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!