It’s been a while since I last posted. I haven’t been on my Facebook page or Twitter, or on this blog. As it turns out raising two gifted kids is mentally and physically exhausting! I took a few months to re-evaluate what this blog means to me and to my family, how I can truly help others, and what sort of lines I need to draw between my blog and my person.
I started my sojourn with the idea that while I had made good progress starting a blog and felt that I had more to say, I just really needed LESS stress in my life and that responsibility added a good deal of stress. I removed Facebook from my phone and signed out on my computer. I set strict computer times to check on the world and correspond. It was actually going great right up to the point of our presidential election.
That Tuesday changed everything. I went to bed sick to my stomach. Dread consumed me. I saw the seeds of hate being planted for a future reaping in our country and around the world. I don’t ever fear a political party over another. I was concerned by the seemingly-endless list of things said and done during the race which were offensive and wrong. I was concerned that statements made would become laws to marginalize or terrorize others. Ever the optimist, I figured I would just pray that our system of checks and balances, and the knowledge and judgement which typically surrounds the President and his cabinet would keep us doing fine. Sure, I would see things I disagreed with but that is no different than in any administration.
Now that we are 2 weeks into our new administration I can’t be quiet and my children can’t afford for me to be quiet. Everything is at risk.
As a parent and homeschooler I have responsibilities to educate my children in a multitude of ways. I am in charge of showing them humanity in action, compassion, honesty, civic responsibility, personal responsibility, and facts. Facts matter oh, so much.
I am the mother of two boys. I don’t have a daughter but I watched the election with horror as I saw that in our modern society it doesn’t matter how well prepared you are, or how qualified you are, it matters if you are a white male or not. No candidate is perfect but we need to show our entire future generation, not just girls, that facts, hard work, education, and integrity matters. I learned as a woman that the status quo is that an ill-prepared man is worth more than a well-prepared woman. That broke my heart and has set me on a course to ensure that ends with this generation. No little girl should see that and no little boy should either.
As a person raising sons I want them to be strong and kind and educated. I also want to them to know that men and women are equal and that there should be just as many female doctors, scientists, judges, presidents, and more as there are male versions. Your gender or family wealth should not dictate how high you can reach. As a homeschooling parent it is my responsibility to show strong females to my sons so that they aren’t raised with the incorrect bias of females not being as strong or valuable. I want to them to see no difference in potential between themselves and the girls and women around them. The same goes for LGBTQ, differently enabled, spectrum, and more. Who you are and what you do means more than anything else. We are all valuable and all have things to offer this wonderful world.
After reflecting on what my increased activism means for this blog and my personal Facebook page I have drawn the lines. I will maintain my integrity as a homeschool and gifted advocate on my Simply Precocious page but my personal page is mine. I have the right to advocate how I see fit to meet the needs of our family and society. I tried to keep my personal space free of anything possibly upsetting but that isn’t a life. That isn’t my truth. I am an advocate and a passionate one. There is nothing wrong with that. I’ve already alienated some family and friends but that is okay. If someone doesn’t believe in the value of others or our judicial processes, they don’t share our values and are not someone our family needs around influencing our children. You can’t make everybody happy.
“You can be a juicy, ripe peach and there’s still going to be someone who doesn’t like peaches, so you can either submit to someone’s criticism of you, or you can get on with the business of being your own amazing self who attracts other like-minded people that appreciate you.” -Dita Von Teese
Here is my agenda because I know there will be some folks who believe I must be some special liberal snowflake. (Also, if parents of gifted kids are special snowflakes and people who challenge malice are special snowflakes, don’t you think that slam is being a little overused?)
- Raise kind children who participate in their world in a compassionate and constructive way.
- Develop empathy and respect for diversity in my children.
- Engage in civics lessons at all levels so my family is active participants in their democracy.
- Give my children a top quality education in reason, sciences, arts, and literature so that they can think for themselves with clarity and depth.
- Continue practicing nature as the great teacher. We are all connected on this planet and we need to understand our role within it. Nature has the power to change us for the better in many ways. Daily engagement with it will do so much inso many areas of our lives.
- Teach active prayer as a daily act, not just saying words and hoping someone else will come along and fix what we want. Real prayer is a process of introspection and putting together plans for change. Teaching the act of daily reflection and conscious action is life changing. I want my children to live mindfully.
- Find the joy in the little things as well as the big. Life should be lived fully.
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.