Overheard Parents: The Anti-Authoritarian Authority
You know the drill . . . it’s Wednesday morning and I have a cup of coffee in hand. But today feels like Christmas. Before me are tables upon tables of ladies who do coffee (and gossip!) before hitting the checklist of to-do’s. While it takes every last bit of will, I hold back from this virtual smorgasbord of entertaining tidbits.
I have my eyes on something more novel. Something different from the eavesdropping staples I’ve become accustomed to. There, at the far table, sitting al fresco, is one unlikely pair. Both clad in cycling gear, these two men couldn’t be more oddly matched: One with tattooed arms full of ink, aviators, and long-tousled hair; the other clean-shaven and gelled. Clearly, nothing bridges their great divide beyond their mountain bikes.
I sit next to them. The rocky middle-aged hipster’s dominating the conversation. And he spits out his words like they’re dressed in black leather. He’s trying to shock, provoke, and possibly inspire:
He smokes weed with his teens. They catch concerts together. They talk girls, talk shop, talk dope. It’s all so sex and drugs and rock ‘n roll with a big F-U to anyone or anything that stands with their way. They’re intelligent. Empowered. Enlightened.
And the other dad? Well, he’s just an unquestioning mass-produced follower of norms. (Well, the guy doesn’t actually say that – but it’s all definitely implied.) I mean, come on . . . he’s got gel and a comb and a razor. And the man just nods through the rocker’s rant.
The inked-up corrupter of youth continues, “I have very intentionally programmed my kids to question all authority all the time.”
Now, for the first time, Mr. Regular Joe very casually speaks up.
“Have you programmed them in language arts? Can they spot a paradox when they see one, buddy?”
He gets up and cycles away (to a silent round of applause).
The rocker looks around to see if anyone’s overheard.
I choke down a sip and hide behind my mug.
Have you ever come across a parenting style so outlandish, you found it hard to swallow?
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