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When single mother Sheryl Crow announced on her official website (see link below) this week that she’d adopted a second baby at the tender age of 48, I was baffled at the brevity of announcements in the national press.
They were very short and almost a little too sweet.
And while I have blogged before on the maternal graces of over-40 adoptive mothers in All The Way To China And Back, the lack of barely suppressed moral outrage on this occasion has me stumped.
Where is the parade?
Remember the great CNN debate over Kelly Preston being pregnant at 47? We had a regular moralizing bonanza over whether she should be permitted to be a mother at her age.
And while Kelly is married with a stable home life, Sheryl is single and plans—by all accounts (CNN)—on taking the newborn and his three-year-old brother on the road this month for her next tour.
Where were all the bible-thumping ageist zealots prepared to spout dire prognostications about the orphaned teenagers of women who choose to become mothers in midlife?
Where was the hue and cry (with the Oliver Twist-like pitying voices) for the poor youths who would be forced to care for an elderly mother when they grew up— victims of the selfish matronly mothers of middle age?
Instead, People (http://www NULL.people NULL.com/people/article/0,,20391227,00 NULL.html) said: “Alas, no pictures of bouncing baby boy and happy mom yet….”. USA Today (http://content NULL.usatoday NULL.com/communities/entertainment/post/2010/06/sheryl-crow-adopts-another-son-/1) chimes in: “Sheryl Crow, 48, has added to her family!”
And, faithfully, CNN reports (http://marquee NULL.blogs NULL.cnn NULL.com/2010/06/04/sheryl-crow-its-a-boy/?iref=allsearch): “She also plans to take Levi and Wyatt on the road with her starting June 11, and little Levi will be along for the ride…”
It made me think of a new twist to the line from the 1973 Steven Sondheim tune, Send In The Clowns (http://en NULL.wikipedia NULL.org/wiki/Send_in_the_Clowns).
Where are the ageist zealots? Send in the zealots!
(Like Shrek says (http://www NULL.imsdb NULL.com/scripts/Shrek NULL.html), “You know, ‘Grab your torch and pitchforks!'”)
Where are the psychologists and educators lecturing about how “it takes a village to raise a child”? I suppose in little Levi’s case, it will be a virtual village of roadies and rock stars, with Sheryl Crow as the acting single head-mom.
After all, aren’t these compelling arguments the same as those compiled against Kelly Preston, the UK’s Susan Tollefsen or Spain’s Carmen Bousada de Lara—who, because she died two years after giving birth, is the shining example of proof held aloft by the nay-sayers?
In any case, what’s the fundamental difference between Kelly Preston and Sheryl Crow? For, therein lies the rub. After all, they are both celebrities, roughly the same age, with similar munificence to offer a child so privileged as to be raised by them.
Why the lack of an equally visceral response for Sheryl as for Kelly?
The answer is simple: Kelly Preston got pregnant; Sheryl Crow adopted. Therefore, logic would suggest that the first act is considered selfish and the second, saintly.
Society’s embarrassing double standard has its reveal—it’s only selfish if you indulge yourself by getting pregnant in your 40s or later. Adopt and you’re doing an act of charity.
Adopt, and you’re forgiven, by definition, for the risk of dying or becoming disabled from age-related disease when Junior is only in his teens or twenties.
It’s the use of fertility treatments to actually create and carry the kid in your womb they have the problem with.
And for the record, I completely support Sheryl Crow in her decision to become a mother (single, married, adoptive or otherwise) at 48.
Speak up Horton! “A mother is a mother, no matter how she became one!”
Where are the hypocrites? Don’t bother…they’re here.
Notes for this blog:
CNN debate with Flower Power Mom:
Sheryl Crow’s official site:
http://www.sherylcrow.com/blog/ (http://www NULL.sherylcrow NULL.com/blog/)
News articles on Sheryl Crow’s adoption of second child:
New York Daily News:
http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2010/06/04/2010-06-04_sheryl_crow_adopts_a_new_baby_boy_levi_james.html (http://www NULL.nydailynews NULL.com/gossip/2010/06/04/2010-06-04_sheryl_crow_adopts_a_new_baby_boy_levi_james NULL.html)
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/entertainment/post/2010/06/sheryl-crow-adopts-another-son-/1 (http://content NULL.usatoday NULL.com/communities/entertainment/post/2010/06/sheryl-crow-adopts-another-son-/1)
Washington Post: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/celebritology/2010/06/celebritology_weekend_050510.html (http://voices NULL.washingtonpost NULL.com/celebritology/2010/06/celebritology_weekend_050510 NULL.html)
http://marquee.blogs.cnn.com/2010/06/04/sheryl-crow-its-a-boy/?iref=allsearch (http://marquee NULL.blogs NULL.cnn NULL.com/2010/06/04/sheryl-crow-its-a-boy/?iref=allsearch)
Flower Power Mom–The Truth About Motherhood After 40
- (http://www NULL.ctvnews NULL.ca/health/health-headlines/women-increasingly-going-online-to-seek-free-sperm-donors-1 NULL.1590245)
Angel on CNN(http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=WySnP2nnwXU)
CNN Mother's Day: "Mature Moms" (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=WySnP2nnwXU)(http://youtu NULL.be/atScMih4_d0) (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=sGRro4rHGeA)
AARP's "Inside E-Sreet" on PBS TV (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=sGRro4rHGeA)
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