Nathalie's Notes

Raising the Hardy Boys

Sam's zupan - lil Hugh I'm at that part of pregnancy some people call "nesting." For me, that translates to trying to organize everything. Everything. It's not going so well. We do, however, now have all our CD's in one, big book arranged in order. And the silverware drawer is done. That'll help the baby for sure.

Meanwhile, Sam is turning into a Lil Hugh before my very eyes and is obsessed with his new zupan (bathrobe). His Nana brought him the cutest pj's. If you look closely you'll see why he calls them "Good Girl jammies." (They are printed with little brown labradors). But, man, this zupan is a hit! From the momenthe got that thing on he refused to take it off. He strolls around the house, hands in his pockets, looking like The (little) Man. At night, try to take him out of it. "More zupan! More zupan!" He cries after it like some kids do … well, their parents.

Nana and Papa also brought toy guns for Sam. This created a different kind of excitement. They're made out of wood and make a little popping sound when you … actually I don't know enough about guns to describe what happens. Anyway, Matt and I grew up with different ideas about a lot of things, including guns. For Matt, rural life included a healthy respect for guns. For me growing up in Tacoma … guns were something gang members had and I was terrified of them. 

Before I was a parent (cue laugh track) I was pretty certain I'd be the "no guns for us" kind of mom but the more I talk to people about them and their experiences with them the more I realize it is more important to me to teach my children what they are, how to use them and why I don't ever want them to have to pull a trigger rather than pretending I can ban guns completely. 

That being said … my father-in-law was trying to understand where I was coming from. It's not unusual for he and I to come at something from (complete) opposite points of view but we are getting better at finding our middle, and at lowering our voices.  He mentioned that he grew up playing with all manners of toy guns and he's never thought about killing anyone. I mentioned that's not what I've heard him say about certain politicians but the bottom line is this: he grew up in a different moral culture. He grew up in a country that didn't have the phrases "school shootings," "went Postal," "Columbine," etc. in its regular lexicon. 

I'm not looking for Mayberry. And I'm not pretending it's possible to even find our way back there. I'm just saying that parents of young children today can't make their decisions based on what our parents and grandparents did simply because they turned out okay. Using some of the common sense that seemed more prevalent in those generations, however, isn't such a bad idea. 

3 thoughts on “Zupans, guns and finding the middle ground

  1. I think I am looking for Mayberry! You bring up several interesting points that I would love to see you explore further especially generational differences, city vs country influence, and dealing with gifts that challenge or conflict with your parenting goals/style/choices.
    Oh and Sam is quite dapper in his zupan.


  2. I think all Sam needs now is an ascot! All I’ll say about the whole gun issue is the more I condemned things the more closed the kids became. We seemed to do better keeping the debate door open. Power to you mama!


  3. Nadya Zimmerman says:

    On the gun thing, I guess I am still holding out for the idea that to teach kids what they are and what they do does not mean they have to play with them. Naive?


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