I once said, "I want it to be easy." You know, life and parenting. I didn't want the decisions to be complicated. I didn't want to worry that the food he ate somehow compromised him, that my selfish tendencies would possibly harm him. I loved him and graded myself on a scale of I'm not perfect and Mom always said imperfections built character. Being less than perfect was helping him somehow. I think I became lazy in that.
There were the basics like making sure his pizza had vegetables on it or he knew how to laugh or please and thank you were consistent in his vocabulary. There were things that were important to me, and I considered public education to be one of them. We actually moved to a town for a school, and yes, I did join the PTO until I shamed myself at a packed meeting in a cafeteria. I'll most likely never forget the feeling in my gut as the words left my mouth, "We can't change it now. It's already gone to press,"
followed by a collective groan of all the voices in my head when yes, yes, what you're saying right now may be the most foolish thing you've ever said,
"My name is attached to that."
Immediately that voice in my head laughed and said, Who do you think you are?
I folded when he was seven years old. Never went back to PTO. The other night he told me on the phone, "If someone would have told me five years ago that you would be concerned with this, I wouldn't have believed them."
"I know. It seems too complicated for me. I always wanted it to be simple."
And parenting is not simple. Kids test limits. One day they may want their driver's license, and you're going to have to give in because legally and all their friends are doing it and your parents let you and well, you figure everyone is handling their own kids and you're just searching for the right answer for your child.
Now I would say that my name being attached to something is certainly less important than what I was to a kid. Thankfully what I still am.
There are parents who get that. I just found out about them in the last couple of years. I met their president, and she is unconcerned with her name. Her concern is the education of children throughout an entire state.
Today I am grateful for her. I am grateful for him and the conversations we can have now about education here.
Because we need some music around here, and well, I wouldn't know of the Gorillaz if I had not listened to my kid's music when he was a teenager, I now give you this.
And before I get back to my cushy little couch and Kelly Joe Phelps, there's this.