That’s a little phrase I heard so many times from an old supervisor named Dixie back in my warehouse days working through college. If you don’t know the answer, it’s “makes an as* out of you & me”.
The sports discussion going on at my SIL’s blog has left a lot of various things bouncing around my noggin. Judgmental attitudes, assumptions, misunderstood “prophets”. I commented minimally on her site – too much to write out really. But when my cuz got into the action, I thought it good to write out some more. Now they’ve pushed me into writing about it here. This will take a few posts.
The first thing that pops into my mind is how many people assume. If you home school, people assume you must be antisocial, judgmental, pious, your kids must be well educated, or not properly educated, backwards, etc. I know many home school families & believe me, they are very different. Some do a great job at educating their children while some are horrible at it! Some are religious & others are not. Some are extremely judgmental & others aren’t. Being a “homeschooling” parent with a public school husband & parents, as well as not officially home schooling, but rather choosing the charter school method really can make for interesting conversations. Home school families tend to badmouth or get scared of public schools while public school people tend to think homeschooling is weird, while many that know about the e-school option feel that it screws the public schools & home schoolers are suspicious of anything with the gov. involved. It really is crazy. We have chosen each year what we feel is the right thing for each child. None of the above is “the right choice” for everybody. I tend to think people with that mindset are misguided no matter which side of the fence they are coming from.
Another area people assume lately in my circle is family sizes. If you have two or three children, people assume you must not be in the “quiver full’ mindset. If you have more than four or five, people not of that mindset assume you must be crazy. We do happen to feel we should let God decide our family size & He has so far chosen three (with a fourth coming) in fourteen years of married bliss. 🙂 This, to my way of thinking, only highlights how much of a precious gift each child really is. You are not necessarily going to have twenty children if you leave it up to God. God gives each life in His time. I firmly believe that. But when people don’t know us well, they assume we must be done at three or were shocked/disappointed at having this 4th five years after our last one. NO, we are thrilled beyond words, thankful, excited, surprised yes, because we had left it up to God & it was beginning to look like He was telling us we were done. We pray He blesses us with more if He so wills. But we have heard many interesting remarks with this pregnancy due to assumptions.
Another one is this sports issue. If you don’t put your kids into ECA (extra curricular activities), there are assumptions made on both sides. Those anti-ECA assume you must feel the way they do & you are totally against any sports. Those on the other side assume you must be anti-ECA & quietly feel sorry for your kids, if not feel you are borderline abusive/negligent as a parent. We are in neither camp which makes it really awkward all around. When we wait to put our kids into ECA until what we feel is a reasonable age, the anti-ECA people think we’ve “caved to the culture”, while the other side thinks we are still on the negligent side for not staying for every practice/game. We feel the glares when we don’t stay! Both sides assume we are in this whole sports thing with the goal of having some kind of a wonder kid on the field. Can’t a parent simply use ECA as a way of enriching education? We don’t want our children growing up never having touched a bat or totally ignorant of how to play a handfull of basic games. We have no delusions or our children being suddenly grand at any particular sport, but why not give them a chance to get to know the game & perhaps enjoy one or two of them? (Although Keith does point out that Michael Jordan never played basketball until 7th grade & then was not good until high school. If you’re going to be good, it can wait. If you’re not good, that can wait too & it’s fun just knowing how to play the game.). To us, these are childhood experiences we want for our kids & cannot give them as a homeschooling family. We want our kids to have musical experiences, too. NO, I do not have these visions of them suddenly turning into Yo-Yo-Ma at age ten, but I do want them to know the joy of playing an instrument correctly, singing in a choir that sounds decent, etc. They may end up really taking to one of these things & they may not. Either way, we feel it is an important part of a rounded education to give kids a taste of these things. We feel this can be done without taking over the family schedule or church commitments if done right & that’s our goal here. So far, so good. In generations past, these things were built into the schools for the most part. Gym class taught the kids the basics of these games, music class was held regularly & we sang together pretty well. Keith had the same experience. Before schools, these experiences were at home & church. Churches today for the most part don’t give these opportunities like they did (I wish they would!) & in our home anyway, baseball can’t be played with our oldest especially. There’s not enough people for a proper band or sport experience for him. We want ours to enjoy these things, too. Just because we teach them at home doesn’t mean we are against any activities outside of church & family, although this is often assumed.
Well, enough for now. This is all totally off the cuff & unedited. I’ve spent too much time already on this. It’s hard to put so many thoughts down in one sitting. Next installment of this topic – either judgmental attitudes or misunderstood prophets. We’ll see how I feel when I get the time to write!