Social Parenting

To err is human, but it feels divine. ~Mae West

SO, yesterday at school the question finally came, the one I have been dreading….

Do you?

Yes, yes I do, but it is in permanent lock down, the kind that makes it hard to search out, spy upon or make friends with.  I have little to no desire to be “liked”, in the Facebook parlance of friendship via acquaintanceship, and I don’t really care how that makes you feel. I do not let friend requests languish so that the faux pas of denial can rest in some FB purgatory. The only people I am friends with are people who I would never hesitate to hug, that is my rule, it is the “hug rule; if I would not hug the person, they are not on my list. I do not feel the urge to hug everyone, so it has made for a pretty simple cut off.  UNTIL NOW

friend request

Now, we are finally approachable enough to request outside social interaction from.  They found me through my wife and I quickly had 2 friend requests! There is no way that I can dismiss these requests. My daughters school is very small, her Kindergarten class has 8 children and unless someone moves, she will be with those same 8 children until HS. The tiny little school holds Pre-K to 8th grade, one is each room. There are less than 100 students.

In all honesty, it is not that I DISLIKE the other parents. I will say it here, I am afraid of their judgement and how I will reflect on my daughter. We live in a very small town where my daughter has to deal with questions about her “daddy”, where she is put in the position of saying ” I don’t have a daddy, I just have two mommies.” I do not want to add anything unnecessary to her lifes’ burdens.

I am the kind of liberal that is only this side of wearing a tin foil hat and attacking animal testing facilities in full-on cammo.  I am a feminist that fears the diabolical pervasiveness of Disney princesses (not to mention that hooker, Barbie).  I run a medical and therapy office that helps individuals transition from one gender to the other.  I am someone who will discuss with joy and wonder, how maggots are being used to clean out infected wounds , at dinner parties (really). I am a chick that never learned to shut her mouth and can’t stop cursing to save her life.

I have never allowed this world or my life to make me doubt myself.  I never allowed myself the weakness of insecurity, until of course, my daughter was born.  facebook3Her birth gave me new eyes, eyes that see an endless line of faults, where it never even occurred to me, to look before. Facebook is only another stage for all for these shades to be spotlighted.

As I am busy,  quickly updating my security settings and hastily reviewing ancient posts, I realize there is a message in here about connecting with others, empathy and understanding but I’m kinda too busy right now to pin it down.. for now I will hope for the best and leave you with this…

Ironically, parenting is a shame and judgment minefield precisely because most of us are wading through uncertainty and self-doubt when it comes to raising our children.

I’m not a parenting expert. In fact, I’m not sure that I even believe in the idea of ‘parenting experts.’ I’m an engaged, imperfect parent and a passionate researcher. I’m an experienced mapmaker and a stumbling traveler. Like many of you, parenting is by far my boldest and most daring adventure.
~ Brene Brown

2 thoughts on “Social Parenting

  1. Carly, I just got around to listening to my overflowing Moth podcast episodes and your story was the first I heard. Your voice telling your story, well…it just grabbed me right by the gut, it brought tears to my eyes, you did that to me. I am just a woman…a woman about to hit middle age (some might say I’m already there,) one who is leaning to trust her gut about life and about people. My gut tells me you are one of the good ones. You are one of those people that if I met you in the grocery store or wherever, we would become fast friends and I would treasure that friendship, too. I’m probably not making any sense and I’m tearing up just trying to write this (I’m a blubbering fool who is too sensitive and “feeling” all the time)…I just wanted you to know that your story touched me and reading your blog makes me absolutely adore you. I hope that this makes some kind of sense and I haven’t made a complete ass of myself.
    Sending you much peace & love,
    Barb Smith

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