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It’s Not Just Me

November 4, 2010

This mom, Nerdy Apple Bottom, has nerves of steel, but it probably doesn’t hurt that she is married to a cop.

The  link is to a blog post written by a mom whose five-year-old son chose to dress up as Daphne from Scooby-Doo. Evidently the moms in her kid’s church-based preschool reacted predictably, and she wrote about it. For the record, I agree with everything she says, and I think her son rocked that orange wig. I’m not sure what I would have done in her position, but I know for sure I would have said something along the lines of  “I have cancer, so it might be my last chance to let him dress up as what he wants because next year, I might be dead.” It’s amazing I have any friends left.

A couple of the FOURTEEN THOUSAND replies to her post mention that if she lived where they did, in California or on the East Coast, the reception of her son’s costume choice would have been different. I haven’t lived in California, but there isn’t a major metroplex on the Eastern Seaboard I haven’t lived in, and I think they may have a point. I also look at the red state blue state map of the United States, and there you have it.

We don’t have a lot of shared values.

It’s true that the phenomenon known as “get me the hell out of here” experienced by people who grew up with the moral myopia of places like Dallas reinforces the cultural differences between the coasts and the middle — and surely, the opposite holds true, “I’m not raising my kids in a place with values like these, I’m going back home where people have morals!”  I have several friends who moved their families back to Dallas for that exact reason, and, living here, as a parent, I can see that there is a lot of wisdom in their decision.

It’s also true that there are plenty of preschools, even in Dallas, the shiny rhinestone buckle of the Bible belt, and I assume in the midwestern town where Nerdy Apple Bottom lives, where the dominant culture would not bat an eyelash at a kid in drag. But she chooses to send her kid to school at a church-based preschool. And so do I. Because even though I don’t always agree 100% of the time with 100% of the social values of the other families in my school, I like the way they raise their kids. I like their kids, and I like them. My kids are learning a lot in their conservative-ish Christian school. The education is as good as any I’ve seen, but more, the Christ-centered culture of the school, one of love and kindness, is teaching them to love other people, even — especially — people they don’t necessarily agree with. Yes, my kids are learning that rockin’ a costume in drag would raise a few eyebrows. They’re also learning to be sensitive to that, and to respect the values held by other people, even if they don’t share them, and at the same time, to be true to themselves and to what they believe.

My kid’s school is Lutheran. Instead of Halloween, they celebrate Reformation Week. I wonder if one reason is to avoid cultural costume conflicts such as this one.

I also wonder, if I posted a picture of my five year old son in a Daphne costume, if my blog would go viral too. What a great post she wrote.

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One Comment
  1. daniel permenter permalink

    i read it and think that its a bit early to say your 5 yr old son is gay. He is 5.

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