Kids and the world, can't we all just get along?
For some reason I've been reading a lot of people's opinions lately about when, and where, it's "appropriate" to take your children; and how many people, even parents themselves, often wish children weren't around. Earlier this week at a knitting event, Larissa had a particularly ugly run-in with a woman who evidently was in the "children should be neither seen nor heard" camp, and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (who was speaking during the whole brouhaha) weighed in on her blog.
While it was long and, in the Yarn Harlot's particular style, a bit self-effacing and entirely funny, it was also just about the most honest and lovely and graceful statement about how adults and children should interact in public (no matter where or when they are) that I've read in some time. It made me feel a little bit better about the other night, when my two older boys, a little wired from being tired and hungry, crawled back and forth under our table at a neighborhood Mexican restaurant (La Bamba on Powell, where the servers are always lovely and indulgent). They disrupted no one but me and the older couple sitting next to us couldn't have been more generous about it. "We had young children once!" they said gaily.
But I'd just like to quote one bit that was especially wonderful from the Harlot's post, "I believe that children are people. I believe that as people, they have a right to be anywhere that people have a right to be. I also believe that some babies/children/mothers are inseparable and that that is how it should be for them. ... and isn't motherhood hard enough? We've got the only culture on earth - or in the history of humans that actually segregates adults and children, and it's really hard on those of us who have little children who feel in their bones that they should be with their mothers. These mothers then have to choose between meeting the needs of their kids, or missing everything for years and years, and I think that really sucks, and discourages mothers from doing what is right for their particular little one. ... [in the rare occasion a child is disruptive at a public event and mom stays anyway] I understand that it might be the only time she's left the house in two weeks, and leaving the house is really hard, and maybe the only thing standing between her and taking up chewing on sticks from the park as a hobby, and because maybe the first step toward decent child care, maternity leave and ethical treatment of parents and families is actually accepting THAT CHILDREN EXIST and are so far, the only way we have found (despite them being loud, dirty and occasionally too damp for my personal taste) to continue the species." Hear hear.