Playdate Politics

Parenthood

I know from talking with other parents that they experience playdate politics too. They talk about feeling obligated to allow their kids to have playdates with kids in their classes at school, despite how they feel about that kids’ parents. You know that old saying about how you don’t really get to pick your inlaws? Well that starts in preschool and continues on from there.

It seems there is an unwritten rule that you have to make nice with the other parents if your kids want to play together. Even when it’s that couple that sends candy bars in their kids’ lunch every day and has a TV in every room, including the kids’ bedrooms. Or the ones that always seem like they would benefit from a good wash and rinse cycle.

But what about the ultra right-wing whitebread Republican crackers, with the heavy starched shirts and the too-tight hairbuns that make their eyes go a little crazy? Am I required to allow my kids into that home for a playdate too? And more importantly, do they want my kid in their home anyway?

Hammock girls

It’s kind of like imagining a day in the past when Chelsea Clinton wanted to have Ivanka Trump over to play at The White House. Don’t you wonder what would go through each of their parent’s heads at facing that dilemma?

This is where I get all protective-like, and my daddy claws come out. Because here’s the thing: I really don’t want my kids to be made to feel uncomfortable about who they are, and what form our family takes, by a bunch of ignorant rednecks (or anybody else for that matter). And even though it’s just a playdate, I am left wondering what subtle prejudice comes leaking through in that mommy or daddy’s treatment of my great kids while they are in their company.

I know this sounds paranoid. And it also sounds overprotective. This is, after all, the kind of issue that will be faced occasionally in their lives when dealing with people less enlightened about gay families. I should use this as a teaching opportunity, yes I should.

A bigger person would do just that.

Comments

1 comments

  • Suzanne molloy

    Reply

    Jon,
    Having daughters twice your girls’ age I will just say this: If they play in a safe environment at the friend’s house, it is ok, because soon they figure out it is not the right place for them to be. Your girls will be strong enough to search out other friends that reflect their own values. Sometimes though, they just want you to say what truth you perceive, and you must tell them what you believe. Sonetimes you just have to say “No”. Not no, but hell no. But mostly you will say yes, because they make good choices. Hang in there.