need. One of the groups many activities is helping Iraqi women get access to specialist medical care. We have a lady and her nine year old son staying with us for a few weeks while he receives medical treatment at the University Hospital here in Maastricht. The boy Ziad is a delightful child, with a wonderful spark to him, though he is very clearly ill. His mother is outwardly a modest and reserved woman, tired, worn but I suspect she has a deep reserve of strength under there. As I was forming this opinion I was looking at the small, frail form of her son who at eight years old is two thirds the size of our eight year old son who is not a sturdy build himself and thinking that she was going to need that strength in the next few months.
About three am she went back to bed and I tidied things away in the kitchen. Before I went back upstairs I went into the guest suite to find she had finally fallen asleep. I drew the duvet cover up over her so she would not be cold when she woke and while doing so I noticed a damp handkerchief in front of her. I was about to move it when I saw two photographs laying in front of her on the sheet, they had clearly been her focus as she had drifted off to sleep.I consider myself pretty hardened to the horrors that life can throw about, having experienced some of the worst of it myself, but even before I reached to pick them up I had a foreboding about these. Carefully I picked them up, aware that what I was handling was obviously very precious to her. In one photo there was a younger, fresher looking Amira, clearly distressed and holding a severely deformed newborn to her face. The way she was holding it showed all the love and care that I use when holding my own. The baby’s face was all out of proportion, there was the biggest cleft in it’s face I had ever seen splitting its entire nose and gouging deep into the upper palette. The back of the skull did not look like it was containing the brain, but rather it was spilling out under the scalp. Blood vessels under the skin were not right, they were poorly formed and grossly distended. The poor blighted child’s limbs would obviously never work properly even if the brain could control them, which I doubted, everything was all wrong. It was in short, a monster. The other photo was another newborn, though not a live one, nothing could live without a brain, eyes and with its viscera laying beside it on a green hospital surgical sheet, but even so a woman’s hand and arm were holding the childs still hand in a way that only a mother would. I knew it would be Amira again, the way she held her child in the other photo, the gentle way I had seen her touch her son told me that no matter what her children were blighted with her love was greater. Here was someone who saw past the appearance of scary monsters to love what was underneath.I carefully, reverentially, replaced the photos exactly where I had found them. I put the handkerchief back where it had been and then covered Amira’s shoulders before slipping from the rooms.
Depleted uranium, despite its rather benign-sounding name, is not depleted of radioactivity or toxicity. The term “depleted” refers only to its being depleted of the U-235 isotope needed for fission reactions in nuclear reactors. While the Pentagon has continued to claim, against all scientific evidence, that there is no hazard posed by depleted uranium, US troops in Iraq have been instructed to avoid any sites where these weapons have been used such as destroyed Iraqi tanks and exploded bunkers and to wear masks if they do have to approach. Recently a video has come to light, made by the US Military it talks about dealing with DU contamination making it very clear of the highly toxic and dangerous nature of DU. It rather blows claims by the US government to be safe. Many destroyed vehicles were sent to the US, where they have been buried in special sites reserved for dangerously contaminated nuclear materials. Thousands of tons of DU-contaminated sand from Kuwait, polluted with DU during the US destruction of Iraq’s tank forces in the 1991 war, were removed and shipped to a waste site in Idaho a decade years ago, very quietly. International health officials have been prevented or obstructed from doing medical studies of DU sites in Iraq and Afghanistan though some persisted despite documented threats by US contractors from Blackwater and had found sites to be extremely “hot” with radioactivity.
I had been reading a blog over at http://northernmum.wordpress.com/ about an embarrassing moment with her children brought to mind one of my own a while back, so here again is the story;
My oldest daughter, Hilke, is well known for being something of an embarrassment at times, as all children can be of course, but Hilke really does have this knack for dropping her mothers in it.
With my wife Judith still not able to see very much after surgery and me having a day off I had gone to collect our kids from school. Judith had asked me to collect a few items from the supermaarkt so I took the kids with me for a little bit of a treat. I should explain that we do not often go to the supermaarkt because most of our fresh produce either comes from my in-laws farm or from the local organic farm here. With Judith preparing our meals from scratch there is little need to visit the big stores so for our kids it is a bit of an adventure, especially the Albert Heijn just off the Vrijtofht which is not unlike a cave inside.
No sooner had we got into the store and we ran into some of Hilke and Nicholaas’s school friends and their mothers. Put any women together in a store and we go into gossip mode and shopping is relegated to a poor second place while we catch up on news and the kids are left to run riot through the store. We mothers happened to be standing in the toiletries isle talking when Hilke and friends come returned from their exploring. The children start to give their critical attention to the shiny and colourful products on display and I kept a little of my attention on what they were saying between themselves while continuing my gossiping;
“My mother uses this, it’s very good” said one little girl with all the earnest intent of a telesales operator trying to sell you something.
“But your mum has some HUGE spots on her nose, it can’t be that good !” replied another who was clearly an early developer of her Bitchy Gland.
Pausing by the tampons and sanitary towels the girls started a deep debate on feminine hygiene products. Dutch schools start sex education at age seven so they knew about periods even though none were menstruating themselves yet. I think their interest had much more to do with the wide variety and very girlie styling of the packaging rather than any interest in the contents but when one girl discovered a familiar brand she grabbed it and stated very clearly;
“This is the one my mum uses, only she buys a big super box of them!”
“Does it have wings?” asked Adrie trying to show some knowledge of the subject.
“No, it’s a tampon, it has a string not wings” replied Mahaultt.
“You tie it to your underwear with the string then?” Marysa, clearly unaware that it is worn internally.
Just when I feared that this could soon turn into a bit of a car wreck unless one of us mothers intervened my daughter jumped into the fray, from past experience of her contributions my heart rate immediately doubled;
“It’s a tampon, that means you stick it up inside you” she said with all the authority of a girl who is academically at the top of her class.
“OOooooohhhh!” was one’s response, “EWWWWWWWWW!”was another’s.
I am not, I should point out, a religious person, but with the intervention of Hilke I started to pray. I prayed like the life of my first born depended upon it. Those of you who have met Hilke, or who know of her will understand why only to well. She continued;
“You put them in your vagina to stop it up”.
By now the girls were starting to draw a small audience and I knew this was not going to end well, I could just feel it and but like a rabbit stuck between headlights I froze. Hilke was now clearly the leading authority on feminine hygiene products in this group and all attention swung around to her.
“So why do tampons have strings?” asked Marysa.
“So you can pull them out of your vagina when you go to the wc, all tampons have strings” she stated.
One girl noticing one particular box of tampons and picking it up exclaimed “Hey these ones have skirts, why do these have skirts, is that in place of a string, because you can pull skirts down” said the little asian girl whose name I can never recall.
“Do your mothers use these Hilke?”
CRASH ! The wreck I had been dreading happened.
“No mama uses sponges” she proclaimed over the shop noise and looking toward me as I tried to shuffle to the nearest cover.
“SPONGES !” came the loud and collective response, and as one they started to examine the shelves for sanitary sponges. It took them a few minutes to realise they were not on the shelves so I started to relax a little. Then one girl held up a large bath sponge in her hand and triumphantly, and very loudly, proclaimed…….
“Your mama puts THIS in her vagina ?” I swear the entire store stopped dead, I could have heard a pin drop if the frantic beating of my fibrillating heart was not drowning out all sound in my ears. Even the gossiping mothers came to a complete stop.
Gasps of “Mmmmuuuhhhh!” showed they were clearly impressed, or horrified, or perhaps both.
I think Hilke, upon seeing the expression on my face, sensed that her allowance was seconds away from being stopped until she reached her late teens and so attempted to ease the situation by telling her friends.
“No, no, no, they are tiny little sponges” Hilke added, slightly helping matters, “Like cotton wool balls. She orders them specially, you cannot buy them in here, they are special”.
By now men in the store were giving me full lengths looks as they walked past, I could guess what they were imagining. The gossiping mothers edged towards me and some sort of unspoken agreement between seemed to nominate one of them their spokeswoman.
“Sponges?” asked Mevrouw Klaas. At least the store seemed to be returning to normal after the revelation that one of their customers appeared to spend her menstrual cycle with a bath sponge shoved up her vagina.
I explained that in fact natural sponges were the very first form of tampon ever used and that unlike the tampons and towels stocked in stores like those on the shelves they were natural, hypo-allergenic and do not cause toxic shock to their users. Having experienced an intra-vaginal allergic reaction to tampons as a teenager I knew better than most the dangers of manufactured sanitary protection. They also caused no pollution during their manufacture, and contained no dioxins (the most deadly poison known to life on this planet and routinely used in the manufacture of tampons and sanitary towels).
In the end the girls interest moved onto something else, as did everyone else. On the way home I tried to explain to Hilke that it had been a little embarrassing for me but in true Hilke form she counted by saying that it shouldn’t be, “Periods were quite natural mama!” Yeah thanks Hilke I think I know that much better than you do given your age!. I know we have always been very open and straight with our kids but it does come back to bite us at the oddest times.
After just two days away we are missing them. Last night I thought we would be taking advantage of our rather nice hotel suite and the lack of little ones walking into our bedroom at just the wrong moment and catch up on the old “hot-n-heavy” action, but no. We did try but it was clear our hearts were not in it as we both missed the children, and so in the end we called room service and had them send up two truly enormous ice cream sundaes, a pot of tea and some cookies. Our impromptu meal was not the most well balanced, containing as it did two of the worst food groups possible, sugar and fat, but it was very therapeutic mentally. As we set about eating the ice we started up the laptop and called home. For over two hours we chatted to the children and my poor parents who had kindly volunteered to take up residence in our house and look after them for a week. I always love hearing about the children’s day at school (the oldest two) each afternoon when they get home. I consider it a high point of my day as they show me their books, drawing and paintings, while going on all the time about their various friends at school. The earnest feelings and passion behind everything they say, the wonderful expression by sign language of all the feelings that the day have crammed into their little hearts wipes away all my worries at a stroke.
After Hilke and Nicholas finished chatting to us my mother and father filled us in on our two little ones. We learned how they had played, what they learnt and what they managed to knock over or break. We heard all about the new books they bought the children while shopping, and finally how tired they were themselves after their busy day. It was well past the children’s bed time by the time when we finally signed off for the night and as we did my dad asked Nina and I if we felt better for our long chat. It seems history repeats itself with each generation. They used to miss my sister and I when they had to be away from home for any reason, so they had known right away the reason for our call when we asked to talk to the children on the computer.
Just as we were about to shut down for the night Jette, our god daughter, came online and so we told her about our day and heard about hers. Then we watched a few short videos she had made of herself learning sign language (NGB). They are lovely and I think we will work them into our web site as soon as we get back.
Sissi, my ears and eyes guide dog, sensing an opportunity came up onto our bed to comfort us. It was either to comfort us or try and get at the cookies, I suspect the latter more than the former. Sissi has a very sweet tooth and loves cake and cookies. She cornered the plate of cookies and with a glance to us for consent (probably just for the sake of good manners!) she set about reducing four hundred grams of crunchy delight to just a few crumbs on the porcelain plate, then not being one to waste a good thing, she finished up the few remaining crumbs as well. Normally we are quite strict about the dogs not sleeping on the bed. That right is traditionally reserved for cats and kids in our household, but this night she was allowed to stay. I am sure she enjoyed the one hundred count Egyptian cotton sheets as much as we did. Sometime around one am we all fell asleep on the big hotel bed. Tucked up tightly against Nina I dreamt of the children and in my sleep I missed them even more. In my dreams I can always hear them talking but once I wake I can never remember what their little voices sounded like. It is a terrible frustration because I have never heard my own children and my heart so yearns to, so much so that for me even the dream of their voices would be as wonderful as hearing their real ones.
Maternal Separation has a powerful draw on our hearts so we will be very happy to get home next week.