With respect to the kids, dad has it more difficult than mom NORTH LAUREL/SAVAGE

NEIGHBORS

June 11, 1993|By LOURDES SULLIVAN

Motherhood comes to women easily, more easily than fatherhood comes to men.

Mothers get direct progress reports from the nascent front during pregnancy; fathers get secondhand delayed ones.

Strangers in malls smile at women's bulging waistlines, and ask questions with an approving air. Fathers just get a brisk "congratulations" when they announce the news and dire warnings about diapers and loss of freedom.

For the lasts three months of pregnancy, women wear their status as mothers visibly to the world, and the world reacts to this announcement with nosey questions, weird advice, ghastly reminiscences and sheer delight.

Every question, every comment reinforces how miraculous the coming child is. And it is this store of delighted interest that sustains mothers through the colic, the diapers, the tantrums and the exhaustion of parenthood. We are never in doubt that what we do is important.

Fathers aren't so lucky. They are left pretty much on their own to develop their vocabulary of love. The boisterous camaraderie of the playing field, the tenderness of romantic love, the serene affection of pets are a father's firsts models for love, but the best, the absolute best of fathers, is to his children a husbandman.

It's an odd term, husband, one we use most often to mean male spouse. But that's not really what it means. Husband means one who cares for and takes care of. That is why farmers proudly called themselves husbandmen. And the best of fathers find the richest expression of their fierce love for children in husbandry.

A provident farmer nurtures and prunes his crops, fighting the vagaries of weather and of insects to bring in the harvest. So do fathers improve their crops, all the while protecting them from the elements.

If our strongest image of mother love is of her cradling a sick child in the night, our strongest image of father love should be him cradling his child against the storm.

To paraphrase "A Few Good Men," 'Why do you like them so much? Because they stand on a wall and say 'nothing hurts you tonight, not on my watch.'

*

Come on out to the fair!

Resurrection Roman Catholic Church is holding its annual country fair on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. There will be a craft table, one with international foods, a baked goods table, a raffle and, of course, games and prizes. The church is at 8402 Brock Bridge Road in Laurel.

Officers of the Resurrection parish men's club, Frank Lagana, John Venit, Ken Kavelak and Tim Trask, are justifiably proud of their efforts to remodel the parish hall. The club has installed new windows and is working on remodeling the interior walls.

Resurrection Church also announces that its Vacation Bible School will begin June 28 and finish July 2. Classes for preschoolers through fourth-graders begin at 10:30 a.m. and end at 1 p.m.

*

The children's department of the Savage Library is playing host to an impromptu pajama fashion show for preschoolers at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Yes, it's the monthly bedtime story time. Children are welcome to attend in their sleep wear.

Stop by to show off the latest in feety PJ's and ruffled shirts. While there, sign up for the summer reading game for preschoolers sponsored by The Sun. There are lots of prizes and interim incentives such as stickers and tickets to the Baltimore Zoo for kids who sign up early.

The library is located on Durness Lane off Gorman Road in Laurel -- not the Gorman Road that is also Route 198 in Prince George's County, but the Gorman Road just south of Route 32 in Howard County.

Call (410)880-5978 for directions and information.

*

Congratulations to the graduating seniors.

Heather Pepin, who is a one-year alumna of Hammond High, has received the Etta Baker scholarship from the Officers' Wives Club at Fort Meade.

Ms. Pepin, was a member of the National Honor Society during her junior and senior years. She and Joeseph Brewer, another senior at Hammond High, founded the Friday morning Bible Study Program.

Ms. Pepin plans to attend the Central Bible College in Springfield, Mo.

*

Two years ago, the Savage Volunteer Fire Co. bought a new pumper, dubbed Engine 63, in order to better serve the community. And like any other vehicle, the pumper is being bought on time payments.

The county contributes to the upkeep and operating expenses of Engine 63, but not to the purchase. That's right, the volunteer company is paying for the engine entirely from donations and the proceeds from bingo and spaghetti dinners.

Now this is our chance to own a part of a real fire engine. The fire company is soliciting donations from us, the people in North Laurel, Savage, Jessup and Guilford, who directly benefit from this engine and from the unpaid efforts of our neighbors in the company.

Send your tax deductible contributions to P.O. Box 905, Savage, Md. 20763.

Membership in the company is open to anyone over age 16. Call the company at (301) 776-0024 for specific membership requirements and duties.

Save a life someday: Join the fire company.

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