Monday, March 18, 2013

Introducing the folks

Hi, we're Kim and Neil.  That's Conan on the left.  He's almost 2.

Conan Daigoro Levon Sarver.

Named for Conan of Cimmeria, Ogami Daigorō from Lone Wolf and Cub and either Levon by Elton John or the great Levon Helm, depending which of us you ask and on which day. Maybe that tells you something about what kind of parents we are.

Or maybe what it tells you says something about you.

Who knows?

We're new to parenting.  Neil is 42, but is apparently a late-bloomer as that goes.  Kim is 29, so Neil is robbing the cradle.

We're playing most of this by ear, and having a great time.  The three of us have a great time together.   Our instincts seem to be taking us to all the things we want.

Conan is a joy and we find that we naturally gravitate toward decisions that serve that.  Some days are easier than others but we're working together.

But then the others come.  The others have done it better or worse yet have never done it, but are sure  they know better anyway.

And even in a "weird" town like Austin, Texas, where we're making our way, there seems too often to be a dichotomy that we don't find out way into.  We're not hippie enough to join all the granola meetings and be comfortable, but definitely too far out to join the local daycare group.

We're working to be healthier, but we like pizza and cake.

We're trying to be natural, but we're on a budget.

We're co-sleeping and extended breastfeeding.  We're planning to homeschool.

(Neil has written School and socialization and Unschool on that subject over at his personal blog and is excited to have a better forum for those ideas.)

However looking through a lot of Facebook pages on the subject led Neil to throw up his hands and wish there was something like Heavy Metal Homesteader about parenting.  We decided we should just jump in and fill the void for ourselves.

Punk Rock Parents is taken. So is The Kids Are Alright.

Neil suggested "Says Fucking Who?" It has a certain punk rock quality, a little childhood petulance, while also speaking to the most basic question regarding all the advice and counsel a person has foisted upon them as a new parent. So many bits of wisdom are passed along, so just dismal. Others leave you curious, begging the question... "Says fucking who?", even when intended with a generous spirit.

Society likes traditions and strongly encourages us all to follow the traditions that were handed down. We'd like to examine them as we go and see which ones feel useful.

And we'd like to do the same with the new-fangled ideas, the hippie-dippie ideas, the ideas from outside our Western culture.

We don't think the new or the old, the western or the eastern, the established or the crazy is better by its own virtue. We want to find and apply the things that work best for us and that work best for Conan.

We're embracing the madness of all of the possibilities.

In the process, perhaps we'll stir up some thoughts for other people, too.

Or if you prefer:

And we will also accept:

But only under cases of extreme duress.

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