Follow the March for Life in Real Time

Follow the March for Life in Real Time

6 a.m. Thursday morning – Loading the buses to Washington, here we go!

Dom and his colleague, photographer George Martell (they work for the Archdiocese of Boston), have done some technological wizardry that I don’t exactly understand which is allowing George to upload photos from the March for Life to the web within a minute of his shooting them. According to my techno geek husband this is really, really cool. No one else (not even any of the big mainstream media outlets) is doing this kind of immediate live updating of photos.

You can follow along with the Boston pilgrims on Flickr (, on Facebook (, and on Twitter (

Dom explains the technology here.

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  • Melanie,
    Thank you for this piece.  I’ve been having a really hard time with my boy lately, mostly because he’s so physical and I’m not.  I’m trying to teach him that he shouldn’t hit girls [his mother especially], but maybe a better tactic would be to tell him that he should be defending me!  I sent this to my husband as well.  I know that he will really enjoy it.

    Anne Kiwi

  • This is so humorous to read, my baby was Link for Halloween this year and had a little Master Sword made from some spare foam core I had lying around.  When his grandfather opened the door, he was charged, sword in hand, by his grandson.  Little boys just know.

    He’s torn the hilt off, but still plays with the rest of the sword constantly.

    Raising men is a topic that has been percolating around my head for a while now.  When we found out our baby was a boy, I was ambivalent about it.  I felt unprepared to be the mother of a son.  Now I feel unprepared to be the mother of a daughter.  It turns out I’m much better and more comfortable with little boys than little girls.

  • As the mother of two sons, I have to say that I get fed up with other moms who let their sons get away with all kinds of behavior under the guise of “boys will be boys”. Yes, boys are different from girls, but that doesn’t mean they get a free pass to be brutes, bullies and tyrants. Harnessing those natural inclinations and desires is what raising a boy is all about. While I think I understand what the author is saying, I don’t really think there is anything wrong with teaching a boy to be gentle especially when it comes to dealing with creatures that are younger and smaller than him. The notion that tenderness in a man is feminizing is just ridiculous. (Not saying that the author believes that because I haven’t read her article, just saying that some people believe if your son is not a knock down, rough and tumble kid then he must be a girlyboy.) My oldest son is a very gentle, cerebral, curious child who has never really enjoyed being physically aggressive but has enjoyed lots of battles and sword play (real live fencing classes). He reminds me a lot of my grandfather who was the smartest, gentlest, real man I ever knew (until I met my husband) : )!

  • Charlotte,

    I think we can agree that contemporary mainstream American culture profoundly misunderstands masculinity. I think you and Sally are reacting to two different caricatures of masculinity: on the one hand the “boys will be boys” attitude you describe that excuses brutishness and bullying and on the other hand what Sally seems to be responding to, an attitude which sees all masculine strength as a flaw which needs to be chiseled away until boys are just like girls (this latter is often promoted by extreme feminists.) Neither attitude is healthy but often an overcorrection for one can lead to the other extreme. However, that is not what Sally is advocating at all. Rather, like you she advocates harnessing those natural inclinations and desires.

    I don’t think Sally is saying that boys can’t or shouldn’t be taught gentleness; but cautioning that gentleness is a virtue which looks different in boys than in girls and that to inculcate the virtue of gentleness in sons , especially those with a greater propensity toward roughness and exuberance, may take different tactics than one would use with girls. With a girl one calls upon her mothering instinct, with a boy one calls upon his protective instinct. In other words, the answer to brutishness and bullying is not to try to make boys into girls but to turn them into men. That seems to be precisely her point: tenderness in men is not sissy or feminine but in fact is at the heart of a true masculine virtue that sees strength as an opportunity to protect the weak and vulnerable.

  • Melanie,
    As I said, I wasn’t really commenting on what Sally wrote since I didn’t read her piece in it’s entirety. As the mother of a naturally gentle, not rough and tumble son, my hackles get raised a little when the topic of raising manly boys comes up in general. Boys are not one scabbard fits all. My experience has been that too many people use what is in a boy’s nature as justification to allow him to be a brute or a bully but that is only my personal experience.

    My only real comment on what Sally wrote was in response to the “Be gentle” vs. “Protect your sister.” I completely agree that “protect you sister” is virtuous while sword fighting, but “be gentle” shouldn’t be forgotten when playing with those smaller than him. Maybe it is my particular situation, having boys that are spaced so far apart. I have had to remind my oldest that there is no honor in besting someone so far inferior in skill level. Gentleness is a virtue when battling a brother half his size.

    So, that’s all. My comment was intended simply as a reminder to always seek moderation. Nothing more.

  • One of the most rewarding parts of having teens and babies at the same time is seeing the natural way tenderness and gentleness are brought out of my 16 year old son.  He wasn’t a “rough and tumble” boy, and has had to learn a masculinity separate from sports.  He has done well, but can be a little bristly at times, and critical.  But the baby allows him to soften and become gentle very naturally, very safely.  It has been a joy to see.

  • Melanie, I find myself in the situation you described with Sophia very often (what a shame…) – it feels so wonderful to be able keep the first instinctive reaction (NO!) in check, and get “creative”: it’s good for the mother and for the child. Sometimes, not always of course, a string of “NO!” is the sign I’m on auto-pilot mothering – Is this why I am staying home??
    As for educating boys, my secret hope is that fathers have everything figured out, and know what to do!

  • Charlotte,

    I guess my point was that if you read Sally’s piece moderation is exactly what she’s preaching.

    Perhaps out of context the quote that raised your hackles doesn’t read the same way as it does when you see how she’s built up to it (it’s about halfway through the piece). She isn’t really saying “don’t be gentle” but rather that the way she needed to approach the lesson in how to be gentle with that particular child (who sounds like he is the sort of rough and tumble boy that yours is not) is not by admonishing him to stop a particular behavior but instead to call him to action. It’s the difference between constantly saying no, don’t, stop and saying instead here is a proper channel for that drive that makes you act in this way. Redirecting the energy rather than expecting it to simply go away.

    I suppose it sopke to me because so often I find myself in that sort of predicament as a parent. I get stuck in a rut and find myself soundlng like a broken record: no, no, no, no. But when I stop to see things from the child’s perspective and think creatively, I can be a much more effective mom by finding her a more appropriate way to use the energy.

    Like last night Sophie was wandering about getting into trouble while I was trying to settle Ben and Bella was still napping. I found myself almost screaming at her because I was so frustrated. And of course that wasn’t productive at all. BUt when I paused and thought about how she felt, poor girl with no one to play with and mama kept saying essentially, go away, then I realized I could find a better way. I got her a paintbrush and cap of water and set her up at the easel and gave her a productive task to do.

    To me that’s the difference between ‘be gentle’ and ‘protect your sister’, setting the mischievous child a task to complete. Rather like King Arthur sending his knights out questing so that they don’t destroy the kingdom with their overabundance of restless energy.

    By the way, can I say how much I appreciate your perspective. Your voicing your concerns and raised hackles has helped me to articulate in my own head exactly what it was about the piece that spoke to me and to really see how I can better apply that lesson to my own parenting. I hadn’t consciously made that connection before.