My eldest approached me months ago asking about BLM. She’s 12 and getting into current events and I am 100% behind her exploring the world and forming her own opinions. Sure I know I will hold influence over her, but we are very different people and I’m happy for that. Part of the reason my husband and I are homeschooling our children is because we want them to think for themselves and it took us both a long time to shake off our public school indoctrination.
We discussed and read articles together and my daughter turned to look at me, blinked, and said, “But all lives matter.” Then I had to explain to her that saying that in itself is considered political. It triggers a lot of people. Maybe this is because so many far-leftists are actually upper-middle class white people who assume all white people are as sheltered as them, or some people are projecting their own internal racial biases onto others… IDK.
My family lives in a lower-income neighborhood. We have neighbors of all backgrounds. I, myself, grew up in a very diverse neighborhood. I had a friend who was a gang member, and have been homeless before.
I don’t shelter my children. If anything they’re probably more aware of the world around them than public school children parents’ would prefer and that’s another reason that we homeschool, because I don’t lie to my kids or hide anything from them, I just make sure the timing to introduce topics is right, and I don’t need to be called in to the principal’s office for not bubble wrapping my kids.
The BLM vs all lives matter philosophies astounded my daughters. My 9 year old got in on this ongoing discussion over time, and they both were amazed that people actually fight over this. So my youngest daughter came to me couple of months ago and announced that she and her sister had a silly idea. She wanted to host an All Dog Lives Matter Bake Sale to raise money for dogs, and her older sister wanted to host one to benefit black cats and call it Black Cat Lives Matter.
They’re both fun-loving kids, who adore animals and have my charitable nature. My husband and my mom were both nervous about the idea. My husband was afraid that someone would actually vandalize our home if we host either, but after some discussion we decided to allow the girls to host their events. After all, it’s a free country.
Today was our All Dog Lives Matter Bake sale. My 9 year old was so nervous trying to mix and bake and coordinate everything. She was really worried that we wouldn’t get everything ready in time and it was just adorable. It was a great learning experience for her to work through those concerns and learn to prioritize steps while managing anxiety.
Her big sister helped out and their little brothers ran around adding their own personality. They raised $280 in 3 hours by selling cookies, cupcakes, bottled water, and lemonade. It’s all gone to Stray Rescue of St. Louis and has helped me support a project that fills a little hole in my heart that recently developed since we haven’t been able to donate to charity as much as usual each month due to the economic downturn.
Despite this, earlier today someone suggested that I pushed my children to run this event. It’s odd to have an internet stranger assume anything about your family or try to attack your own children’s ideas and act as if young people can’t think for themselves or birth their own concepts while being homeschooled. But the joke’s on those who just don’t get it because my eldest’s Black Cat Lives Matter event is set for next month and I hope that we raise just as much as we have today. (We had planned it for next week but decided to push it back to give our neighbors a break)
There is nothing like supporting my children’s ideas. Especially when they’re sparked from political division in the name of trying to turn something divisive into a positive community effort. It’s a lot of work. Just helping clean up after the fact is exhausting, but it’s always worth it to bring people together instead of fighting over semantics.
I may write about a lot of politics, but at the end of the day I’m always seeking the same thing: balance. My kids offer that and a lot of laughs. I hope everyone has someone like that in their lives. It makes it all worthwhile.