It's Thanksgiving here in the US, and I've already had some very nice moments. Like watching Curious Girl kiss the balloons as they came into TV view during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, and listening to her have conversations like "Dora! I just readed you in the book! What are you doing high up there? Do you want to come to my birthday?" Like watching my dad read to Curious Girl, and watching my mom cheer CG on as she did puzzles on the floor. Like eating the fabuloso raised waffles Politica made for brunch this morning.
And watching CG eat. And eat. And eat. during brunch. You have no idea what a gift and pleasure it is for me to watch my child eat.
Apparently no one at the New York Times is mindful of these kinds of child-centered pleasures, as their contribution to the family Thanksgiving spirit is another in a line of bizarre articles on families, this one titled "Party Gone Bad: Blame the Parents" and subtitled "Thoughtless, Impuslive, and Spoiled, and Then There Are the Children." The point of this article is to criticize in the usual oddly-sourced way, people who bring children to parties, which manages to criticize parents who arrive at parties bringing their own food for children, parents who fail to bring their own food for their children, parents who fail to ask if kids are OK, and parents who do ask if kids can come to an event. I'll buy the criticism of the child who undresses and then urinates on the living room floor at a fancy party (although I buy it, mindful of the time Curious Girl barfed on my dean's shoe at a party). I don't know anyone who keeps a truly screaming or misbehaving child in a room at a social event. Everyone I know will take a child out of the room, away from the party, out of the coffee shop, whatever. I don't think there's any serious disagreement here. But please, Times, hometown paper whose news I love to read over breakfast daily, let's get real about the place of children in the world. They are the future newsreaders, newsmakers, custodians of our earth. How on earth are children supposed to learn to care about what adults think if adults are always shoving them out of the way? This isn't to say I don't enjoy the occasional adult-only gathering, or that I never turn down an invitation because I can't get a sitter and I don't think CG will handle the event. But kids are people too, and they deserve respect, not ridicule, in our discussions of how to socialize for the holidays.
So, gentle readers, I wish you good food on this American holiday, good company today and every day, and quality time with people young and old in your life.