I was very pleased to see the new Garage Punk group Garage Punk Kids, a discussion group for punk parents, and a place for them to post pics of their children.
It reminded me of what one of my best friends said to me about 15 years or so ago. To paraphrase, he told me that we had to have kids (not together though), otherwise all the people not like us would have children, and there would be more of them than of us. Well, I thought he was silly. As it turned out neither one of us has had children and we are probably not going to at this late date.
Lately though, I'd been having these feelings that if I had children they'd be nothing like most people's children, since most people are not like me. So, seeing the Garage Punk Kids page has given me hope that perhaps the world’s population of American children is not so unbalanced, with there being less punk parented children than not. Growing up in a not very populous state I was hoping the ratio wasn't as great as it appeared.
You may be wondering why this concerns me. I may not have children, but children do play a part in my life. I have many friends and relatives with children. For one reason or another there are way more non punk parents in my life than there are punk. With that comes the numerous misunderstandings, and faux pauxs that I think wouldn't exist with punk parents. Case in point, my artist/punk friend Mark has two children, and he's never batted an eyelash at what comes of out of my big fat mouth when I talk to his children, although said children have batted many a lash. Though sweet boys that they are I think they still love me, I hope.
It just seems that not only am I'm constantly having to apologize to my parent friends, but they are constantly correcting my grammar, and rephrasing everything I say (I'm sorry, but if I wanted it to be said that way, I would have said it that way, anyway...I digress....).
As I was saying..., and at this point examples are in order like the one time I taught Claire, the child of my Overland Park, KS, originally hailing from Kirkwood, MO mom (read this as suburban soccer mom if you like) the 3 second rule. She'd dropped an Oreo on the floor, and I didn't feel it warranted disposal. It was also a gut reaction, said and done without thinking (maybe that was the problem? My husband assured me not, that she was just being a freak, the mother that is, not Claire, or me). Claire's mother's floor was also so clean you could eat off of it. Well, apparently I opened a can of worms, ended up apologizing, and undoing my teaching of the three second rule complete with a (by then hypocritical) lecture on how it's not a good idea to eat cookies off the floor. (I ended up blaming it on their cats).
Then there was the time I tried to tell my niece Victoria about he Vault (remember the classic Seinfeld episode?). When she looked at me blankly I said "Haven't you ever watched Seinfeld?” to which my sister loudly responded with "No! She's only 7! Besides I would never let her watch that show. It’s one of the most awful shows ever created!" Now, since she's my sister I rolled my eyes and said back "That shows a classic...", but then trailed off when I saw that my expert analysis of why Seinfeld is a classic and how it changed the face of television comedy would fall on her deaf ears. You get the picture. Well, sue me for trying to bond with my niece. Besides, this was the sibling I used to watch the Rockford files and scary made for TV movies with. The person who made me watch The Edge of Night when I really, really wanted to watch Scooby Doo instead. I thought it'd be ok to reference Seinfeld.
I only wanted to let Victoria know that if she wanted to tell me something only she wanted me to know she could. She's home schooled and after spending all day with my sister, I figured she'd have a complaint or two about her day. I know I always did after spending the entire day with my sister when I was 7 years old, and 8 and 9, etc....
Point is it always feels like I have to explain my behavior, or qualify any I advice I might be impelled to give. I mean I may not have kids, but I vividly remember being one. I may not be able to empathize with those immersed in the parental world, but I do empathize with the children. I guess that makes me biased. It just seems that this stuff happens more often with non punk parents that with punk parents (I just don't feel as weird you know).
However, I only have two close punk parent friends, so what do I really know? Maybe I am romanticizing you, and delving into a weird form of ethnocentricity. Maybe if I was actually friends with more punk parent, than acquainted with them (You know the fb friends, the people you might talk to at the zoo or the park) I’d feel differently. I don't know, maybe you can tell me? Maybe you can relate to the stuff above. Am I spot on or grossly off the mark? Maybe I'll regret posting this....
Anyway, I ultimately want to impart that I love the diversity among parents that I see when I go to a punk rock festival or similar event, webpage, discussion forum, blog. I feel diversity can become an important part of the Garage Punk Kids page since, in my world at least, punk parents are rare. I hope that this group grows and prospers. I hope non parents or those thinking of starting a family, visit and/or join this group.
Going back to what my friend said 15 years ago, while I still don't necessarily agree with him, I understand him a lot better now, but I hope that being able to connect with more punk parents through the new group will help me feel more at ease in my skin where other people's kids are concerned.