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  • Writer's pictureThe Rough & Tumble


It’s been more than a week since the release of our Mother’s Day song, “Gracie.” By now, we’ve all forgotten how important our mothers really are to us, and have since set our sites on Father’s Day (for those of you overachievers and pre-planners).

We as The Rough & Tumble, since starting The Rough & Tumble’s Holiday Awareness Campaign, have been well aware of how loosely tied to the holidays these songs really are (visualize one cat jumping from a bag of choice). But it was “Gracie” that really took some of you by surprise. For whatever reason, the most progressive daycares and schools this year have been keenly aware of mixed families, and the confusion that comes with the celebration of mothers, and the confusion of mothers themselves on this day, spawning things like Family Day.

We hadn’t intended to jump on the bandwagon of exposing the dark side of Mother’s Day. Trust me, The Rough & Tumble is just crazy about our mothers. But we are also crazy about those childless mothers, who are still actively taking care of everyone else’s children, while never being given any of their own. We don’t know exactly what that’s like, but we do know how important these people are in our lives– one in particular, whose story moved us to write “Gracie.”

I’ve spent years around this woman, watching her stifle a pained expression when another of her friends finds their own little miracle, as another screaming infant is baptized into her church, and as– the final nail in the coffin– her stepsons’ grow, marry, and have babies of their own. She has endured the thoughtless words of her non-barren friends, the disapproving looks of parishioners who know nothing of how hard she tried, and the empty promises of “someday” and “if you only believe.” And no one has believed more than her. She has poured over her Bible with such ferocity, she can name every woman in that book who was ever believed to be barren.

And then my friend will tell you that the only ones who remained so were those cursed by God.

She never stopped going to church on Sunday mornings, never stopped hope. But she also never got what she wanted. I don’t know what sort of lesson is to be learned from her. I only know how to write songs. And run a Campaign about holiday equality.

Maybe you could fill in the blanks for us.

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