“But isn’t your son 10?”

Riding in Style – Maastricht 2012

Willow and I have lots of physical contact. While we have been wandering around the streets of Maastricht, Am*dam, Rome and Athens I carry him about ¼ of the time. “Can’t he walk himself?” Sure he can, but I like to carry him. I like to feel him against me, I like to play the game where we are looking for things he can climb onto and then jump onto me from. We rate his jumps, whether they are real jumps or flops (when he just falls on me from a height), or flys (see the video below) or fails (jumps where if I did not help he would have ended up on the ground). He is happy not to walk, I am happy to get more exercise than I am these days.

About half the nights we spend together we sleep in the same bed. I get that this is odd for a 10 year old. That most of his peers are sleeping by themselves in their own rooms at this age. Turns out we are not especially interested in raising a “normal” kid. Turns out some flavors of extraordinary are crafted by parents showing their affection to their kids physically long after the social norms around them say they should not be in contact. My model is Misty and Emma from Woodfolk, who are cuddled up together virtually every other time I see them. Happy as clams, fully expressing their affection and appreciation for each other. Emma is 16 and Misty is her mom. If I had to guess, I would say this is what a healthy family relationship looks like.

Willow on board – possibly the national museum, Death City USA

the way teens and parents can connect – Emma and Misty

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About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

5 responses to ““But isn’t your son 10?””

  1. tina says :

    in ecuador whole families sleep in the same bed, or at least room, until sons and daughters leave to be married. it is not at all unusual to see a grown son kiss his father on the mouth when leaving home for school or work. men are also commonly known to carry their woman’s purse around town. ‘not normal’ is a cultural judgement, not a universal one.

  2. Anat Kolumbus says :

    And besides (adding to Tina’s words), what matters is not the norms or the culture. What matters is cultivating healthy relationships between parents and kids and intimates of other sorts, resulting with a loving atmosphere and individuals who are compassionate and caring and involved in what’s happening inside and around them, doing their best to benefit everyone.

    • paxus says :

      i am certainly not concerned about what is generally considered healthy, because i think that the analysis is completely screwed up. If you look at city life, with pollution and crime and structural fear of the inhabitants – healthy culture and life is simply impossible.

  3. Anat Kolumbus says :

    and what would be “the analysis” you are referring to?
    It seems to me that you are sharing your perspective on what a healthy relationship between parents and kids would look like. Obviously, there are some set ups that are healthier than others. However, I disagree regarding the impossibility of healthy culture and life in the city. I admit that my preference is rural-communal way of life in general. Nonetheless, health begins with the individual’s willingness to see beyond oneself and step up to support others. Education and upbringing of children within the family circles and outside of them are essential for that matter. Personally, I think that cultivating altruistic principles is most challenging when the scene around is not in that spirit, and that living by and spreading out those ways in the heart of inflamed agony are of much value and contribution to the general health.

    • paxus says :

      @Anat: Most parents choose to ween their kids from extensive physical contact with their kids not terrible long after they stop nursing. Most parents choose to live in the city (since most of our global population is in cities) and this is an especially stressing environment. Which is not to say kids cant thrive there, they are a resilient lot, but it is harder. That is my analysis/observation – my data which leads me to believe most people are choosing less healthy life styles for their kids than they could be.

      And we are in agreement that cultivating altruistic principals and behaviors is important and challenging. I just want to challenge the assumption that because over half the world is in cities, that this is a good thing, on average, to be doing to our kids.

      Paxus in Giza
      27 falling LEaves 2012

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