Friday, January 6, 2012

Thank You


I have much to say and have been trying to say it for a couple of days, with no success.  How about this way:

By allowing our son to live away from us to pursue his ballet dreams, we are ridiculed on every side.  As if this weren't challenging enough, and as if we didn't question and wonder and hope continually about our decision, we get the added burden of explaining ourselves to everyone who thinks it is their business to be involved in our parenting.  It happens all of the time.  I'm beginning to think I'm not the conventional person I thought I was!

You let your child go down the slide by himself?  You are letting her walk to the movie theater alone?  You think you are smart enough to home school?  Your husband is going to college even though you have . . . how many kids?  You want to have more children?  You let your eight year old cook--with a stove and everything? You let her climb the tree, read Hunger Games, and use power tools?  You are living in a 40 year old single-wide?  And now, you let your son dance ballet . . . in another city?

Then, it comes . . .

I would never do it.

It is pretty much the ultimate insult.  People say that to me a lot; probably without really thinking about what they are saying.

I would never do it. = You are a fool because you are doing it.

Honestly, it is one of the most painful experiences for me to have people I love express their judgement in this way.  I'm sure you wouldn't necessarily want to do something that you might think was outrageous, but you don't always get to pick!  

When you see someone drowning, it is usually a good idea to toss out the life saver, rather than lecture them on water safety.

Which is why your donations mean so much to me, my husband and our son.  You will never know how much your generous votes of support have buoyed us.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.


Our boy lives away from me three weeks out of the month not because it is something we want, but because it is right.  I hate it.  I hate it every day.  I can promise you that we want our son home more than the naysayers do.  But, you know what?  We have an amazing child (many of them, actually) with talents far beyond my comprehension.  He will have opportunities available to him that his peers, whose parents wouldn't let stand next to the campfire, will never know.  His life will not be the one I pictured, but that is only because I didn't know it was possible.  And you will always get to say that you helped him get his start.

Sincerely and with the greatest appreciation,

Emily


P.S.  To be fair, there are several people in my life who are loving and supportive of us as parents, even though they don't necessarily understand our decisions.  You know who you are. <3


4 comments:

  1. I love this post! And I love the poster at the time- awesome!!

    As I read your post I thought of my husband who, a few days ago, had to explain our decision to homeschool to a woman who is a public educator. He felt a bit insecure. I'm a little less bothered by what other people think than he is and have been blessed for the most part to meet with supportive people. I have had to answer to a few who "would never have a home birth!" Their baby would have died if not for the hospital.

    As I was reading the often heard "I would never do that!" statement my thought was- "which is exactly why you'll never receive the blessings we do!" (And of course the evil part of me would say it in a very snobbish way and then walk off.) You get what you are willing to take- if you're not willing to take the hard stuff you don't get the blessings that come with it either.

    Oooh-now I'm thinking of all sorts of things to say..."That's very unfortunate for your children, I wonder what things they might accomplish if you were willing to let them?" or "Of course you wouldn't, if it were easy everyone would do it!" or "Well, he's sure lucky he has me for his mom then isn't he?"

    Personally, I think you are awesome and amazing and inspiring for doing what you do- it's not easy, but it is what is right/best for your family and that's why you do it. You love them! God trusted them to you because He knew you would allow them to be what they could be, even if it wasn't what you wanted! GO EMILY!!!!

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  2. oops- that first paragraph should say "poster at the top"

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  3. Great post. I also love Heather's comment. i think if someone pulled the "I would never do that" on me I'd look at them pityingly and say, "Oh. That's too bad." Because it is too bad. Too bad for the parents and too bad for the kids.
    I so admire you for doing the hard thing, the right thing, for your boy. Hat's off to you.

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  4. Having lived in North Idaho I'm not surprised by the local reaction. It's not that what you're doing is foolish (by any means!) it's just so unconventional for the area.
    Our city didn't even have music in the school until the 5th grade for crying out loud. I was the only piano teacher that I knew of in a town of 2,500 that had a college degree. When we moved some of my best students now travel almost 40 miles (weekly) for lessons.

    I think letting children do hard things is the only way for them become responsible, amazing, contributing adults. In this culture we underestimate our children's potentials all the time (especially in Arts education). I admire you Emily because you are not afraid to do something just because it's difficult!

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