We are both kids from divorced families, and we both realized that we should both be equally and amiably involved in our daughter's life to raise a happy and secure child as best we could with the circumstances. We take her to dinner together a few times a month, spend holidays together, and try to make sure she knows that even though we are in two separate houses, we are still a family and still her mommy and daddy.
This is Offbeat Families's archive of big kids posts.
Thanksgiving is the closest holiday many American children will have to one recognizing Native America. Some of us may celebrate Native Americans' Day in lieu of Columbus Day, but in public school, media, and pop culture, the story of Pilgrims and Indians holding hands around a turkey is still the official narrative of Native/Colonial interactions.
Last weekend I watched my nine-year-old daughter Francesca swim in the Hudson River with my mother. This would not have been a remarkable event if I had ever gone swimming with my mother as a child. Or listened to her read bedtime stories or felt her lips on my cheek or watched her eyes widen in delight as I presented her with a hand-made Mother's Day card. I didn't do any of these things with my mother because I didn't meet her until I was a junior in college.
I actually met the brains behind Htavos Kooky Monster Art Shop at Geek Girl Con, and purchased one of their "La-La Monsters" (they're designed by his five-year-old niece!) — which unfortunately don't appear to be listed at the shop! But you can snag one of these Toaster and Pop Tart Twin Plushies, which are suuuper cute.
Yesterday while I was tending to a plumbing problem my kids were doing their homeschooling. My older son was in my line of sight quietly reading in his bedroom. He looked up from Lord of the Flies to ask me when I read the book (he knew from a prior conversation that I'd read it). I said it was about three years ago, or maybe four. He asked why I didn't read it in school. I called my eleven-year-old upstairs and said I had something to explain they should know. My kids have never been to school and they don't really know how it all works, ranging from the daily goings on of the students and the big picture issues.
I was going through the photos in the Flickr pool for next week's Montage when BOOM: my eyes landed on this delightful little mini-feast of beauty and love. There are so many things to discuss: how the mom is so lively and has amazing dreads, how the three kidlets are so stylin' I can't handle it, and how the dad definitely has a mild Johnny Depp thing going on.
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.
Don't get me wrong — it's still really cool that your thirteen-year-old started his own garage band and everything — but these eight-year-olds are totally blowing everyone else out of the water right now. You guys, they're called The Mini Band and they recently performed at the Buckleberry Beer Festival and took the world by storm.