(This post was written prior to the recent Susan G. Komen/Planned Parenthood debacle. I have since made a sizable contribution to Planned Parenthood, grateful for the reminder, by fellow blogger and Stirrup Queen, Melissa Ford, that it is important to support services instead of a quasi-philanthropic effort.)
A couple of weeks ago as my daughter and I were on a mundane errand, we drove past a large group of mostly young people streaming out of the metro and walking together towards the downtown area nearby. I couldn’t tell at first what was uniting them, except that they all seemed to be wearing orange scarves. And then I saw one of their placards.
“I’m pro-life and I’m proud.”
This was one of those car moments you read about in parenting manuals – when you are driving with your eyes on the road and you need to open a provocative yet important and potentially embarrassing topic with your child. Being behind the wheel so they don’t have to look you in the eye is the best possible place to start these conversations, I have now learned.
My 12-year-old daughter asked who these people were and why were they carrying signs?
I generally try very hard, when talking about big issues in the world, to offer a relatively neutral position so that my children can hear what are presumably the facts and try to make up their own minds about the topic at hand.
(The exception being the very basic birds and bees of politics – Democrats v. Republicans. My children know that they are simply never, ever allowed to become Republicans. They can become religious, they can come out, they can basically make any decision they want about how they choose to live their lives. But they cannot become Republican. No amount of funny Michael J. Fox as Alex Keaton will change my mind about this.)
Anyway, my daughter was probably preparing herself for another one of mom’s pablum-like homilies.
Not this time.