children • education • parents
relationships • marriage • the elderly


The Plough Diet: Their Name Is Today

September 13, 2016 by

Johann Christoph Arnold’s book, Their Name Is Today, opens with a moving poem:

We are guilty of many errors and many faults,
but our worst crime is abandoning the children,
neglecting the fountain of life.
Many things can wait. Children cannot.
Right now their bones are being formed,
their blood is being made,
and their senses are being developed.
To them we cannot answer, “Tomorrow.”
Their name is today.
—Gabriela Mistral, Nobel Laureate

I had to think of these words when reading an uplifting news story of Yevette Vasquez, a single mom who dropped her oldest son off at school on September 1st, asked about the unusual number of cars in the parking lot, and discovered there was an event underway that he had neglected to tell her about: Donuts With Dad.

Setting aside whatever else she may have urgently needed to attend to – I can only imagine that as her household’s sole provider, her calendar didn’t exactly look like a walk in the park – Yevette instantly hatched a brilliant plan. She and her son sped back home where, with his help, she feverishly removed makeup, stuffed her hair into a baseball cap, donned one of his shirts, climbed into a pair of black pants complete with a silver chain, and, as a finishing touch, stuck a patch of black fur above her upper lip. Transformed into the “dad” her children didn’t have, she returned to the school on the double and got her son those donuts.

mother and sonJust like that, she turned what could have been a depressing day into one that is now propelling her to internet fame and gaining her applause from around the globe. She made her son smile, gave him a beautiful memory, and taught him several important life-lessons: Nothing is more important than you right now. I’ll forget myself and play the fool to make you happy. We won’t let self-pity get the better of us. Humor is a great way to overcome obstacles. If you have a good idea, act on it.

Their Name Is Today cover

Their Name Is Today was written to encourage mothers just like Yevette – as well as, of course, fathers, grandparents, educators, and anyone else involved in kids’ education. Taking an honest look at the challenges that children face today, the book provides down-to-earth, sensitive advice aimed at strengthening the good in every parent and teacher and enabling them to make positive choices in situations that can have them in a pinch. With chapters on “Actions, Not Words,” “Guidance to Grow,” “In Praise of Difficult Children,” “Discovering Reverence,” and “Play Is a Child’s Work,” it draws on the author’s life experience as a father of eight and a marriage and family counselor. Its conversational style and use of personal stories to illustrate themes make for an energizing read.

Yevette – and the parents whose stories appear in Their Name Is Today – inspire me to rock the little opportunities life throws my way each day, whether it be doing something crazy to make someone smile, refusing to get down with disappointment, or taking a second to make a memory that’ll last a lifetime.

Their Name Is Today: Reclaiming Childhood in a Hostile World can be purchased here.

This post is part of a series highlighting books and resources available through, the Bruderhof’s publishing house. Read previous posts in this series.
Top image from Yevette Vasquez via Facebook.


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