Friday, January 18, 2008

Mother of the Year -- Not

The Demo-blogs have been running a screed from a Paducah mother who pulled her child out of school to go protest Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell.

I can't help but feel sorry for the 12 year old girl, Heaven. At this point in her life, she probably thinks it's really cool to have a mother who lets her dye her hair pink and skip school.

Heaven's mother deserves some credit for teaching her daughter to get involved in the political process. Unfortunately, her mother taught Heaven all sorts of other lessons, and in that regard, she did her daughter a real disservice.

Heather Ryan, Heaven's mother, gave her daughter permission to break the law and become truant. Most of the mother's email describes how she and Heaven snuck around and hid, trying to corner McConnell.

The mother boasts of how she lied about their intentions: "McConnell's security team emerges from the museum, they look at us and I ask if Heaven can 'have her picture made with the Senator when he comes out' (I even adjusted my vocabulary for this one - having a 'picture made' seems to be a very Western Kentucky thing to say, so I went for it!)." So much for inculcating truthfulness.

This little girl will be old enough to drive in four years. It's no secret that children mimic the behavior their parents model. Yet this is how the mother drives with her daughter in the car: "Heaven and I drive the wrong way a half block up the one-way Broadway Avenue into the Maiden Alley and cut off his security staffer! SCORE! I ROCK! We swing a U-Turn into a parking spot in the alley and jump out of the squealing beast."

What kind of mother deliberately drives the wrong way up a one-way street with her child in the car? By her own description, she nearly caused an accident. This isn't parenting; it's wanton endangerment.

It's hard to raise polite children in the Age of Rap. Maybe it's always been hard. Parents therefore must be relentless about policing their children's manners, and again, it starts with setting a good example. Heaven's mother failed her. Heather Ryan tells us several times that she's a Navy vet, and on this point, she's credible -- this woman has a mouth like a sailor.

She didn't give Heaven much of a lesson in respecting one's elders. Thus her "question" for McConnell: "Heaven's screaming, 'Do you want my dad to die? Should I start training for war?'"

Here's the part of the story that Heather Ryan omitted: they screamed "I hope you die" to McConnell. Given that such a statement could be construed as a threat, the Secret Service agents showed remarkable restraint. According to the Cool Mom, "[t]he goon security man yells at my daughter, 'We won't have any of that!'" That's exactly what Heaven's mother should have said to her daughter.

Heather Ryan was so caught up in the moment of protesting that she forgot a central truth of parenting: 12-year-olds turn into teenagers. Why any mother of an almost teen would teach her child to skip school, sneak around, lie, swear, drive recklessly, defy authority and say "I hope you die!" to a United States Senator -- this mother better pray that she doesn't reap what she has sown.


Cyberhillbilly said...

BINGO! Nice work.

I back-ended into your post after writing one of my own about this and we picked up on many of the same points. There's little doubt that this kind of activity would get you jailed in many places.

BTW, Andrew Horne's blogging at Daily Kos now. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

BimBeau said...

There was a camera running at the incident in Paducah. You should see the tape. It is eyepopping in its detail of the Senator's charges. It is also noteworthy that his Chief-of-Staff is in the communications mix, as he cements his crucial role in the management of the Senator's political life - possibly even why he should be the next candidate for the office as the Senator retires.
Personally, a "Hello" to Sloan and a query as to whether or not his Jeep's been attacked by any more deer?