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A little Mother's Day advice

Mother's Day is coming. And we're wrestling with the question - do we let our children "make us breakfast with Daddy" leaving a maple syrup mine field on all our door handles, or do we spend Mother's Day doing something totally extravagant for the caretakers of young children... be a normal person.

Be a normal person and do things we used to do all the time, like go shopping without avoiding certain aisles in certain stores. Read books, but not out loud. And most of all live a few hours without the exhaustive running commentary that is parenting the teachable moment. For Mother's day, mothers of young children just want to be. Period.

I was thinking that savvy hotels owners should market gift certificates for the holiday. Give Mother the gift of REM sleep. If your sleep is constantly interrupted, a night of simple shut eye is better than a massage, better than flowers and far better than some glittery piece of mother's jewelry from a big box store.

A few years back when I had an infant and a 2-year-old, my husband Jason worked out of town 5 days a week for over a year. It was a challenging time when my personal grooming fell to an all-time low and I was nothing short of a dangling raw nerve. This was the year for Mother's Day that Jason chose to present me with a gift donation in my name - to his favorite charity. He handed me the envelope and seemed pleased to have checked that off his list.

I can't begin to tell you my disappointment. I tearfully tattled to my mothers group who wanted to form a mob squad over what I'll politely call his lapse of judgment. Dads were phoning to thank him, "Dude," one said, "Thanks for setting the bar so low."

So while it may not overly help the economy or charity fund raising goals, consider giving the mother in your life a note of thanks, a little pocket money and the afternoon off. Then she can go off to reconnect with the woman she used to be before her name was mom.

Lucie Amundsen
St. Anthony Village, Minn.

Tuition hikes and wasting money

If the people that ran the University ran McDonald's, a Big Mac would be thirty thousand dollars. [MPR News: Nearly 10 percent tuition hike possible at U of M next fall]

They take an institution on campus (Memorial Stadium) and tear it down and then realize what a lousy choice it was and rebuild a new one. Of course the price tag has been justified and it is being built on a lousy location, but that's another story.

People at the top of any education system, local school system up just throw money at the lousy school systems and think that will repair the problem. Meanwhile teachers are spending their own money for papers and pencils.

It's time for what's called belt-tightening, not building bigger and more buildings. A good example of wasting money is Macalester College's new athletic complex. Whatever did the kids do without it? Waste, waste.

James Moore
St. Paul, Minn.

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