Sunday, March 30, 2008
Strong Women and Mothers
My husband and I are watching the HBO miniseries John Adams. Neither of us know much about US history and we're finding it both entertaining and informative. What's getting me is how amazing John Adam's (second President of the U.S.) wife Abigail (1744-1818) is. She is a strong, intelligent and loving woman who supports her husband's work in revolutionary times. She bears five children in the space of ten years while also tending to the family farm (and I think I have no time!).
I was telling my husband last night that I could not have survived that. He reminded me that it was different times and I would have done what needed to be done. I just can't imagine raising children alone under those circumstances (her husband was off building a country a good chunk of the time). At one point, with John off at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Abigail decides to expose herself and her children to the pox virus in an attempt to save themselves from future infection. It is gruesome, and one of her children becomes extremely ill as a result. Again, I said to my husband that there would be no way I could hold the babe down as she was cut and the pussy pox virus was rubbed into the wound. My husband replied that I would do what's in the best interest of our daughter.
I wonder how much of the times in which we live affects the person and parent we ultimately become? I like to think I would be stronger than I currently am if need be!
Abigail's advocacy for women's rights and dedication and support of her husband's work were remarkable. At a time when women weren't in any position of power, Abigail Adams played an important role in shaping what would become the United States of America. I also love that their union was of both the heart and the mind.