Saturday, April 14, 2018

Age: appropriate

Sometimes it feels like I log in here to write the same things over and over. Here I go again. And let me be clear: I post this with Bud's permission.

The other day, Bud told me that he was sad because someone told him that Blues Clues was for babies. Bud loves Blues Clues. He also loves being a young adult. He was trying to work out how both things could be true.

I assured Bud that the person who told him that Blues Clues was for babies was wrong, and that it was perfectly okay for him to tell them so. I explained that it is possible to be too young to watch something, but it is not possible to be too old to watch something. I told him that he is the only person who gets to decide what he loves, and that people need to respect his passions without judging them. I told him that it's great to find new things that he loves, but that never means that he needs to stop loving the old things that he loves.

For the love of God, people, stop shaming our kids for having "juvenile" interests. Respect who they are. The end. I have never once felt judged for incessantly posting my love missives to Mister Rogers on Facebook. No one has ever suggested that I should have moved on from the show I fell in love with when I was three. Why should people's reaction to Bud be any different?

Bud loves Blues Clues. It's a show about friendship, and kindness, and family, and problem solving, and creativity, and curiosity. Which of those things should Bud have outgrown?

If you're still not convinced, please read (or re-read) Lydia Wayman's essay "Growing Sideways."

Then sit down in your thinking chair and think.



Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Lessons learned

As I've said a hundred times already, I am reluctant to write about Bud's life now, as everything I write seems like an invasion of his privacy. So I apologize that I'm writing this with a complete lack of context, but it was either post without context or post not at all.

It's about education and, specifically, about school and, specifically, about special ed staff.

If you ever for a single moment feel as if you are working with "educators" who seem to be approaching your son or daughter as a series of behaviors in the shape of a child, RUN.

Run fast.

Run fast, and run as far as you can.

Run until you find an educator who sees your child as full, whole person, with talent and ability and challenges and complexity, just as any full, whole person has. Then link arms and hold on tight, because you're both going to be in for a hell of a fight.