Growing up most of the kids in our neighborhood thought of my parents as the “cool parents”. Not because there weren’t any rules, believe me when both of your parents have served in the military there are rules. They were, and still are, considered cool because they would listen to both my sister and I and any of our friends who came to them with problems. Most of my friends have less than stellar home lives in high school and so my parents and by extension a lot of the rest of my family became anchor points for kids looking for something stable. As it turns out, I know several people who have active drug abuse issues going on through high school. I did not realize this for several years because my friends had enough respect for my parents and their home not to bring those substances around. I know for a fact that for some of my friends my parents acted more like parents to them than their biological mom or dad ever has. This post was inspired because I read a post here that said ” When a teenager says to someonem “your parents are so cool,” it really means, “I don’t realize this now, but later in my adult life, I will look back and judge your cool parents for being so stupidly insecure and permissive.”
I am not saying that some parents that teenagers think are cool aren’t permissive and insecure in their role as parents. I am merely saying that from my experience being known as the “cool parents” doesn’t automatically make you permissive or insecure. Growing up my sister and I were expected to maintain at least a B average in school. We were not punished for getting a C in the subject so long as we had put our best effort forward. Math beyond about seventh grade level in them always has been the bane of my existence no matter what I do therefore a C was acceptable when it happened because they knew I had put every effort into getting the best grades possible. By contrast if I had gotten the same grade in English or History, both subjects which come much easier to me you can bet I heard about it for quite a while. In case my parents do read this and they might because my blog posts are linked to my Facebook, it’s 28 years later, I still think you are the cool parents and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Yes parenting a special needs child is different and in lots of ways more difficult than parenting a typical able bodied child but I believe that when you make the decision to become a parent you accept the possibility that things might not go exactly as you hoped. Murder is never the answer and being born with a disability isn’t a crime If you’re feeling overwhelmed talk to somebody call CPS anything is better than harming a child or adult who had no control over the fact they were born disabled.
My parents taught me to swear, sort of. To be completely accurate they taught me the more or less appropriate times to swear. I say more or less because in my grandmother’s opinion there is absolutely no situations in which cursing or swearing (pick whichever word works for you) is appropriate. However I was taught a slightly different definitions of “bad words” them a lot of kids. My sister and I were not allowed to use any form of racial slur. I remember asking mom what somebody meant when they used the term faggot, she told me that it was an ugly slang term used for homosexuals and that the non slang meaning was kindling for a fire. I was confused as to how a word that meant firewood could have anything to do with a gay person. She went on to explain that when burning at the stake was an acceptable form of the death penalty for crimes such as heresy and witchcraft men who were guilty of homosexuality were tied to wood stacked around the state of the convicted witch or heretic and burned with them. I think I was seven or eight years old when I was told that. I have never used that word to mean anything other than firewood in my whole life.
We were never allowed to swear gratuitously and our everyday speech didn’t contain them but we were allowed to swear in extraordinary circumstance. For example my parents never blinked or chastised me when I swore because the anesthetic from a surgery caused me to throw up or because of pain associated with surgery. Also when a very good family friend was murdered while eating in a restaurant when I was nine and I screamed and cursed a blue streak at the universe for several hours.
My parents taught me that words are much like firearms and knives. Words are tools which can have just as much impact as a gum or knife , to not only use my words but choose them careful because you never know what lasting effect they have.
I don’t have children yet but since I now plan on it some day I have started to pay attention to parent bloggers and how they write about their kids. The cyberspace revolution didn’t even start until I was mime or ten so I did not grow up with my baby pictures uploaded to Facebook as a matter of course or the milestones of my childhood recorded in a blog. My girlfriend wrote to her firstborn in a blog during her pregnancy and I liked the idea so much I plan on writing an individual for any children I am blessed with. I also know that the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry but I will try anyway. I will do my best not to post stories about them on my personal blog which might them cringe in embarrassment when they old enough to realize that Mommy or Stepmom as the case maybe has a blog and they are mentioned it.
I promise to always ask permission of a child’s parent(s) (both whenever possible( before I write about them or post a picture I may have them on the net. Yes,the world is a lot safer than it used to be and I am not one to jump at shadows but as parenting blogs continue to evolve we as the adults should remember that we are responsible for their safety as well as the outside world’s perception of them and that is a fragile trust indeed. To my partners and the parents of their children: thank for allowing me to share in the blessing that is you child(ren’s) lives and know that I will love and protect them like my own.
I want children, very much. I love my almost stepchildren dearly and will be very happy when the time comes that they have siblings. However there is a segment of women who consciously choose never to have children of their own. Society seems to either dismiss their choice as something they will grow out of, or else becomes downright hostile towards the woman in question.I believe this attitude towards a person who chooses not to become a parent is wrong. Parenting is not easy and the society that punishes those who admit to feeling unprepared and ill-suited for the role in a backward society in my opinion. My sister and I were lucky in the fact that our parents have never pushed to become parents ourselves just for the sake of grandchildren. In a world which currently holds upwards of 6 billion people I think human society as a whole would be much better off if they would cease to diminish a child free adult for there choice.Read the post that inspired this one here.
Today is Mother’s Day. The one thing that the human race has in common with each other in spite of all the rest of our cultural differences… We all have parents. Whether we like them, have issues with them, or don’t know at all we all came from somewhere. Today I can’t help but think about my paternal grandmother, a lady I never had the good fortune to know. I chose her first name as my middle name when I was 13 years old and that remains the sole connection I have to her other than the obvious one of my father. I sometimes feel like I am missing something important in my life because I didn’t know her. Then the thought occurs to me that my children will grow up, at least in that respect, like I did. The unicorn necklace I wear belonged to Oz’s mother before she died. There is not a day that has passed since I met him that I don’t wonder if she would like me and hope that she would. I think that one of the best things about love in any form is that it can make you strive to be your best possible self.
Recently I have discovered that there is something of a debate about whether businesses have the right to set a minimum age for children within their establishment. I believe I should first say that I’m 26 and have no children of my own nor do I plan on having them in the extremely near future at least.In spite of that I do like children very much I am the last person you will find making purposefully discriminatory statements. However I believe that adults with and without children are entitled to “child free” areas. I have heard from several parents of young children in my acquaintance that there are times when a completely adult conversation is paramount to their continued sanity. Completely adult in this instance encompasses a time frame in which the eyes that seem to attach themselves to the back of your head at the onset of parenthood can sleep, and your superhero cape can be left at home underneath your socks in the bottom drawer of your dresser. I applaud parents for their sometimes superhuman efforts in raising their children but to all the parent bloggers out there who are muttering about “child discrimination” don’t you think you deserve a small increment of time in which to remember that you were a person long before your children came around? I think sometimes parents have the tendency to forget that they were functioning beings before their infant/toddler/preschooler was here. My suggestion: get a babysitter for the night and at least once a month enjoy a conversation which is comprised wholly of words and not punctuated with high-pitched emotional sound half the time. If your favorite restaurant happens to have a minimum age and you foresee giving up your absolute favorite dish forever take heart, it’s not forever. Personally I might consider letting my child believe that the nice restaurant dinner on their sixth or seventh birthday was my present to them when actually it would be a present to myself. Now a note to anyone who has a mind to or is currently following this blog about the next few weeks: I have just updated my speech recognition software and until we get used to each other there might be some really bizarre phrases that accidentally get put in print. I beg your indulgence for about the next month.