Category Archives: Discuss

An open letter to Matt Walsh.

Dear Matt,

Today my friend Miranda passed along this blog that you wrote in reference to a 9 year old little BOY who wore a My Little Pony backpack to school and this was physically and emotionally bullied at school. She wrote this blog in response and I also recommend reading that. You may learn something.

In your blog you wrote, This next part probably won’t come as a surprise, but here it is: I wouldn’t let my son wear a My Little Pony backpack to school. I don’t think anyone should. I wouldn’t let my son wear the backpack, I would discourage him from being a fan of the show, and I would and will guide my son away from “girly” things and towards “boyish” things. If my son wanted to wear a skirt, I wouldn’t let him. If he wanted me to buy him a Barbie doll, I wouldn’t buy it. If he wanted his room adorned in My Little Pony paraphernalia, I wouldn’t do it. Both my son and my daughter will not be able to do everything they want to do, nor “express themselves” in every way they wish to express themselves. In fact, my wife and I will have a lot to do with shaping their “selves,” thereby shaping their expression.”

Well guess what Matt? My son is 4.5 and he loves My Little Pony. Loves it.

Judes4255

Jude on his 4th Birthday, playing with his gay-ole-unicorns. Look, the one on the left even has RAINBOW hair.

You talk a lot it seems about how the “modern world” is trying to make a big deal out of something that isn’t? What does our modern world say about us when a 17 month old baby is beaten to death for playing with “girly” toys. Ya. That murderer? He’s on your team.

You know what I think would be a better use of your time than teaching your son not to be effeminate? Teaching your son about love, kindness, empathy and friendship.

As I said my son loves a lot of “girly” cartoons. He also loves the shit out of cars, trucks and other “boy” things. My son has something called Autism Spectrum Disorder. This may come as a complete shock to you? But, not everyone is (or should be) the same. The world is not black and white.

If Jude asked my husband & I for a My Little Pony backpack? We’d give it to him. Why? Because 1. It’s a miracle that he had the ability to ask for the things he wants/needs. 2. It doesn’t hurt anyone else or effect anyone else’s life in any way.

I hope your children are healthy and happy in every way, however consider for a second they weren’t. Consider that at the age of 1.5 your son begins to act and behave in a way that is not “typical”. Consider what your world may look like if your son was diagnosed with Autism. Would you attempt to teach him to be UN-Autistic? Would you force him to hide his hand flapping or twitching or love for My Little Pony? If the answer is yes, you make me sick. Literally, physically ill. It also doesn’t take Autism to recognize that My Little Pony is effing awesome, but I digress.

See, the thing is not everyone is identical. Life doesn’t always go the way you plan and you can’t always pick and choose the things that can and will happen to your children. You may think that you can shape, mold and steer your children into an exact life as you see fit. You may even be successful at that for awhile. But ultimately our children will grow into adults that can and will choose the things they like and dislike. Life may throw them a few curve balls, but if we consistently instill in them love, empathy, respect and compassion? Then we will know that we have done everything we can to help them.

Dare I say that small minded (or as you affectionately call yourself “old fashioned”) persons are the reason that this 9 year old child was bullied in the first place? Hate is a taught practice. Brainwashing your son that BLUE MEANS BOY is the reason he may see a child at school in pink and get confused. Become angry even. After all, HIS Daddy told him that blue is for boys NOT pink. Pink and boys is bad. This becomes very confusing to children. It is not the boy who is wearing pink who is at fault. It is the parent of the bully at fault for not teaching him to find self esteem in building other people up, regardless of their appearances.

Another important practice is to teach our children? WORRY ABOUT OURSELVES. If something doesn’t affect your life in any direct way? Don’t worry yourself with it then!

Teach your son that not everyone is the same. Teach your son that if he sees a 4.5 year old with adorable curly blond hair bouncing around singing Frozen or My Little Pony songs it doesn’t mean he isn’t a good enough boy. That maybe that little boy thinks with a different brain than you do and its none of your business what other people like, wear or do. Instead of judging that little boy, teach your son to be friendly and ask why he likes such things. Find something that you both DO like and talk about that. Be kind to him and treat him as you would anyone else. If you don’t want to be best friends, that’s okay. We don’t have to like everyone, but we do have to treat them with kindness and respect. We do have to treat our friends how we would like to be treated.

My point is basically this, at the end of the day our children will grow into adults and I’m hoping mine to be loving if nothing else.

The kind of adult that would NEVER write a blog like the one you did today.

 

-Tiffany Reese

 

Be the Coolest Parent at the Park {Unlike Me}

As previously mentioned, we are making an extra effort to spend more time outside this year. So far, one thing I have noticed about the most popular parents at the park? They roll prepared. So, I’ve decided to make myself less embarrassing to my children and putting together a Park Party Bag to keep in the car. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far based on watching cooler parents than I. Please feel free to share your ideas!

Be the coolest Mom at the park {unlike me}

My 11 year old niece teaches me about empathy, compassion, equality and love.

Vida Mia Photography
Vida Mia Photography

I had the pleasure of spending the last few days with my niece Ari. She is 11 years old and incredibly intelligent beyond her years, she often surprises me with how compassionate, loving and empathetic she is towards others. She’s been that way for as long as I can remember.

I came into her life shortly before she turned three years old, when I started dating my now husband. I fell instantly in love with her and did everything I could to spend time with her. She continually blew me away with her wisdom, wit and insight.

Last night, we were sitting on my bed talking about going back to school. I asked her if she was excited to go back? She told me she was torn as she hated to see summer end, but that she enjoys seeing her friends each day.

I then asked her question, which I wasn’t actually sure I truly wanted to know the answer to.

Me: Ari do you ever get picked on at school?

Ari: Well, almost everybody gets picked up at school at some point.

Me: What could you possibly get picked on for?!

Ari: Well, the kids at my school think that I’m a lesbian.

Me: Why?

Ari: Because I told him that I am.

Me: Oh, I see. Are you?

Ari: No, I’m in love with Markie!

Me: Well, of course, but why did you tell kids at school that you are lesbian if you aren’t?

Ari: Well, like, one day there was a group of kids who were walking around picking on other kids. They were going up to random people and asking them “Are you gay? Are you a faggot? Are you a lesbian?!” then laughing and being gross. They walked up to my group of friends, and these mean kids actually like ME and think that I’m nice, so when they started accusing one of my friends of being a lesbian I shouted “Hey! I’m a lesbian! You got a problem with that?!”

Me: What did they say after that?

Ari: Oh, they start making fun of me and went around the school and told everybody that I was a lesbian. I didn’t care because it’s NOT an insult and if THEY think that it is, they’re probably not the right people for me to care about.

Me: You’re very smart and absolutely right, honey. So do the kids continue to pick on you about it?

Ari: I think most the kids have forgotten about it? Some of the kids did pick on me and called me a lesbian, but that’s okay with me. Actually I had to tell a few of my close friends to NOT tell anyone that I’m actually NOT gay.

Me: What? Why? I don’t understand?

Ari: Well, I’m pretty popular at school. I have a lot of friends and people know that I’m nice. I want them to know that somebody like me could be a lesbian and that they should be careful about what they say.There are probably kids at my school who are gay, but they are too afraid to admit it. But there’s totally, like…nothing wrong with it. It’s not an insult and, like it’s not something that they should judge.

>>Insert heart explosion and pride beyond words.<<

 

My Kia, My Summer: Our favorite Road Trip Luggage for Littles!

My Husabnd and I are always talking about how WE NEED A NEW CAR. When we bought our current vehicle, about 2008, we were not thinking about having a family yet. Despite this, we found ourselves pregnant a few months late. Don’t get me wrong, we love our car and are extremely thankful for it. However, it becomes painfully obvious that we are in need of a bigger car anytime the 4 of us pile in and attempt to put anything in our trunk. I spend a good amount of time day dreaming about a new car, like when I’m holing 20 things on my lap on a road trip. One of the SUVs I am currently drooling over is the 2014 Kia Sorento. Have you seen this thing?

Photo Via http://nickecars.com/
Photo Via http://nickecars.com/

I think it’s major cute. Which, is obviously the most important quality in a vehicle. Do you think I could have some kind of giant pink bow rims put on this thing? That needs to happen. One of the things I love about living in Roseville, California is that we are 1.5 hours from Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Napa, etc. Making a last minute road trip to an amazing place feasible. Are you and your family heading out on a road trip this summer? I’d love to live vicariously through you!!

If you are headed out on the open road, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite Luggage for Littles!

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.