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01 March 2014 @ 10:30 pm
Everybody Can Just Like Whatever They Want.  
So, I saw an article about how Disney is pulling its funding for the Boy Scouts because of the gay leader ban and all that. Which, good for Disney! But it all reminded me of a thing that happened, earlier in the school year.

My brother had already been pissed off with my nephew’s teacher because she wasn’t stopping him from eating the breakfast-program foods, even though my brother limits The Nephew’s sugar because he has a sensitive stomach. My nephew had a bathroom accident and threw up twice before my brother figured out that the teacher was letting him eat PopTarts at school, despite opting out of the breakfast-program for that very reason. And then he wasn’t getting the books he ordered from the book-program and it turned out the teacher refused to use the online ordering option. She told them they needed to send in the form with a check if they wanted books, but my brother wanted to use his credit card and all she had to do was drop their order into the classroom’s bulk order box. But she didn’t want to do that, she doesn’t like computers.

Then The Nephew came home from school with a bunch of information about The Boy Scouts, talking about how cool it was and could he join? My brother asked where he heard of the Boy Scouts and The Nephew said, “They came to talk to our class.” My brother was pissed. He sat my nephew down and had a talk with him about how the Boy Scouts won’t let gay people in their group and that’s called ‘discrimination’. Now The Nephew got that, because my brother’s favorite movie is Remember The Titans and they had a big discussion one day about ‘Why do those one kids hate those other kids?’ and then ‘But Sunshine is white and they hate him too,’ so my brother had explained all those issues to him earlier in the year. (The Nephew also wanted to know why those girls were making fun of that other girl in the movie because she likes football and not dolls and after, The Nephew explained to me, “Girls can like football and boys can like dolls. Everybody can just like whatever they want.”) So my brother had to tell The Nephew that he was sorry but he couldn’t join the Boy Scouts because he didn’t want him belonging to a group that discriminates against people. And The Nephew just says, “Yeah, Dad. I don’t want to belong to a group like that either.” They are going to look into another sort of wilderness group for him once they move closer to town this year. But then The Nephew wanted to know, “What is it called then when Mommy’s friend was a girl and now she’s a boy?” My brother explained that to him also, but then he was grumbling to me about wanting to send a sarcastic thank-you note to the school for springing that conversation on him without warning.

He called me back the next week and instead of the sarcastic thank-you note, he went and joined the Parent Teacher Organization. He was baffled to find there was only one other dad in the whole PTO and he was pretty sure that guy was there because his wife dragged him along. I told him, “You live in the middle of Backwoods Nowhere. Man make fire, cook meat! Woman make babies!" Like seriously, he is probably the only stay-at-home dad in the entire school district. He’s still doing the PTO thing though. Anyone that knew my brother in his younger days, during his rap phase or his punk phase or his redneck phase, would never believe what a liberal hippie activist he is these days. Most of the time he is schooling me now!
Trigger Warning: Lifematchboximpala on March 2nd, 2014 04:20 am (UTC)
I approve.
dodger_sister: familydodger_sister on March 3rd, 2014 09:56 pm (UTC)
I approve.

Me too! My brother still loses his patience too easily, I think, but his awareness of social issues is astounding - he has a small farm going where they live right now and the excess food he donates to the Food Pantry, where he and The Nephew volunteer. At 7, I was never aware that there were people in the world who literally didn't have food to eat (except for the mythical 'starving people in China' my mother always told me about when I wouldn't scrape my plate clean), but my nephew is fully conscious of the less fortunate. It's things like that make me so proud of my little brother.
Kate: charlie cat bullshitceitfianna on March 2nd, 2014 04:56 am (UTC)
Yes, your brother is a great parent and wow, that teacher sucks a lot. Online ordering makes everyone's lives easier.
dodger_sister: boys being boysdodger_sister on March 3rd, 2014 10:02 pm (UTC)
Yes, your brother is a great parent and wow, that teacher sucks a lot. Online ordering makes everyone's lives easier.

The Nephew does seem to have some anxiety issues that could use some patience, I think, but there are so many things my brother is doing with The Nephew that never would have even occurred to me and I'm a pretty liberal social conscious person. Like I just wouldn't send my kid to church, but the church was a major part of my S-I-L's upbringing, so she takes him to church but if there is something they are preaching that she and my brother disagree with, they sit him down and talk to him about it. That's a great way to do it!

Yeah, I get the feeling that his teacher is older and just wants to keep doing things the old way, you know. But my brother doesn't want to send checks to school with his kid when there is an easier option. It makes no sense!
Ironlily - Making My Marquevikingprincess on March 2nd, 2014 05:05 am (UTC)
The Nephews is awesome, and so's his Dad.
dodger_sister: wee!sammydodger_sister on March 3rd, 2014 10:08 pm (UTC)
The Nephews is awesome, and so's his Dad.

The Nephew would never want to be in a group that is mean to anyone, for any reason. And that makes me so fucking happy!

I wish people in my family gave my brother more credit though. They all live in this mindset that because he doesn't work, he is a failure. Which they would never think if his wife chose to stay home and raise the kids. I swear, they're all still judging him on one family gathering when The Nephew was little and my brother had no patience that day at all - but none of them know anything about it, like that my brother was just over his one year sober at the time and that he had dragged his ass to the psych center to start treatment so that he could be a better dad and they were messing with meds, which meant, yeah, he was off his game. But the point was to get on his game and stay that way so he could not do the damage to his kid that our dad did to us.

Oops, that was a rant, but it's been bugging me an extra lot lately.
Ironlily - Making My Marquevikingprincess on March 3rd, 2014 10:18 pm (UTC)
My dad worked his ass off out of the home, and both my brother and I didn't want to be a thing like him. A job is no indicator of worthwhile manhood, that's for damned sure.
tidal_racetidal_race on March 2nd, 2014 05:21 am (UTC)
I was in a co-ed Venturing branch of the Boy Scouts and while I loved it, and even stayed as an adult leader for awhile, I've been struggling with whether or not I want to return while it's still a discriminatory organization. I knew several youth and even youth leaders that weren't straight, but there really seemed to be a don't ask, don't tell sort of policy. A lot of us weren't really religious either or were of different faiths. And I met a lot of cool people and learned a lot of cool things. But I still wish it hadn't been such a Christian oriented only environment when it came to religion. Again, at our level, most adult leaders weren't pushing it, but I imagine in the Boy Scouts it's even more prominent because it's work with younger boys. Plus, more conservative areas probably have different environments too.
dodger_sister: childhooddodger_sister on March 3rd, 2014 10:28 pm (UTC)
I was in a co-ed Venturing branch of the Boy Scouts

I didn't even know they had those. I thought if you were a girl, you just joined Girl Scouts. That's kind of cool actually!

You know, my brothers were in the Boy Scouts growing up, and they enjoyed it and made good friends through it. They both only did it for a few years, but there weren't a lot of after school activities for younger kids where we lived, really, except for Little League, which they also did. We didn't think of it being a Christian or discriminatory thing back then though (plus, we were raised Catholic).

But I think we need a different mindset in the world now, don't we? We want to live in a world where everyone can just be whatever orientation they are and never have to have fear or shame or hide it. And while we are a long way off from that world, I think the first step to that kind of world is not supporting places that discriminate or even use the 'don't ask, don't tell', which isn't 'acceptance', it's just forcing people to hide who they are. If we all keep hiding in the shadows, we will never get to that inclusive world.

But the Boy Scouts does offer a lot of good things for kids, teaches them good things, life skills and helping others and a lot of things kids need to know. Which is why I wish they would change their policy. I would love for my nephew to be a Boy Scout. If he didn't have to leave other people behind to do it, you know?

There are places that do Boy Scout-esque programs that The Nephew could join and hopefully they'll find one once they aren't out in the middle of the country. I want him to have all the good the Boy Scouts offer without the negative side of it, I guess.
tidal_racetidal_race on March 3rd, 2014 10:47 pm (UTC)
I totally understand that. And Venturing programs are for "youths" 15-21. They get a lot of Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts that feel they've gotten all they can from those programs. Although there are a lot of kids who come in without being in either of those programs too. I was one of them. I really don't see a need for the separation of the girls and the boys, although a safe space for girls is totally okay too. I just know I would have been way more interested in the stuff the Boy Scouts were doing on a regular basis.
dodger_sister: childhooddodger_sister on March 4th, 2014 01:41 am (UTC)
I just know I would have been way more interested in the stuff the Boy Scouts were doing on a regular basis.

I was in the Girl's Scouts for about a year or so and I quit because it was not the experience I wanted. The troop leaders always handled my disability in a very poor manner, for one. But also, we did a lot of typically considered 'female' things and I was a total tomboy back then. We even met in the Home Economics room at the school so we would have access to cooking supplies and stuff. Because we baked and did crafts and knitted and sang a lot of songs (and a lot of group hugging which I really was not down with at all). But a lot of 'woman's work' so to speak (it was 1985, so, yeah...but seriously, at age 7 my favorite TV show was The A-Team, so I think I was the wrong demographic for the Girl Scouts). Like you, I would have rather been doing the things the boys were doing. I knew my brother was fishing and using knives and doing a lot of wilderness stuff and I was stuck in a kitchen. I didn't come back the next year. I hear it's gotten better over the years though. I doubt the Boys Scouts are doing more of the things the Girl Scouts do, but I hear the Girl Scouts are doing more of the things the Boy Scouts do and that's a start!

(now I'm thinking about the Girl Scout cookies we have in the cupboard and trying to decide which ones I want to eat for my snack tonight!)
Shireboundshirebound on March 2nd, 2014 03:11 pm (UTC)
Your brother has grown into a fine man, and will raise a fine son.
dodger_sister: familydodger_sister on March 3rd, 2014 10:30 pm (UTC)
Your brother has grown into a fine man, and will raise a fine son.

It's so weird when I look back on all the phases he went through and now he is this 'live off the land, help the poor, social conscious' guy and it is amazing. If people ever tell you, "Well, you are pretty much formed as an adult by the age of 20 anyways," just think of my brother. He has come so far in the last decade, from age 20 to 30, it's astounding. And The Nephew is always going to be aware of the world around him because of it.
(Deleted comment)
dodger_sister: boys being boysdodger_sister on March 3rd, 2014 10:32 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I am happy to educate my nephew in the ways of the geek, but I am glad his dad is teaching him all the social conscious stuff too because he is so much better at than I am! He thinks of ways to teach things to The Nephew that never would have occurred to me. <3
Denidenig37 on March 2nd, 2014 07:51 pm (UTC)
I am so proud of your brother (I want one like that too! I have only two crazy sisters one of whom tried to "outscream" from our balcony neighbour's truck engine revving)
dodger_sister: familydodger_sister on March 4th, 2014 01:49 am (UTC)
I am so proud of your brother (I want one like that too! I have only two crazy sisters one of whom tried to "outscream" from our balcony neighbour's truck engine revving)

LOL Sometimes you just gotta outscream a truck, man! ;) Seriously, it took a long time for my brother to get here. He is 30 now and is a far cry from where he was ten years ago at 20. It took a decade, a wife and two kids to get him there, so don't give up hope on your sisters just yet! Honestly, I think part of it was that my brother knows how it feels to be in a bad place and need help, so he tries to help others now, when he can. And nobody is ever done growing, your sisters included.

Speaking of...how is the thing going with your one sister at university and the bullying professor? Has the professor done anything more since your mom went up there?
lizibabes: Gerard redlizibabes on March 6th, 2014 10:07 pm (UTC)
I have been LJ absent, so catching up, so there maybe more than one post from me today, sorry!!

Your brother sounds awesome, the nephews teacher does not sound awesome. It always amazed me how good some teachers were and how bad some others were.

I hope they find a wilderness program that doesn't discriminate so your nephew can enjoy that kind of thing in a positive environment.
dodger_sister: familydodger_sister on March 27th, 2014 10:58 pm (UTC)
Your brother sounds awesome, the nephews teacher does not sound awesome. It always amazed me how good some teachers were and how bad some others were.

I try to have more sympathy for teachers now than I did when I was a kid, because I have been in that room now (fifteen 3-4 years olds, all mine - it was an insane job, I don't know how I did it.) But there are some teachers out there who just don't deserve the sympathy at all. In this case, with technology, everyone in any business or career has to keep up with the changing technology of the world and that includes teachers. And how hard is it to keep a kid from eating PopTarts? Especially after witnessing him throwing up from it! Damn. I will be so glad when they get him out of that school district.

I hope they find a wilderness program that doesn't discriminate so your nephew can enjoy that kind of thing in a positive environment.

I think they will. One of the reasons (not the main reason, but one of the reasons why they want to move is to get him closer to afterschool activities than he is now.) He is reading at almost a 6th grade reading level (in the second grade) and he is doing math at almost a 5th grade level and they are starting to think about what his options will be for schooling because his behavior issues are spiking because he is getting bored in class. My brother thinks that by the 4th grade, he'll hopefully be mature enough to go ahead and skip a grade. And by junior high (7th grade) they can get him into a private specialized school (though it'll likely mean my brother having to commute 2 or 3 hours day to get him there and back), but in the meantime, in order to keep him occupied and interested in things, they really need to have him doing some sort of regular afterschool activity. And they want his options to be more than just sports (sports are good, but he needs some other things too). When they get closer to a town and it doesn't take them a hour just to get anywhere, I may offer to pay for him to have music lessons - whatever he chooses, drums or guitar or piano or something. I think he has the potential to really enjoy that.
lizibabeslizibabes on March 28th, 2014 10:39 pm (UTC)
I was heading down the teacher path at one point and I know some teachers, I know they have a hard job and most of them are good people, but some are just there for a paycheck.

Sounds like you guys have a smart little guy on your hands. I can imagine he will be skipping grades (something we don't do here as far as I know) but yes it'll be great if he can be close to a bunch of stuff. And awesome aunt with the music lessons, I wish I'd learned something as a kid and I think that'd be really good for a bright energetic kid.

Sending your family luck with all that.