Well, it came up again tonight though the "S" word was not used. I was reminded that by homeschooling Noah he would never learn to interact with a variety of people. Hmmm...
Let me see, when exactly would that interaction occur? Would it be when the walk from class to the playground in silence? Would that be in class where they are not talking much because the teacher is leading the lesson? Would that be in the lunchroom when the bell is sounded because the children are too loud? Maybe it would be on the playground where the younger children segregate themselves based on gender. Or, it could be in junior high and high school when they are separated by sports teams, academics, or socio-economic class.
Here's the thing. To assume that Noah will not have that opportunity is making a big assumption about our lives.
Let's just first look at the folks we hang with. We have the usual friends that we see each week that are definitely living in a higher s/e area. Some of them homeschool, some do private school and some are utilizing the public school system (some even teach there). Then, we have our friends who hang more in the land of the middle class. Middle class has a huge range, we have friends all over that spectrum. They drive new cars and old cars, live in their own homes and rental property. They live in modest neighborhoods, old neighborhoods and neighborhoods they probably cannot afford. Then, we know people that I would say are technically lower class in terms of socio-economics. They do okay but do not have college degrees, make much money and biggest ambitions might be to homeschool their kids and grow a garden.
Next, we'll look at religion. Now, ya'll know me. We are pretty liberal in the religion department. We, of course, have our UU friends. They may be liberal Christians, Pagans, Buddhist, what have you. We have close friends (not UU) who are Muslim. We have good friends who are moderate Christians and we have close friends who are evangelicals. So far, so good.
Now, we can talk a little about ethnicity. I'll be really honest. I don't have tons of friends outside of my own race. It's a big joke that white people are always looking for black people to be friends with so we can say we have black friends. The reality is, if you have black friends, great, and if not, well, they probably aren't feeling the loss because a white person isn't hanging with them. With that said, we have friends who are African American, Middle Eastern and of Hispanic descent.
This doesn't even touch on my family. My extended family (cousins, etc.) is very much, well, let's just say definitely different from us. That's not a bad thing, or an insult. Let's just say that if want Noah to interact with some folks who are not like us, then that's as far as we really need to look.
Well, here we are looking at taking Noah to Bonnaroo for the third year. I have to tell you, that it rocks taking a kid to this incredible music extravaganza. He totally hung in there both years. We have the good fortune of working in a booth to raise money for the Manchester Art Center and Community Theater (which unfortunately burned to the ground a year ago during the run of Charlotte's Web.). Noah hands out drinks while take the money. We don't let him hand out the beer, but he knows his sodas well.
This year it will be a real challenge trying to decide when to go. The lineup includes Allison Kraus and Robert Plant, Pearl Jam (whom I saw in 1993), Jack Johnson, and my personal faves, The Allman Brothers Band. I'm sure others will be added as the concert nears.
Noah particularly loves getting to walk around all day without a shirt, riding the ferris wheel and the great kids section which featured a magic show last year. Above you'll find a father / son photo during a break in the kids section. See you in Manchester folks!
I’m Dana Croy and I am a modern day mama. Balancing family and work is not always easy (not to mention a little self-care). Though being Mama to two fantastic kiddos is a huge part of my life, that was not always the case. I wear many other hats and invite to sit down and find harmony with me.