Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Oh, Tolerance

This article is all over Facebook today, and when I read it, I just thought.....Oh, the irony.

Our culture says that we can use sex to sell any.thing, that sex can be front and center in movies, that everyone should be having lots of sex, out of marriage, and if you AREN'T having lots of sex with lots of people, you know that deep down, you want to, but you are being cruelly repressed. Or something. But with all this sex going on, you better not be having any babies!!!!!!!! Especially lots of babies! Don't you know what causes that??? Take your pill, ladies, for some fun side effects, and possibly even raise your risk for breast cancer. But for heaven's sake, don't have babies. If you have babies in any circumstance we deem unfit, we will make bizarre shows about you and put it on MTV. But by all means, have more sex!

Then, our culture says, when you DO have babies, just have two, 'kay? Your boy and your girl. And it's apparently perfectly acceptable to spend upwards of $30,000 on IVF for these babies, or do any other number of strange things, like get a sperm donor or have someone else carry your kid, or selectively abort them if they are not meeting your genetic criteria. And then after you've jumped through all these hoops, we'll tell you, straight-faced, that you cannot, under any circumstances, bring them out in public.

Newsflash to our culture: I am a married woman. When my husband and I engage in the marital embrace, sometimes I get pregnant. And what a blessing that is; there are some people who struggle with infertility. It is normal for sex to bring about babies. It's ok. You can believe that we all have souls and that God planned for each and every life to be here, or you can go straight-up biology-style and recognize that to continue our species, we need babies, who become kids, who then become adults. Either way you slice it, babies and small children are an inevitable part of human life.

I generally bring my kids everywhere with me. I use my common sense. I tend not to take my children places when I know they are tired, or ready for bed, or unusually hungry. When the situation disintegrates, we get the heck out of there. Frankly, I've seen adults throw worse temper tantrums than my kids ever have. Sometimes, kids are noisy. They are, after all, children who are still in the process of learning to be adults. If I never bring them out in public, how will they learn to behave?

I get that sometimes, you want peace and quiet. That's why occasionally, we get a relative to watch the kids, and we go somewhere And it's heavenly. And by the end, we miss our little crew, and we're ready for more chaos. It's an interesting thing, that we live in a time where people want to bring their froo-froo dogs in little bags on airlines, but small children need not apply.

I vote that we welcome MORE kids into public life. I vote that parents use common sense when deciding when and where they venture out with their posse in tow, and teach their children how to behave in the community. I vote that those people who do not have children, or whose children have grown, use some understanding and some patience while our children are growing up. Last I checked, children are people, too. Sometimes, they are grouchy, and loud, and they get irrationally angry. And sometimes they laugh, and play, and infuse joy and wonder into the world around us.

Seems to me, a little more patience and understanding for the struggles of others would go a lot farther than the fake-value of tolerance so revered in our culture today. Seems to me that in order to practice patience we need....situations where we must be patient. Having babies can challenge a couple to become less selfish and more self-less, having babies out in the world could encourage all of us in the same way, and how can that be a bad thing? When I look around and see all the problems in this world, the sweet, messy faces of children are not one of them.


  1. Wow, that article... those people are a little (skip to 2:37)

  2. HAH I KNEW that you were referencing that Seinfeld quote even before I copy/pasted the link. So great.

  3. Wow Anne, that article is so upsetting to me! No wonder I got such dirty looks last Christmas when Melody wouldn't calm down on an airplane. Mikel got married and on the way back I couldn't get Melody to sleep at all. No. matter. what. I. did. She just kept crying/screaming (which was probably more distressing to me than it was to anyone else.) It is one thing to be annoyed or frustrated at a crying baby in a restaurant, etc. It is another to ban them b/c they are inconvenient. We are talking CHILDREN here. This is one of those times I wonder how businesses/people cannot sense the 'CRAZY' they are creating with their policies.... okay, taking a deep breath now.

  4. that article has ticked me off since I read it. Why are people so judgemental? I mean, yes, some kids are brats because they have never been disciplined, but most are having a rough day. All of us do not have the luxury of a babysitter everytime we need to run errands. Burns me up!