Mothers Diary
Years and years ago when I was a little girl, our family used to go on Labor Day picnics. We used to gang up with whatever relatives were handy; or go by ourselves to some spot, pre-selected by my father, along the river bank. And the highlight of the picnic was a bushel basket full of musk melons – ripe and mellow, sun warmed and flavorful, the kind that trickled juice down our chins. The ones we get in the stores now-a-days are good, but not like the three melons that were left inside our door one afternoon last week while I was napping! They were from somebody's garden and I don't know whose. But they're delicious, and the juice trickles down my chin and reminds me of Labor Day picnics.

It is a remarkable feeling to regain control of a part of the body that has gone out of commission. A week ago my foot was useless and I was jumping around from one piece of furniture to the other. My husband had brought home crutches and I was eyeing them with a great deal of disfavor.
Then I wiggled my toes and that was a great moment. Gradually I could work my ankle, and then I walked unaided. I still slop a bit when I walk, but that is minor and good psychology, besides. My husband said that I should really limp a little when I got back in circulation or my friends would think there hadn't been anything wrong with me. They might think I had been reaping all those cards and letters, and calls under false pretenses.
Of course, it's true, that most of the time I have felt hale and hearty, and guilty, over all the attention I've been getting.

When the doctor told me I could do anything I wanted to – providing I didn't get tired, I was elated and made big plans. First thing, I set about washing my hair, a chore long overdue, and I was in for a surprise.
I weaved around over the wash bowl and sat down to rest a time or two before the job was done, and it was an hour and 15 minutes before I got the last bobby pin in place.
And that was all I did that day. But the doctor had said I could do anything I wanted to, so the next day I put a roast in the oven and rested, peeled a couple onions, and rested, prepared carrots, and rested, peeled potatoes, and rested, and that was all I did that day.
Why didn't the doctor just say – ?

I'll tell you one thing I've found out – that the children can manage in the mornings without me. They get up, get breakfast, do dishes and are on their way to school before I finish my first cup of coffee. And believe me this is something I shall keep in mind in the future.
But I shall use it but rarely, I guess. Every child is entitled to a warm send off from mother in the mornings, and every mother should give it, when it's possible. Some things a child can do for himself, but it does him more good if someone else does it for him.
There's more than physical nourishment in a dish of hot oatmeal in the morning, or a cookie from the cookie jar waiting after school.

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Mothers Diary
I am gradually Martha got lipstick and heels for her 14th birthday Monday – a promise fulfilled and a milestone. Actually she bought the heels Saturday evening and has been walking around on them in all her spare moments, except when she went out.
"I'm not going out in public in them," she informed me, "until I don't teeter. I walk along and my ankles turn over!" she wailed.

Shoes with "heels" have been a topic of conversation around here for a year now, and I had been putting her off until she was in the 9th grade. "Everybody" else had them long ago, but I felt that little girls shouldn't be grown up enough for heels and lipstick until they were in high school – if then.

I had hoped that Martha would put off buying "heels" until the shoe styles became a little more attractive. I cannot admire these narrow spikes and sharp pointed toes that are currently prevalent, and I am the subject of scorn among the small fry who circulate around here, concerning the shoes I wear.
I cling to round toes or no toes and sensible heels or no heels and they just aren't available anymore so I'm wearing my old ones. And I loftily ignore the giggles of derision from Becky and Cynthia. They are just waiting for the time when they can get into long pointed toes and high, high heels. The toes on children's shoes are bad enough, as far as I'm concerned, and I tell them that this was the style back in the 1900's – if they think I am old fashioned.

Perhaps by the time they are in high school, toes will be round again, and they will be as disappointed as I was when I got to high school and girls no longer snarled their hair in great big puffs over their ears.
I can remember when I was a little girl, being dreamily envious of all the big girls and their hair. I would snarl my hair on the sly and dream of the day when the puffs over my ears would be the biggest and fuzziest. But, alas, that fashion went out – bowed to sleek bobbed hair – as all fashions do, and that is, perhaps, the best thing I can say about extreme fashions!

Becky was just a little envious as she watched Martha sort out her birthday loot.
"Well," said Becky, "I am going to have a party on my birthday."
"I don’t know about that," I said.
I was tired, and I had been thanking my lucky stars that there were no more birthdays to bake a cake for until November. I had had quite a time with that cake. I don't know what possessed me to try an angel food cake in the face of all my angel food difficulties in the past, especially since I can't do too much yet without getting exhausted.
(Everybody tells me comfortingly "Well, it takes a while to get back your strength." What I want to know is – where did it go? And what took it?)
Anyway, I got the cake in and out of the oven with no incidents. It was a beautiful golden brown, and I proudly turned it upside down over a catsup bottle, and went back to my lounge chair and collapsed.
And presently, so did the cake. Collapse, I mean. There was a plop and a clatter from the kitchen, and when I investigated, there was the pan on the floor, and the cake on the counter, still circling the catsup bottle and only slightly smashed.
It turned out to be delicious, but even frosting and candles couldn't disguise its dilapidated condition. I think I may be through making angel food cakes!

But Becky eyed me undaunted and turned back to Martha, "I'm going to have a dance on my birthday," she said, "and invite all my grade."
"No," I roared, "No dance! You're too young."
Becky didn't argue and the smug look on her face made me wonder, suddenly, if this was her devious plan to get me to agree to a party as the lesser of two evils. By December, I may be ready for a party after all.

However, it all reminded me of the phone conversation I had had recently with Mrs. Dalton who told me of the efforts of the 7th grade mothers to keep their children, children for a while longer.
We had discussed the possibility that parents sometimes pushed their children into adulthood, or at the very least, aided and abetted them.
From there we progressed to high school activities and to the Junior-Senior banquet. I told her my ideas concerning that event which I have been promoting for several years. One of these days, the banquet is going to be too unwieldy to handle with the increase in numbers of classes and teachers. There’s going to have to be a change in the format sooner or later and there should be plans made.
The plan I have in mind – a prom beginning at 8:30 or 9 pm on Friday evening with a midnight buffet supper, and further dancing and games until 2 or so in the morning – has been approved by everyone I have talked to. The difficulty is in getting any junior group to break with tradition and make arrangements for it.
Since Bruce's class, I haven't had any influence with juniors, but I will have another junior next year. It's a big class and a progressive group, so perhaps they will be ready for something new and different.

The biggest advantage is that the party could be on Friday night and would eliminate Sunday morning festivities. A buffet meal could be set up for a greater number and would hold more students in one place for a longer time – eliminating all this racing around from one place to another.
I have three more of these events to get through – and I shall keep promoting this type of party until somebody shuts me up. And if anybody has a better idea that will shut me up!

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