Tuesday, September 8, 2009

One Awesome Parent Coming Through--Me

At least, that what it seems like after reading a number of people's opinions concerning President Obama's address to our children today. In the runup to the President's speech, I observed the massive fearmongering of students skipping one day of school and the radical activism of calling one's school superintendent and told myself, "I'm not going to be like THAT. It won't matter to me if Obama teaches our children the national anthem of the USSR! I'm not going to get all wee-wee'd up like THAT." It isn't as if he were proposing to fundamentally transform America or has ever suggested conscripting our country's youth into government service. Noooo. And even if he did, it isn't as if...bah...well we...shouldn't think about that...um...real hard anway...pfffftt.

According to others, I must be awesome, because I let my child be taught and influenced by others for 6 hours a day, five days a week instead of homeschooling her. Because if I homeschooled her, it would be much more likely that she'd be playing XBox or sleeping her life away in abject ignorance just like all homeschooled kids. I bet they grow their own food too. Despicable.According to others, I must be awesome, because I have never discussed Barack Obama's race, not even once to anyone, especially to my kids, although every other critic has: Jeremiah Wright, Janeane Garofolo, and Fr. Pfleger. Oh wait--did I say "critic?"

But you know that's what I live for and how I evaluate my parenting skills. The adulation and approval of others, especially those who dip daily into the vast pool of knowledge and fairmindedness of the Daily Kos and HuffPo, affirm me, affirm me, affirm me. That's what self-esteem is all about--being affirmed by the really cool people, something else I'm going to teach my child.

But I'll tell you what makes me a great parent in my own opinion. I did MY homework and approved of the President's speech before I allowed my kid to hear it. I took the time to watch Pres. Obama deliver his speech at my child's school and stayed with her as the teacher asked the students to write their opinions about his speech in their journals. Then I sat with a bunch of 8 year olds and broke bread with them under fluorescent lights and over asbestos tiles. That's what a parent who loves her children does. Neither suspicion nor fawning at the President should have changed a parent's action one way or another.

As it turns out, I happen to agree with everything that Pres. Obama said: stay in school, work hard, overcome your bad circumstances. This is as good a speech as any conservative Republican president would have delivered, a far cry from blaming racism and poverty for failing to achieve academic success. A far cry from excusing drug use and sexual promiscuity as a reason to drop out of school. A far cry from blaming a culture of hopelessness as the cause of personal apathy. Indeed, for every young person out there: you have two hands, two feet, one brain. You are responsible for what you do with them, so do well.

Thank you. God bless you. God bless America.