Ain’t No Expert

One of the last times I drove T to school we were talking about parenting.
How there are no how to books written on how to raise children.
Oh I know all about Dr. Spock and all those other how to raise your children books.
But what do they know?
My T is different than your Emily or your Todd or your Bruce.
I am different than Emily’s mom or Todd’s dad or Bruce’s two moms and one dad.
How I raise my child is not going to be like how you raise yours.
So why do we spend so much time and effort worrying how others view our parenting?
When we learn to parent as our child grows.
I wanted a different parenting style than the one I was brought up with.
I am a different person and what worked for mom would not work for me.
T is not me.
T is not his dad.
So the way his grandparents raised his dad is not the way he raises T.
Does any of this make sense?
In allowing for the fact that each step we take along side our children is as much a learning experience for us as it is for them, we shade our interactions with our own notions and beliefs,
I think a lot of people would feel more secure with their parenting skills.
I have written before, that moms especially, find it disconcerting that I talk to my son about sex.
About masturbation.
About feelings.
About consent.
About rape.
About how if he does anything that harms another intentionally the best place for him is going to be a jail cell as opposed to what would happen if I get my hands on him.
I will kick his ass and he knows it.
But this is my job.
As his parent.
Does not matter if I am mom or dad.
I should never fear to discuss something with my son.
If I wait for him to come to me about things I could be waiting for the cows to come home.
The latest thing that I had to discuss with him was sextortion.
It is something that popped up with Covid and generally run by criminal gangs overseas.
Preying on the stupidity of horny young men everywhere and getting them to provide sexual photos.
After getting these photos they begin to torment the young man demanding money or else they are going to send the pictures to all his family and friends.
My conversation with T went down several paths.
The first being if he did do something like this come and talk to me.
I am not going to yell at him.
I am not going to scold him.
Hormones as a teenager are brutal and override the marginal smartness one might exhibit.
And c’mon while bigger in size I changed the diaper and cleaned him up until he was three or so with pull ups and diapers.
Bathed him.
While not thrilled I am his mother and so help the person who tries to screw with him.
Second is the reality of the threat.
How is this person going to send everyone in your family and all your friends these pictures?
Do they have all their emails?
Do they have all their numbers?
I realize that logic is not something that a 16 year old has but then again some adults lack it as well but that is a story for a different day.
And even if they did so what?
Yes it is embarassing.
Yes it is humiliating.
But all in all it is a learning experience.
One that I hope can be avoided by first having this conversation with T.
As I parent I know there are those who feel the need to speak up and tell me what I am doing wrong by their standards.
But it is ok.
Point away.
What worked for you does not work for me.
You do not raise my son I do.
And you are not important enough for me to even give credence to what you say.
Every day I have to learn to let go a little more.
Every day I have to accept that T is moving away from me.
Every day I have to believe that what I have taught him about being good and honest, kind and empathetic  is there.
Every day as he asserts his independence from me I have to learn to let it happen.
So you see, as a parent I am still learning.
Even as I am still teaching.
©Aug. 26/22

Naive I am

My weekend off.
What time do you think that I slept until?
How doe 5:15 a..m. without the alarm sound to you?
Because that is the time I woke up naturally.
Made my coffee and unloaded the dishwasher.
Put away the bigger items that had to be hand washed last night.
Poured my coffee and sat down on the couch.
My intent was to check the headlines and settle in to read blogs before starting the day.
That was at about 5:30.
An hour later and in need of another cup of coffee I finally put my phone down.
I read headlines and stories that are of interest to me.
I follow various stories from one writer to the next each with conflicting ideologies on the same subject.
Each one colored by the author’s own world view point.
One headline is detailing the horrors that the Palestinians are going through.
The next is decrying the deaths in Israel.
One headline that I almost missed and a story that showed me my own preconceived notions of people.
As I was scrolling I stopped to read the partial blurb on a story and underneath was the picture of the next story.
Just the picture.
She is a beautiful woman with long blonde hair.
And I thought ‘ugh another story about a beautiful woman leading a life no one else can attain to’.
The second time I scrolled down I actually went to the headline.
Which lead me into the story.
The beautiful woman is Michelle Latimer.
An Indigenous Film Maker/Actress and Canadian.
I read the  article with growing outrage.
A) She does not look Indigenous.
-well hell my ex’s nephew who is 1/2 Indigenous takes after the ex’s family.
Blonde and blue eyed.
You would never look at this young man and think that he was Indigenous.
B) She has become very successful.
C) One of the reporters who dug into her called her a ‘pretendian’.
(C really has no bearing other than that it is an appalling designation to attack someone with)
First comes my own bias.
I saw a beautiful blonde woman and I thought it was another airhead fluff piece.
I am ashamed that that was my first thought.
That if I had not scrolled further down and seen the headline I never would have read the story attached to it.
So here I come and my world view of myself gets knocked over.
This beautiful successful Ingenious woman is being torn apart for her oral family histories.
Oral histories that are to be considered on equal footing as written histories.
In this article there is also reference to Kent Monkman.
He is a Canadian First Nations artist of Cree ancestry.
He is a member of the Fisher River band situated in Manitoba’s Interlake Region.
Ha he is from my own province and how ashamed am I that this is the first that I have heard of him.
His work has been seen in the Great Hall of the Met Museum of Art in New York.
And in an article written at that time he was accused of being trite.
I mean that is what I took out of it when I read what the author of the article had written.
I have never been a fan of the big named Canadian authors.
The few that have made it to the limelight and beyond.
Truth be told I cannot read what they have written.
Too literary?
Too pretentious?
I like a story that I can sink my teeth into.
And there are many a Canadian author out there that I have read and loved who are little known other than to their faithful readers.
All in all this morning has been an awakening of sorts for me.
The behaviour that I have been quick to point out in other countries that bothers me is happening right here in my own backyard.
The fact that I have been aware and yet still so ignorant on the matter.
The fact that I have my own set of biases which leads me to dismiss articles that are lead with pictures of beautiful women.
When did I begin to think that they would have nothing worthwhile to say or produce?
Quite an awakening on day 301 of being sober.
The article that I was reading was written by Jonathan Kay and posted on the
Jonathan Kay: The Cancellation of Michelle Latimer has become (another) disgrace to the CBC.
As well if you do a Google search of Michelle Latimer that is the first story that pops up.
My information regarding Kent Monkman was copied directly from the info blurb you get on the side when you google someone famous.
©May 15/21
Picture is my own
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