A few days ago, I was picking the Bee up from her after-school program. The woman who runs this program asked me if she could talk to me for a minute, because she wanted to see if I would be okay if the after-school program ran a field trip this week. The trip would be to deliver toys to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program’s drop-off in town. She said she wanted to do it to teach the kids about giving to the less fortunate.
I was conflicted about it, but I didn’t really feel like I had space to talk to her about it in detail, since there were other parents coming in, and she was trying to have the same conversation with them. I’m really not enamored of Toys for Tots–I think it’s really just a big marketing program for the Marines. In the instant that I had to make the decision, I said the Bee could go. There’s really not much worse than being the one kid left behind on Field Trip day, and who am I to subject my kid to that, when I don’t have to?
There are a million different ways that my kids live with the results of my political choices. They live in a multi-racial, economically diverse town, because that’s important to me and landisdad. They suffered my absence (well, it might be landisdad who suffered the most) for some of the fall, because of my work. They live in a somewhat dirty house, because we won’t hire a cleaner. They wear extra sweaters in the winter, because we keep the heat down in an effort to spare the environment.
I don’t believe in making my children the center of my political battles–I might agitate about the menu at her school, but I’m not going to keep her from buying lunch once a week or so. I want my kids to have a political analysis, particularly a class analysis, though, so I still try to talk to them about stuff like these, when a teachable moment arrives. So we did talk about the irony of the U.S. military being nice to kids domestically and then taunting the children of Iraq with water.