Monday, March 10, 2014

Parenting-How I Do It...Part 3

I'm not a parenting expert. 
I still can't believe I haven't forgotten to feed and clean these kids of mine on a daily basis. 
Well, sometimes I do forget. 
An expert on raising another human...
I don't think anyone really is. 
There are too many variables and circumstances are constantly shifting and changing. 
We each have our own walls that contain our family and the ideals we want to share with them. 
In our house we talk openly about gay people. 
And our support of gay marriage. 
In our house, love is love. 
We talk about drag queens. 
My daughters love to watch RuPaul's Drag Race on television. 
The costumes, the wigs, the lip synching...and those are guys!
Say wha?!

And we discuss race. 
We have stated that we don't need to acknowledge the difference in people by declaring what color skin they have. 
Many parents I know teach their kids about differences in others by mentioning first their hair color or shirt color.  
I don't know if it helps or if we as humans are bound to merge with those that look similar to ourselves. 
But it's what we do and if it's right or not, time will only tell. 

We watch the world news and discuss war in other countries. 
The refugee families that must walk to safety through the desserts.  
We have talked about the missing Malaysia Airlines airplane. 
Death is life. 
They are entwined. 
My daughters know about death. 
Zoe watched her dear friend change in front of her eyes and then leave this world. 
We didn't get to see Jake as much as we would have liked because both kids were undergoing chemo at the same time, but they had a transcendent, heart warming bond. 
She helped to prop him up with pillows when he couldn't sit up on his own anymore. 
She fed him pizza when he couldn't move his arms anymore as they belly laughed while watching YouTube videos. 
And she was only 6 years old. 
He was 7. 
Life and death. 

We talk to our kids about other ethnic groups and watch war on TV because we want to teach. 
We want to teach our kids that the world is big and vast and not everyone looks like we do and not everyone has it as easy as we do. 
We are teaching compassion. 
Compassion for people. 
On our planet. 
That there's a big and fascinating world outside of this town they live in and go to school in. 
A world full of colors and smells and tastes and visions that will blow their minds. 
And if they want to one day go out into the planet and spread their compassion, I will have done my job. 
I've always wanted to go to Africa to work with orphaned chimps. 
Or adopt a child from a land I've never been to. 
Maybe one day one of my daughters will. 
And I'll visit and give out hugs. 
I'm an expert at hugs at least...

This is part three in a series I'm doing simply titled " I do it."


  1. I remember reading somewhere many years ago (and it resonated with me) that it IS important to discuss differences with race and any other aspect that make people look/act different from their own little bubble of a world. Kids notice it anyway. I have notes written down to join you in this parenting, how I do it blog post. It just hasn't made it to the keyboard. :(

  2. We do discuss differences such as hair types, why someone may be in a wheelchair, ancestory (such as we are native Americans and the difference between Africans and Indians). But overall I don't want them to first distinguish someone as "that black kid" because when they talk about their causasian friends they don't start the conversation with "that white kid."

  3. I love that you want your children to have a larger worldview! Us too but it can be difficult...we too share current events with Nan and sometimes get other parents who seriously disagree. It is such an important part of history clicking too! This past week, we have briefly studied WW I and WW II, Nan put together that WWI was the first time gas was used and how now Syria uses it against its own people but other countries don't use it against each other. We talked about Japan's isolation and then how quickly they westernized and modernized...and how quickly that turned into war with our own country...and how we in turn treated the Japanese Americans...which she compares to how we treated Native Americans...I just love to see her mind working on the idea that once we group people together we can easily slip into dangerous places...but all that won't happen if we don't present history and current events along with discussion. I am guilty of not including some of the "groups" you mentioned such as LGBT and children with cancer...things that are too important not to include. Thanks for this post and the reminder

    1. Great points about linking history with current events!