|T ALWAYS HAPPENS. Every time our daughter arrives with a medical malady, it's always the same. Last time it was a headache. Jamie dragged herself in the front door and asked me if I had any aspirin. "Sure," I said, "in the bathroom."|
Dropping her purse to the floor, she made a beeline around the corner. From the kitchen, I heard loud sighs, harrumphs, and plunks as she threw one bottle after the next into the waste can. Stomping out of bathroom, she grabbed her car keys. I didn't have to ask where she was going. I knew.
Throwing her purse over her shoulder, she knew I knew. But she told me anyway ... just to make a point. "I can't believe it. Don't you know you're supposed to throw medicines away after they expire!"
Expiration dates are a big thing in my household only because my children are the official expiration cops who write me up. Grown now, and on their own, they have their work cut out for themselves when they come for a visit. Everything is suspect. No family dinner is safe until the fridge is detoxed of outdated cans and boxes.
Expiration dates are also becoming a big thing in America ... impacting more than aspirin and cheese. Much more.
One day ... the day they bring their precious baby home from the hospital, parents are in charge. They are expected to watch over every detail that might impact their children ... sugar content, child seats, exercise habits, television, homework, playmates and transfats. Parents are in control.
Then one day ... one undefined day, when they aren't aware of anything being different ... parents expire. They don't expire because they are tired of being parents. They expire because society is tired of listening to parents.
Case in point, the Senate heads home this week after failing to bring Senate Bill 403 to a vote. It is a sign that parents have passed their expiration date. Once allowed oversight over the health of their children, parents are no longer deemed necessary for oversight of a major life-impacting surgery performed on their daughters -- abortion.
The Child Custody Protection Act would have reaffirmed the parent's right to oversee the healthcare of their daughters. It supported state parental notification laws already in existence. But the Senate, in their wisdom, noted the expiration date on parents and declared that they were irrelevant.
Parents are passing their useful life all over the country. You can't tell it by looking at them. Neither can you tell it by talking with them. The easiest way to tell that they have reached their expiration date is by noting the actions of those who would thwart their involvement in the lives of their children.
In Mesa, Arizona, a presenter announced the opening of a health clinic specifically targeting teens. She said they had set a sign out on the sidewalk so that kids on the way home from school would have to literally step over it. She said, figuratively, that clinic workers were so anxious to reach teens that they might even go out to the sidewalk themselves to "get" the teens. Where were the parents? Expired.
Around the country, Planned Parenthood offices and other like-minded organizations reach out to students with "confidential" birth control. The parents? Expired.
Then, when the "confidential" birth control fails, children may purchase an abortion. In Arizona, Governor Napolitano this year vetoed a bill requiring notarized signatures on parental consent forms. Once again, she tuned her ear to the cries of Planned Parenthood. In spite of convincing testimony from parents that signatures are easily forged or falsified, the Governor ignored the will of parents in Arizona. She must have noticed their expiration date.
Around the country, parents' efforts to stay connected to their children are under assault. As the number rises for states passing laws providing for parental consent and notification, so, too, rises the number of assaults on these laws.
Now, thanks to the U.S. Senate, even when an effective parental notification law is in place, it doesn't matter. It should matter. But it doesn't. Anyone can transport a minor across state lines to circumvent the law that upholds a parent's right to be involved in an abortion decision. Expired.
I get a headache thinking about the next time Jamie might arrive with a headache of her own. It's been over a year since she bought my last bottle of aspirin. It's probably expired by now.
It could be worse. Thankfully, she is grown and safe from the social engineers who are redesigning America. I hate to think what she would do if she knew her mom had passed the expiration date for parents.
A former elementary school teacher, Jane Jimenez (firstname.lastname@example.org) is now a freelance writer dedicated to issues of importance to women and the family. She writes a regular column titled "From the Home Front." Her work has appeared in both Christian and secular publications. Jane and her husband Victor live in Phoenix and have two children.
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