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Mommy Musings A New Day ... Maybe
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Now is the time for change.

This first sentence is more of a wink and a nod to a family friend, who recently shared with my mother that he enjoys my writing and somehow always gets sucked in by the first sentence. "She just draws you in," he shared with my mother.

So for those of you concerned that 'Mommy Musings' is going political ... fear not. While, I will admit to sitting on my hands and biting my tongue much during the election season, it is all now history.

But what an exciting history it was. I am sad to say for the first time in a long time, I was actually energized and mesmerized by our political process - as long and laboring as it was. Yes, during the past two years of the exhausting process, children were not only conceived, but born and are now walking and eating table food.

Personally, I love the fact that someday my children will not understand why it was a big deal that a black man was elected President of the United States. I liken it to the women's movement and why women from my mother's generation are so disappointed by young girls who dumb themselves down.

Now it is all behind us and the future is ahead of us. And while many have chosen to blame the past administration for all our downfalls and heartbreaks, I choose accountability.

Many of us have ridden the roller coaster to its peak, laughing all the way to the bank. Living as if there were no bottom and if there were ... believing it would not fall out.

Well, as we all now know, not only did the bottom fall out, but it blew up and left neighborhoods across America looking like war zones. Foreclosed homes have left many of us scratching our heads over the barbaric behavior of homeowners raping their homes of their amenities before the bank took it over. It is almost as if we went to war with ourselves. Mad at the banks for giving us money we had no business borrowing. Blaming others for our own irresponsibility. We, as Americans, should have been smarter. We should have done our homework and we should not have allowed others to convince us of lifestyles we could not afford.

True, everyone should be able to live the American dream ... but at what cost?

When my parents were starting out, there was this thing they did called 'saving up.' They worked long, hard and often to save not three percent, but 20 percent for a down payment on their first home. Granted, homes were cheaper, but so was everything else, including wages.

This mentality of entitlement and bailouts just did not exist. Everyone was accountable and responsible and if you weren't, well, you just lived a different 'type' of life.

Somewhere between then and now, so much has changed. So many have forgotten about all that we have. True, the past several years have been troubling, but I believe we are still the greatest country on the planet. We just have a few things we need to work on.

While my husband and I have lived the past decade on much of a high horse, I have always believed that nothing in life worth having comes easy. It is the fight and the struggle, after all, which teaches us to be grateful for the outcome.

As I write these words, my husband is just one among thousands trying to find work. Much of it he is overqualified for, but he is learning his new career as a 'house husband' might just not be his lifelong goal. We are grateful for the love of our children and the support of our friends and family. And yes, we struggle ... but we know the outcome will be well worth it and in the end make us stronger.

So, as the next chapter of American history begins to unfold, I encourage everyone to embrace this time.

Oh, sure the news is depressing. No one's working, the banks have no money and the war is not over.

However, each morning we rise to roads and fields free of artillery and tanks. We open refrigerators with groceries in them (however few, or abundant they might be) and we speak with one another freely and unconditionally. Our thoughts are able to flow freely from our mouths and when we disagree with our government we are not only able to say so, but change it.

God Bless America.

Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.