14 February 2014

Listen to what the children say

I am, without any doubt, a doting 1 grandfather. There is little if anything I, and Sue-z would not do for the, "grandbabies."

In the Chicago area we have had some difficult school days. Recently, in spite of 30 to 60 mph winds, and 0 to 9f temps combining to drive effective temps as low as -30f 2.; I had a lunch date with Gabriel. As we drove away from school towards his desired Happy Meal, we were talking about how grown-up he is becoming. Somehow, when I told him he would be a grown-up someday, his thinking went in an unanticipated, at least to me direction. He said, "Yeah and Jamie will get there first and be able to use swear words on me while I can't.

I think I did well. I did not swerve, and I held my interval while laughing so hard I nearly cried. Gabriel demanded to know what was so funny? I told him I thought few kids ever think of growing up quite that way.

As we waited for his Happy Meal; we continued the conversation. It seems that he knows that there is some language used, sometimes by adults, especially parents, uncles, and grandparents, that is, "inappropriate" and not available to him. He has combined that knowledge with an awareness that his older sister will become an adult two years before him,. I pointed out the plus side, parents often impose rules that tweeens, and teens find onerous. Being second means that Jamie will have softened up the adults before his battles begin. He was not impressed.

At six, Gabriel has a well developed understanding of morals - what mom and dad say is what is right. As he matures, that will change, but for now that is his guideline. I asked him about sin, he thinks of it as what mom and dad say is wrong. Mom especially, seems to speak to and for god.

Isn't the responsibility incredible? Those of us who (grand) parent lead the children into their journey. It is our job to guide, and teach all the important things. Schools do secondary topics, algebra, French or Spanish, history, and the like. But mom, dad, and even grandparents teach ethics, responsibility, and for some of us, faith.

This process, "raising children" as I knew it growing up, or parenting as we called it when I was doing it, requires some considerable confidence in the children. If we are who we tell them to be, if, "Do what I say -- not what I do" is never our instruction, then we have to let them broaden their vistas, launch themselves into the wind, and fly. Otherwise, we are less than useless, we are a hindrance.

I thought of this today as I discovered a town in South Carolina attempting to censor reading for middle school students. Some of the works they are after were required of me when I was that age. Most are widely accounted great or at least very good literature. Looking over the protest facebook page the students have created, I was alternately amused and appalled.

One of the books the foolish school officials want to ban is, "Catcher In The Rye." I recall a review that began by noting that in New York publishing circles it was rumored that Salinger made so much money off that book, he would never need to write another. The reviewer noted, and I agree, if he does need money, we should pay him not to write. I loathed the book. But ban it? Never! Let it stand forever as an icon of pretentiousness.

Banning books, declaring that some ideas, expressions, or even art needs to pass the approval of a censor, is the first step towards tyranny. In a free society, censorship is simply wrong, period.


1. Here is a link to a dictionary page "doting. " *
1. Metric wind spped is about 48.3 kmh, with -30f is -34c.*

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

hopefully he does not fall for the trap. many americans transfer mom is god to the goverment is god. most americans are idolaters and therefore incapable of moral decision making.

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Anonymous said...

censhorship is no longer an issue. The media is controled! Our president is a SNITCH. friends with black radicals in feminists? then he gets a job at a CIA Front COMPANY during the cold war? this info is available to anyone who can read. it is a great test case. because people with security clearences will be unable to speak on this.

Anonymous said...

the media has censored the truth because all broadcasting is owned by the defence industry. we dont live in in a democracy! and we are only a republic in the platonic sense of the word

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Anonymous said...

if barrak obamas CIA background comes up talk about raceism. If Nato's use of black and arab mercianries to wage ruthless proxy war comes up talk about gays. just ignore the fact that useing pinkwashing to make homosexeuals a political footbal between east and west only marginalizes them further

Anonymous said...

odd glitch. why is it reposting?

Jim said...

I can not explain the triplicate postings. I took each one down to a single instance.

On the content, I think you should re-read the forum comment rules. My comments about government were limited to actions of a local school board. It may be true that if we observe the responses if any of larger levels of government (county, State or Federal,) we will see something of a national trend. But at this moment, I do not see any way one can connect what I wrote to anything about the President, or any other federal officer.

FWIW
jimB

Leonardo Ricardo said...

I loved your posting. Thank you. Len

Jim said...

Len, thanks!'

jimB

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