with Talyaa Liera
I'm Talyaa, the poster child for the concept that there's no one right way to be a parent. I went from stay-at-home attachment-parenting mom of four to being the non-custodial parent, working as a professional writer and channel-psychic. Let's talk about throwing away the parenting manual and exploding the myths and mystique of motherhood!
Check out my personal blog at Juxtapositioning.
…and boy are my arms tired!
Oops, wrong punch line. Actually, I am wishing there was a punch line, or at least that I could punch somebody (not really, but sort of) because my kids didn’t watch President Obama’s speech yesterday. They attend public school in a blue-state county where five years ago I saw way more Kerry-Edwards signs than I saw Bush-Cheney signs, and where the vote last November was predominantly pro-Obama, so I assumed they watched. Nope, neither kid who speaks knew anything about it. Huh. A non-issue.
Frankly, it only became an issue for me because over the weekend I heard what an issue this speech was for many parents all over the country. I don’t think it was particularly appropriate that the President, any President, speak to my child at his school via a television screen, but hey, this sort of thing doesn’t happen every day. The message was innocuous: stay in school, study hard, life is kind of tough but you’ll be okay. What’s wrong with that?
When my kids moved to public schools from the private school they had attended previous to that, I was a little taken aback by the picture of President Bush prominently displayed in every classroom. Whoa, I thought. That seems a little much. But then I reasoned, Hey, he’s the President and all, and kids should know this sort of thing. And it’s public school. In the end: no big deal.
But my kids’ district wimped out on the speech, citing “controversy” and “we’re not sure our internet connection can handle all those PC’s connecting at once,” both excuses sounding lame to me. Besides, the kids were shown the Inauguration last January. Give it a week and parents will forget all about it, the district seems to be saying.
Sure, my kids can watch the speech on YouTube. But they’ve missed out on an experience. When I was a kid, watching a speech by the President — any President, because what did I know about politics? — would have been a big deal. Memorable. And an opportunity to gather together, have a common experience, and feel special. This country’s President is talking to me. To me! Study harder? Um, okay!
I don’t think it matters what our politics are. Telling our kids that they are valued, that the future of our country rests in their hands, no matter who is doing the telling, cannot be a bad thing. So yes, I’m angry. And yes, I’m sad. And yes, I’m ready to do something about it. I’m not yet sure what, but I feel this was an important event for us, the controversy (and what that says about us) perhaps even more than the speech itself.
What about you? Did your kids watch? How did you feel about it beforehand? Did you feel any differently afterward? How has this experienced affected you?
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