The Tree Doesn’t Fall Far from the Apple

– Posted in: Bullying, Conservatives are Funny, Elfie, Family, Growing Up, Kid Friends, Mean People, Mouths of Babes, Newt, Parenting, Women's Issues

So I’m happy to report that the kids not only survived camp but had a fabulous time. Apparently the first night was a little touch-and-go: Newt wanted to come home very badly, and Elfie got stung by a bee. But they sucked it up, and the memorable stories have been trickling out of them since they got home.

This is going to be a bit of a brag post, so feel free to jump ship now. Personally, that kind of thing bugs the crap out of me. But (it’s always “but”) I’m just really proud of the way the kids are turning out.

Why my kids are better people than I amThey were regaling us with cabin stories the other night. Apparently Newt’s officially learned the “Your momma is so. . .” joke (which just about made him burst his spleen). Elfie had some story about a girl who wouldn’t shut her trap, so the cabin leader stuck her outside in her sleeping bag (I can’t wait to find this woman and give her a bottle of wine). And then Newt started talking about crushes.

The kids are big on crushes right now (they’re 9 and 10). Anyway, one night in their cabin, the boys were making fun of the girls they had crushes on. And then they started giving each other a hard time by saying this boy was that boy’s crush and that boy was this boy’s crush…

And in the course of these stories, Newt said two things:

“I’m like, if you like a girl, you shouldn’t say bad things about her like that. I mean, she’s your crush. Come on. That’s so disrespectful. This is the person you like.”

“I said, guys, quit being stupid. You’re making people feel bad. I mean, if you’re gay, then fine. But otherwise…”

My husband had a smile on his face like he’d just been given a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory but couldn’t let anyone know. I’m sure I looked the same. Our 10-year-old has already figured out that being gay is just part of who someone is, and it’s no big deal. And that you treat women with respect. I mean, unless there’s a “Your momma” joke involved.

And then there’s Elfie. She was at a birthday party a few weeks ago, and somehow the topic of god came up. She said she didn’t believe in god, and one of the other little girls gasped and said, “You’re going…” while pointing her thumb down.” Elfie responded, “Well, I’d have to believe in hell to go there, so it’s not a problem.”

This is what I mean about my kids being better people than I am. They have no problem telling people what they think. They’re proud of their beliefs. The funny part is, I know we’ve taught them this, and yet, we’re the ones who have that moment of hesitation when the topic of religion or gay rights comes up. We’re the ones who might let something slide for the sake of “harmony,” even when we really should’ve spoken up.

And I know — they haven’t experienced the big bad world nearly as much as we have. They haven’t been face-to-face with the crackpot NRA guy or the “God hates fags” anti-abortionist. But they’re getting there. They’ve seen some of it. And they’re still not deterred.

I have a friend who always says, “The tree doesn’t fall far from the apple,” whenever I tell her these stories. And she’s right. Someday, when I grow up, hopefully I’ll be just like my kids.

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15 Comments… add one

Verity September 25, 2013, 8:38 pm

Love your kids!!! Love them – hug them for me. I want to be them too!

Tammy September 25, 2013, 11:47 pm

Well you’re one of the best people in their lives, so you get some credit.
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Cheryl S. September 26, 2013, 5:43 am

Right on! This is a brag post that I’m proud to read. Brought tears to my eyes! I’m so proud of your kids, and I had zero to do with them. Thank you for sharing.

(P.S. – I’m not gonna say “told you so” (told you so) about camp. :) )

Tammy October 2, 2013, 1:03 pm

It’s true. You’re on the record as being absolutely, totally correct.:D

Christi September 26, 2013, 2:04 pm

Don’t know if you take requests, but I’m dying to know what mom and dad did while kids were at camp! (as this is part of being a mom) Romantic trips to Home Depot? Wander through the house yelling and wondering why no one answers? (If you’re like me). Just curious.

Tammy October 2, 2013, 1:05 pm

We did nothing. It was fairly pitiful. I pretty much had a headache the whole time.

She Said September 26, 2013, 7:14 pm

Rock on, momma (and poppa)! You have done so well with them!
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Tammy October 3, 2013, 11:48 am

Thanks girl! Sorry it took so long to find your comment!

Mary Styler September 27, 2013, 7:56 am

Wow. That is so awesome.And honestly, it really makes Rick and I (yes, I read this to him) want you and the family to come visit! Then we can let Aunt Betty and Polly Babysit the kids while we four drink a couple bottles of wine and discuss the Universe!
I find it not completely surprising and yet totally shocking how in alignment our beliefs are considering our upbringing!

Tammy October 2, 2013, 1:05 pm

Sounds like a plan!

Andrea October 2, 2013, 12:59 pm

I just love when our kids get to a point where we can learn from them. Oh, wait. That happens from the very first second of their lives, doesn’t it?

Your kids are unafraid and outspoken and kind. Way to go!
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Tammy October 2, 2013, 1:08 pm

Seriously. They don’t exaggerate whey they say you learn a lot from this job, right?

Cher December 16, 2013, 7:43 pm

The kids are awesome!! You should be so proud!
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vinma December 17, 2013, 1:28 pm

You are right! There is nothing wrong in wishing to be like them when you grow up-Even I want to be like them when I grow up lol. they both sound so matured- I lack that sometimes in my life :)

Poppy December 17, 2013, 5:35 pm

I wish my oldest daughter had a little more confidence to tell people what she believes. She goes to an ultra conservative school and she comes home complaining about the narrow minded views of her peers, but she doesn’t express her own beliefs.
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