Sunday, February 19, 2012

What Are Mothers For?

This photo was one in a series of those emails about remembering the 50s and 60s, and although it is designed as a generic, it does conjure up some memories of the role of the woman in those days.  If she wasn't working the cash register as pictured, she was probably doing the family grocery shopping.  Few indeed were lawyers or high-level executives.

Primarily she was still the homemaker, although many worked out of the home, perhaps moreso by necessity as a single mother, or a farmer's wife who worked "out of the home" without leaving the farm.  Working mothers of classmates outside of those two examples were probably the exception and not the rule, although the days of Rosie the Riveter had a huge impact, and the value of a second income became apparent.  Men who were ever the chauvinists may or may not have welcomed that progress.

In spite of the work schedules of women, meals were still consumed as a family unit because the multiple options offered by the school district had yet to shape family lives.  Without girls sports, and only one boys sport per season, time was manageable.

Consider today's family with the youngsters going in 40 different directions for so many potential activities. Next year's NKHS football team will be aligned in an 8-man league with most opponents 90 miles away in the Cedar Falls-Waterloo area.  That, of course, is minor compared to the travel required in states like North Dakota.

Jackson Brunsvold, AHS
The seniors of '62 had one sport: boys basketball.  Here in Wisconsin families today split their time between boys and girls basketball, boys and girls hockey, wrestling, cross-country skiing for boys and girls, Alpine skiing, Alpine snowboarding (read more below), and probably others that we've missed.  Hockey in particular is quite an expensive sport often requiring hours committed to fundraising, weekend events, and widespread travel.

Today's mother is probably busy working to help to fund the travel they undergo.  And dinner as a family?  Forget it.  Not that either scenario is "right" or "wrong," make your own judgment and acknowledge . . . things have changed.

A note about the photo inserted:  meet Jack Brunsvold, a nephew of our own Richard Brunsvold and his sister Chris Brunsvold Hoigard ('65), and grandson of Ann Sandberg Johnson, NHS '57.  A resident of Ashland, WI, on Lake Superior, he is the 2012 Wisconsin High School Snowboard Boardercross Champion, winning the event on Saturday, February 18.  His event took him all of 22.56 seconds!  His proud grandmother passes this along.

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