“a woman can do anything if she’s lucky enough not to have morning sickness”

snowflakes.jpgBenazir Bhutto, 1953-2007

Benazir Bhutto caught my full attention for the first time in 1988 when she gave birth to her first child while serving as Pakistan’s Prime Minister. I was flabbergasted. How could she manage all of that? I am about seven months younger than Benazir Bhutto and, at that time, I had a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old. And a part-time job that could be very intense, as much as I loved it. And a schedule that, as perfect as it was for raising babies without day care, came with its own stress. At that time, the GG and I worked for the same company in the same building. The GG would get up ultra early and work from 6 AM until 2 PM. I would bundle the kids into whatever vee-hickle was left for me to drive that day and head over at 2 and wait in the parking lot until he came out. I’d get out of the driver’s seat and go into the building to work until 7 PM. He’d get into the driver’s seat and drive the kids home. It was a long day but it worked.

I did love my job then and it could be intense. But, honestly, as important as handling and trouble-shooting vee-hickle emissions test data processing is, I think that the duties involved in running a country are probably more important. And a lot more difficult than picking through computer programs finding errors and fixing them or handing them off to the appropriate person with a lucid explanation. And there were days when it was actually more relaxing for me at work than it was at home. I remember one time when I got to work… I forget exactly what was going on but toilet training had been particularly difficult that morning. I walked into my office and headed over to the coffee maker and there was a *puddle* on the floor! I jumped. “What’s this?” I thought, wondering who had peed the floor. I must have looked pretty strung out because Byron (my boss) said, “Just get your coffee and go sit down, Mama.” We both laughed and I did as he said. No country to run…

I can’t really compare myself to Benazir Bhutto, except that we had children at around the same time in our lives, as well as in the late 20th century. I’m sure she had a lot more help with the day-to-day business of raising children than I had. And that’s okay. The fact that a quick google didn’t turn up much information about her children, who are still teenagers, indicated that she thought enough about their upbringing to try to keep them out of the public eye. I hope it stays that way until they have had a chance to get to adulthood.

I am not tuned in to politics enough to know all of the whys and wherefores that returned Benazir to Pakistan when she did. I think she was sincere in her disapproval of what was happening there. Why are there so many suicide bombers everywhere? So many of them are young kids and I think they’re being taken advantage of by people who know how to manipulate their emotional immaturity. I think that Benazir knew well the risks of returning to Pakistan and I am going to bet she had a good idea she would die.

I didn’t have much morning sickness when I was pregnant but I can’t even run my own little landfill, let alone a whole country. I don’t know that everything Benazir did was right or wrong but I think her vision was right on and I so greatly admire her courage.

Rest in peace, Benazir Bhutto.

2 Responses to ““a woman can do anything if she’s lucky enough not to have morning sickness””

  1. Bob Says:

    Hey Anne-
    Great blog today.
    Maybe her murder will wake up some of the masses in Paki about what they can look forward too under an islamic theocracy.
    Her mission was too important to let herself be murdered. Unnecessary risk.

  2. Webmomster Says:

    I don’t think Bhutto *let* herself be murdered. She was taking a calculated risk in returning to Pakistan, she knew what could/might/would happen – it was an inevitability in her mind that she would face assassination attempts until the end. As a pioneer – literally – her mission was to break down the walls of the dictatorial rule of her country, to let her people know that they should be able to speak out against their government without fear of reprisal….that they should be able to LIVE without fear of the government.

    While I mourn her death and mourn that she will not be able to mold Pakistan with her *own* hands, I also believe that her death canNOT be in vain; she in life and death has passed her strength on. Not just in having had 3 children to carry on her and her father’s ideals, but to her countrypeople. She will be a stronger opponent to Musharraf in death than in life….