Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"I see a land bright and clear, and the time's comin' near"

Someone on the interwebs asked me a few days ago, what my goals are?

I mean, I spend lots of time doing weird stuff - like not shampooing my hair, and not eating meat, and not having cable. But why? Why would I? I mean, I'm not anti-establishment. I like clean things. I am (mostly) fine with eating stuff with a face. I still watch TV. Why am I bothering?

The truth is, I'm not sure I can articulate it. It just seems... I don't know. It feels RIGHT.

When we moved to SoCal, I picked what seemed to be a great area - super safe, great schools, walkable. What more does a parent look for?

Turns out, we're the land of the PTA mom. Where you are "asked" to contribute funds to a myriad of events. Where the room mom asks you to submit your cash donations in an envelope with your kids name on it so she knows who to include in the card.

What I've found, living here for a year, is that I'm not... one of Them. And I don't want my kids to be, either.

I'm not comfortable eating chemicals or modified foods, and if it's not good enough for ME, why would I do it to my kids?

I love to cook. I cook for people I love. Why would I half-ass it, and pour a bunch of weirdness from a box with an ingredient list a mile long and call it dinner, when I can take the extra 10 minutes (which I really love anyway) and chop, and dice, and COOK, with ingredients that I can buy at the farmers market, and more importantly, pronounce?

I want my kids to be self-sufficient. I want them to be able to take care of business should weirdness happen (TEOTWAWKI). So, I take them outdoors. I make them hike with me. We're starting to get into camping. I talk to them about geology, and the local plants, and what is edible, and what's not.

I like that my kids will sit with me and watch NatGeo all.day.long. (which, by the way, will continue streaming for EVER until you actually stop it). I dig that they'll watch a documentary about the Romanov's, and then Challenger, and Chernobyl, and ask questions about it.

So I guess what I'm trying to get at, is I'm trying to lead by example. I'm trying to lead the life that I want my kids to thrive in.

I don't want them to be slaves to advertising, or eating products with ingredient lists that are impossible to pronounce.

I want them to understand where our food comes from. I want them to be cognizant of their surroundings. To know that LIFE is about more than a tea party at school to discuss Becoming a Woman (curse you, IUSD!!), or who made your jeans. I'm proud that they can name almost every fruit, vegetable, or other weird thing that I can pick up at the Farmers Market.

I want them to understand that they have a responsibility to themselves, to the world, to be a contributing partner.

Jen at SimplyComplexJen has in her blog description, "Just trying to do the right thing in life for my daughter and the world around us."

Yep. What she said.

1 comment:

Moderate Means said...

Oh. My. Goodness. Can I just second absolutely everything in your post??? Except for the part about PTA moms (not because they don't exist but because I have been able to avoid them!) this is how I feel. Why are we always asked to defend or prove simplicity and self-sufficiency - when did natural become synonymous with weird, anyway?

And, thanks to you, I will be singing REM for the rest of the night because I had to go google TEOTWAWKI. Thanks a lot, Giraffy...

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