I’m a server at a restaurant that has a unisex uniform that includes a button-down white oxford and tie. I’m a woman who has a very short pixie haircut. Recently, a young girl loudly proclaimed to me, “YOU LOOK LIKE A BOY!”
I spent a very big chunk of time the other day “wearing” and holding my three week-old daughter, Evelyn. The night ended with a bad stomachache (hers triggered mine) and by the time my husband got home and scooped Evie up in his arms, I was relieved. I slept for four hours, alone, in a pitch black room. I practically melted into the sheets. It felt good to be a separate entity, even if I was asleep for it.
Ottawa is truly a bilingual city — it borders Quebec, and a large segment of the population speaks both French and English. There are also large portions of the population that speak exclusively French or English. We felt that our lack of language ability was definitely a hurdle to cross in that environment. We found out we were expecting our first child shortly after moving, and quickly moved to Gatineau, an almost exclusively French part of the country.
The sexual abuse scandal at Penn State has me thinking a lot about how to help my son understand “good touch” and “bad touch” and other related issues.
I’m curious: how do various offbeat parents explain privilege to your kids? Not the “you’ve lost your computer privileges for the day, young lady!” kind of privilege, but the kind of privilege we talk about in social justice work: advantages our society hands to people based on their (perceived or actual) identities and experiences.
Parents don’t want their kids to make unpopular choices out of a feeling of love. And also, mostly, a feeling of fear. We love our kids and we want to protect them. We’re actually required to protect them. It’s part of our job as parents. However, we have the equally important job of deciding what to protect our children from.
Ariel’s post on Offbeat Empire about being a hard boss got me thinking: could the same principles be applied to parenting? I’ve always hoped I’d be the kind of parent who is strict in certain ways about manners and trying your best at school and in your hobbies, but I know I’ll be very permissive in other areas, encouraging creativity and freedom in certain ways that mainstream society might look down on.
I am painfully aware that M is quickly approaching the age where she won’t be able to resist the primal urge of her loins, and she will either pursue a sexual relationship or will give into pressure from a boy that she likes. I know this is normal and we all go through it but I want to try and make sure she is prepared to do it safely, and on her terms.