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Re: A response to Their Maj. Letter in the Acorn (long)

Poster: Beth Morris <bmorris@access.digex.net>

Whew, I *promised* myself I'd stay out of this but I'm unable to resist
some clarification (I hope!)
Please note that I speak as a private citizen and not in any official

einar wrote:

> I agree, and I will also add this:  Michael and Seonaid won my respect with
> that letter.  I am firmly of the opinion that any parent who does not put
> their children first does not deserve to have them.  For M&S to have
> written that letter in the first place shows me that they have their
> parental heads screwed on straight.  In fact, if they were not responsible
> parents, I would be unable to consider them capable of being responsible
> monarchs:  if you can't be true and faithful to an innocent, trusting
> child, you can't be true and faithful to anyone.
> Lest anyone forget, parenting is THE most important job in this world.
> Everything else comes in second.  That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

And that's a worthy opinion!

And as Sveva pointed out in her post, I think that it was very gracious
of TRM to write that letter, explaining a situation that some were aware
of but others may not have been.  It may go a long way towards quelling
the inevitable discussion about why one or both of them haven't been
seen as much, etc.  An excellent job, Your Majesties!

But where I think Steffan may have been headed (if tactlessly) is a
point on which I have voiced my opinion loudly and publicly before:

If one has a commitment (such as to a young child, an ill parent, a
college degree, a demanding job, an ardent lover, a competition sport,
whatever) that one should take that into consideration when choosing to
compete in Crown Tournament, accept a Kingdom Office, hold lands for the
Crown as a landed Baron/ess, or in any other role in our Society where
greater-than-normal presence, participation and activity are

That's not to say you shouldn't be able to take the job/Crown/whatever
or that jobs should only be open to Double Income No Kids families with
a certain budget or whatever (as someone vaguely suggested). But one
should CONSIDER the ramifications and consider them strongly.  

How will whatever your situation is affect your ability to do the best
possible job for your Kingdom, office, Barony or whatever?  The SCA is
just a hobby, but it is a timeconsuming one and if you (the universal
You) aren't prepared to deal with that, then you need to accept that and
perhaps opt not to take on the responsibility, or postpone it until a
later time.

Two examples (on different scales):

In at least three instances over the last 20 years I was permitted by
whatever group I was currently in to autocrat a medium-large event when,
if someone had applied this 'test' to me, I should have declined and
opted to autocrat something smaller or at a different time.  One of them
cost the group a small amount of local good-will, one of them cost me a
great deal of personal grief, embarrassment and 'karma' (which I am
still repaying) and one of them cost me my college degree.

In another instance, an old friend of mine has just taken over as
Kingdom Seneschal in her kingdom.  She took over in December, 8 months
pregnant (she already has an almost-4-year-old).  She delivered in
January and so will spend her entire term in office with two children,
one who will be a true babe-in-arms through his Terrible Twos.  That is
a decision that I would not have made, and would have discouraged if I'd
known she was considering it, but she considers herself prepared, so
more power to her.  But I can predict that any time she missteps, or
uses the baby as an excuse in the slightest incident, someone will hold
it against her that she took the job under those circumstances.... 

I have no real complaint with the idea of only one monarch being
present, and in fact advocate the 'divide and conquer' method of
reigning (when feasible and/or necessary) but what I think needs to be
addressed, on a personal level, is whether each of us is willing and
able to do the job we've signed up for.

In this case, it seems Their Majesties are doing an acceptable job as
monarchs (its only three weeks since Coronation, after all!) and they
seem to have prepared themselves for the problems their particular
situation has posed.  But I urge everyone to ponder this as you consider
fighting in Crown, applying for a Kingdom office, etc.

Yours (lengthily),

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