Sunday, August 30, 2009

"We've become normal!"

It's funny how we all perceive things differently. This afternoon, we attended a picnic for the kick-off of the scouting year. Yes, the boy is joining Cub Scouts. This was not an easy decision, since we're Unitarian Universalists, and the UUs and the BSA have not been on exactly good terms for over a decade. Despite our ideological differences with the organization, however, we have found that a local pack has very sane and open minded leaders, so we're willing to give them a try.

On the way home, the girl was exclaiming about how normal our family has become. With a boy in football and Boy Scouts, a girl in Girl Scouts and piano lessons, a mom who's a writer and a singer, and a dad who teaches college, we certainly seem pretty conventional, at least on paper. I like to think, however, that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and I would almost never characterize our family as normal, despite how conventional we may seem.

As diehard urban pioneers, we have certainly chosen an "abnormal" neighborhood for our family. This has created some frustration lately, as many of the girl's friends live in the (in my opinion) far more "conventional" suburbs, and her interests have increasingly become more suburban (the mall being the coveted destination).

Our choice to be a one-car family is further evidence of our deviation from the typical American family. Sometimes having just one motorized vehicle creates stress, or just inconvenience, but most of the time it doesn't really make much difference. At worst, it forces us to be creative. For instance, on Saturday morning, three of us had to be in three different places at almost the same time. The husband had the greatest distance to travel, and he was going to work, so he got the car. The boy had football and had to be at the designated site at 9 a.m. We chose this team because it's so close to the house, so he and I walked there. I had to be at a singing rehearsal at 9:30, and it wasn't terribly far from the house (about 2 miles), so I rode my bike. Everyone got where they had to be at the right time, and we all got home about the same time, too.

I'm definitely willing to say that, at least on the outside, our family is much more conventional than we were when the kids were little and we were cloth-diapering, co-sleeping, extended-breastfeeding attachment parents. We didn't choose homeschooling, which took us out of the more radical fringe of parents of school-aged parents. Our kids are, at least this month, interested in fairly gender- and age-appropriate activities, which definitely exposes us more to the mainstream families.

But we're still pretty far from the mainstream. I've got a pink stripe in my hair that says so.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At least your hair isn't black with a white stripe down the middle. (Late night visitor nearby fills that description!)