some vacation!

When you're a rural telecommuter, being locked out is a lonely business.

Friday, November 25, 2005

don't buy this blog

Today was Buy Nothing Day, and I forgot (at least this year we didn't buy a house on November 25th, as we once did).

My son Nate needed a winter jacket desperately. He grew about 5 inches since last year, and his jean jacket simply wasn't cutting it in the 50cm snow drifts that blew in on Wednesday. I took him to town, and after finding nothing second-hand, bought him something snug and warm and new. We also bought fruit, cheese, and a pack of ballpoint pens. I consoled myself with the fact that none of the purchases were frivolous.

As fate would have it, there was a discussion about Buy Nothing Day on Radio Noon, which gave me a chance to talk about the concept with my kids over lunch. As fate would also have it, they've been listening to Chumbawamba a lot lately (I think they're drawn to the up-beat rhythms and memorable sing-along choruses).

Thinking about the Chumbas of old, the conversation over our black bean soup naturally led from Buy Nothing Day to anarchism (pacifist-communitarian vs. militant-nihilist strains) to libertarianism, to community justice models, to prison reform, to homeless issues and squatting, to fetal alcohol syndrome and sociopathy. Admittedly, 6 year-old Nate left the room to play on his own, but 10 year-old Cleo was fast with questions and hungry for answers.

Never, never in my wildest imaginings could I have thought that the plump, mewling newborn I held in my arms 10 years ago would be discussing political counter-culture and social reform ideologies with me before she hit puberty. But there you are.

Parenting is a wild and deeply satisfying adventure.


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