Anyone who stops in here at the Playground knows they won't learn too much about my family members. I'm the odd blogger out that way, a blogger who's quite reserved about her at-home life, mixed with an author who blogs non-anonymously under her actual name. I want to open up a bit and share a moment from my family life. Today was our parent-teacher conference. I came home with a piece of writing by my second-grade daughter that gave me one of those happy-parent shudders.
You know: one of those moments where the universe lines up and everything's good and right and hopeful. The teacher pointed me toward a letter my second grade daughter had written to soccer star Mia Hamm as part of their hero project. It turns one of the administrators at her school went to college with Mia Hamm's agent, and offered to send a letter to her through him. The letter had such verve. It reads, and here, you must imagine the words in a second grade hand:
We have a lot in common. We both like soccer. We both are on soccer teams. I am in 2nd grade. My name is Samira. Me and my friend Emily are studying you. Our class is doing a project on heros. The headmaster of our school told me the he went to UNC with you....He knows your agent. Could you give me your autograph. From, Samira.
She signed her name in a fancy upward scrawl, with the S curlique-d and extended so that it underlines the rest of her name. If I can get my digitial camera's E18 problem solved, I'll post a picture of it.
Raising good confident kids who can do their own versions of writing World Cup winning soccer stars and start out "We have a lot in common"--that's why we do the parenting work we do. Today, as I drove home I thought about how we don't often remind ourselves of what all the fuss is about: we struggle about how to combine paid work and public action and time-consuming civic engagement with parenting because in those moments when it all works, when we see our kids succeed, when we see them try, when we see them become comfortable in their own skin--there's just no feeling in the world quite like it.
No wonder we think so hard about parenting, no wonder we raise such important questions about how the care work of parenting can fit into the rest of our lives. And no wonder so many of us are committed to raising these long-range questions about how as a society we will make good parenting and good working more possible for more of us.