please, don’t call me the “a” word.

So, I was talking to my brother a couple of days ago. We were just catching up on each our projects; mine, being on the smaller scale, his,  the larger. Sometime during the conversation, he had made the comment, "I think it's great that mom raised a couple of activists."
Immediately upon the word "activist", I cringed.
Don't get me wrong, I know what my brother meant. By definition, an activist is "an especially active, vigorous advocate of a cause; especially a political cause". In a sense, I suppose I am being an advocate of a cause. And yes, a cause, that sadly has become a political one.
Unfortunately, here in Texas, being an activist isn't so great. Sure, there are a handful of people here (mostly in Austin) who proudly embrace the label. But, you have to keep in mind, that for every handful in Austin, there's a Ford half-ton pick-up full in Dallas, laughing at you and calling you a liberal hippie. Why? Because "activists" here, try to pull this kind of thing off. Thank God they didn't make their point. Had the Dallas World Aquarium listened, hundreds of "sea kittens" would have been released that August…at high noon. It would have been the largest impromptu exotic fish fry in the metroplex to date. Yikes and yuk.
If you like, you can call me an "obvious-ist".
My problem with "activism", is that after all the effort and money spent to make a point, it would have been just as time consuming to fix the problem. It's hard for me understand how just one person in that angry mob can't  look over at the person next to them and say, "Hey, while they're picketing, you wanna go work on a solution? Because this could take a while." Taking a more obvious-ist approach of doing things, just might get something, well, done.
Or better yet, you can call me just a mom (in mesquite).
That is why I'm trying to start a garden at my son's school. It's why I want kids to be able to grow their own vegetables and eat them in their own cafeteria. That is why I want our kids to have the opportunity to learn outside. Being a mom is the single-most reason I want him and his classmates to respect each other and their environment. It's why I want them to grow up with a better understanding about the consequences the irrational "just hurry up and get it done" decision making creates. At the end of the day, they should feel proud of themselves. That is the very core of being "just a mom" ("just a dad"'s, you're included, too). We can't help it, these feelings are inherent.
Here, hold my sign, I gotta go feed our kids.
So, what should we do while congress decides if they can afford to toss a few more pennies our school's way? Everything you can. Sign petitions of the organizations you support, inform your friends, and meet other people who share your concerns. And when that hour or so is up, do what you always do..find the obvious solution, and do it. Start where it matters most, where your child is. If your school district tells you they don't have money to hire people to cook healthier foods, ask the parents picketing the school board meeting to start volunteering in the cafeteria with you. Make use of them all congregating in one place. They aren't going to say no, if just for fear of looking like a hypocrite. If the school can't afford fresh fruit and veggies, start a school garden. If your kid's classes are overcrowded, ask the teachers what you can do to help. *by all means….help your teachers!!!*
Don't wait for total strangers to come up with a  logical plan, when you can do it yourself.
When it's cold outside, you make your child  wear a jacket. When they need you to explain something, you do. If they can't tie their shoes, you do it for them..and then you teach them how to do it for themselves. If they get too close to a busy the street, you jerk them back to safety. When things like this happen, do you bust out the magic markers and make signs that say:  "MY KID IS COLD! WHAT THE HECK DO I DO?"  How about one that says:  "BUT WHAT ABOUT THE SHOELACES? THEY AREN'T TYING THEMSELVES!"  Probably not. As a  parent, you do the obvious for your child. Why on earth would you ever want to start being passive about what they're eating? It shouldn't take a group of activists to convince you to do the right thing.
If you can't beat 'em, just go around 'em. They will have no choice but to follow you.
I honestly hope that congress can get it together and finds a way to make the Child Nutrition Act something to be proud of. I love that we have organizations like The Healthy School Campaign and my brother working so hard on behalf of our kids on a grand scale. But, until that happens, I want to remind you that you can make important changes, too. Of course, I don't need to tell you that. You know what to do, use your parental instinct.
Now go on…get busy. Your kids aren't going to start eating healthy by themselves…..

Posted via email from just a mom in mesquite


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