In response to Kate's email
Hope you landed in NYC safe and sound. Quinn just got the bear's tooth! Thank steve.
I have been meaning to respond to your request about the pens. I totally understand. I didn't realize they were the expensive kind, or I wouldn't have exposed them to the kids. But, they've been out on the kitchen table and it's now become a beautiful part of our routine. Quinn, Reed and I will sit down together in the morning to draw. It helps me to draw with them, makes me less self-conscious about drawing and we work through things together. It's put in my in a quandary - I want to respect your wishes, and at the same time I've made a very specific house rule that we share all things, and that as long as something is treated with respect, it's not off-limits (the only thing I can think of that is off-limits, is the Guild (guitar that Kate and Steve had given me as a Christmas gift when I was working at their music store), and I've had to put that away until they're able to treat it with respect). But, it made me wonder, am I too loose with things? Obviously, things are a mess at the house, things get broken, but on the other side of the coin, the boys are not hesitant to try things, nothing is off-limits (they were cooking at the stove from as soon as they could stand and follow the rules), and they get exposed to everything.
At first I thought, I'll just take my pens and put them away in a pencil bag and put it in my pannier to have with me to sketch on the bus and when I'm out. Because, when I'm home, I'm doing things with the boys and couldn't say, "you can't use these pens, but I can - you can use your pens." If they treat them with respect, we share. But, they are little and mistakes will be made.
My parents were very anti-materialistic. They focused on spending their money on experiences (fancy dinners, travel) rather than "things" and so, in a way, they taught me not to respect things. Not to disrespect them, but just not to put great importance on them. And I guess I've been teaching my kids the same thing.
But, then it made me realize that maybe I am too dismissive. I would like to do a better job of teaching them to take good care of things that are important. An extra challenge, since I don't know how to teach them something I do not know.
I was thinking we could do our blog on something around that, "Precious things" and have it be sprung from the request about the pens. I think it's perfect for the blog because it makes me think about the values my parents raised me on vs. what would have my values been had I been raised with you. It wouldn't be negative. I think it's actually really really sweet that you wanted me to have the pens - just for me - and that they would be precious. But I'm not used to - or good at - having precious things.
I love you. Hope you're having a great time!
to view my birthmother's blog on the same topic, go to mothertone
Thoughts? Reflections? Opinions?