Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Caitlyn Jenner

A lot of people are upset about Caitlyn Jenner being called a hero. They're posting photos of soldiers, soldiers' graves, firefighters, paramedics, etc, to show what a "real" hero looks like. Does this mean that I can no longer call my mother my hero? She was just a secretary, just a mom. She never fought a war, rushed into a fire, or saved the life of a stranger. So she can't be a "real" hero, right? And neither can I, to my kids, for the same reason. But if we can consider our parents to be our heroes then we can grant other people the right to choose their own heroes. And to some, Caitlyn Jenner is a hero. She is doing what so many can only dream of doing, being her authentic self, in public, no matter the backlash. And as the father to what, five?, kids I think she can be called a hero. Just like my mom can.
Dear Helicopter Moms and Teachers,
      When I drop my kids off at school, you may notice that I leave. It's because they are on the playground and other parents might want my parking space to drop off their own kids. I do not stay until my kids are in line, or until they're inside, or until they're in college. They're kids, they're on the playground, they're okay.
      You may notice that my children cross the street without waiting to hold my hand. It's because I've taught them to look both ways before crossing. They may forget, and I will yell for them if they do, but they learn more from trying than they do from being clutched in my death grip every time we touch pavement.
      You may notice that my kids play outside by themselves. This is because we have clear spots in our walls every few feet, which I use to watch my children from INSIDE the house. Rest assured that I have checked the sky and the hovering sex offenders and kidnappers aren't there right now, waiting to slide down ropes and snatch my kids once they close the door behind them. Crimes against children are lower than they were in my childhood and I'm grateful that my mom let me go on bike rides and walk to the park alone. I'm also glad she didn't sit in a car and stare at me until I entered the school. And she let me walk across 2 streets to go to school alone from kindergarten on. And I survived! My kids will as well.

No, I don't know where it is now. I like to think it just left.

So this is how I woke up this morning.
Tommy: Mommy! Mommy, get up! There's a real alive mouse in the house.
Me: What? Where?
Tommy: The cats have it now. They took it away from Danny. He HELD it.
Me: (wide awake now) Your brother held a living mouse? Did it bite him?
Tommy: No, but the cat did, so he gave it back. It's in the sewing room now.
And sure enough, 2 cats had a mouse cornered in the sewing room. Why do my sons have no fear? Who just takes a mouse and holds it?