Radical Motherhood by Candyce
Last week we were given the task of caring for someone's animals and garden while they were on vacation. We had to drive out to the country, and due to our schedules we did so in the middle of the night. It struck me that it has been quite awhile since I've really seen the night sky. I don't live in a huge city, but it's big enough to deflect the light of the stars. It was really nice out there. In return for our duties, we got to pick whatever was ripe.
This week we are celebrating my son’s twelfth birthday. These milestones always get me reflecting on parenting. And just a few weeks ago we celebrated another birthday—the arrival of Mia Dobson into this world. Mia’s folks are dear friends and I am looking forward to being able to watch her grow up. Invariably, when a new baby is born there is a discussion among family and friends regarding the merits and pitfalls of raising boys or girls. The general consensus seems to be that raising boys is easier. I can’t imagine that it is as simple as that.
Amazing as it may seem, I saw some cool stuff go down during the ‘04 election. My eleven year old son really paid attention to what was going on, watching the debates and asking a lot of questions. He was pretty passionate about his stance and definitely made a connection that his strong anti-war feelings had other avenues in addition to protests and vigils. Like a lot of folks, his support of Kerry was a result of being completely anti-Bush. What wasn’t cool was how frustrated he felt about not having a voice.
My son is turning eleven this month. I am just in awe of how the time has passed and how much he has grown and changed. I have loved every age and stage of his life thus far, and it only seems to be getting better. Babies are great, but there is something really special about being able to have real conversations with your kid. I love the freedom of having an older child. Not just because I have more time to myself as he is out having adventures on his own, but now that he is older we can do more things together.
I recently came across a quote by a Russian philosopher that goes: " We are one of those nations that...exist only for the sake of teaching the world some kind of terrible lesson." Maybe the same could be said for the U.S., at least in regards to some things. Aside from foreign policy I am thinking of our education system. If you read the local and national news, not more than a day passes lately without mention of our faltering schools or education reform. It seems like everyone agrees that the U.S.
I usually love writing about how great homeschooling my kid is and just generally spreading the word about education alternatives, but lately I've just been really stressed out and it has been hard to write positive stuff. The troubles in my life seem to be mostly of the economic variety--trying to make ends meet while home schooling a kid is a challenge and it seems like the economy is getting worse all the time. There never feels like there is enough time to get everything done and there is always another bill to pay.
I'm sending this column up as a tribute to Mr. Rogers, who has gone to forever live in that big neighborhood up in the sky. Who didn't grow up knowing the silly songs and goofy grin of Mr. Rogers? I did, and so has my son. Mr. Rogers has often been made out to be a sugar coated clown or a twisted Saturday Night Live skit, but who else in mainstream media has ever been a true friend to children and an ally to parents? It does seem like I am a bit at odds with myself, praising a mainstream television personality... especially in the context of a radical parenting column!
DIY Healthcare: Ear Candles
So it is back to school time for everyone, including us. It is a week into September as I am writing this and we've settled into our homeschooling routine once again. I keep having to run back to the library or look things up online, simple tasks that soon consume hours as I start looking into a subject a little deeper or come across a new idea to investigate. The "work" really never stops.
The Radical Mother's tips for alleviating boredom and making the most of your summer: