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Artists raise their kids differently. We communicate to the point where we probably annoy our children. We have art around the house, we have books, we go to plays, we talk. Our focus is art and painting and dress-up and singing. It’s what we love. So I think you can see how artists in some way raise other artists.
Americans and other Westerners who want their families to enjoy the blessings of life in a free society should understand that the life we’ve led since 1945 in the Western world is very rare in human history. Our children are unlikely to enjoy anything so placid, and may well spend their adult years in an ugly and savage world unless we decide that who and what we are is worth defending.
From my membership in all of these groups I have learned that oppression and the intolerance of difference come in all shapes and sizes and colors and sexualities; and that among those of us who share the goals of liberation and a workable future for our children, there can be no hierarchies of oppression.
A friend and I flew south with our children. During the week we spent together I took off my shoes, let down my hair, took apart my psyche, cleaned the pieces, and put them together again in much improved condition. I feel like a car that’s just had a tune-up. Only another woman could have acted as the mechanic.
I’ve given myself a bit more of a break in that I can’t say yes to everything. I have to prioritize, and obviously it starts with your children. But I used to be much later on the list. I’ve started putting myself within a safe distance from that first priority. You just have to remind yourself to not forget about your relationship and to not forget about yourself. And it’s interesting, because I have a very fraught relationship with working out.
It’s not enough to celebrate the ideals that we’re built on, liberty and justice and equality for all. Those just can’t be words on paper, the work of every generation is to make those words mean something, concrete in the lives of our children. And we won’t get there as long as kids in Baltimore or Ferguson or New York or Appalachia or the Mississippi delta or the Pine Ridge reservation believe that their lives are somehow worthless.