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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » Family and OSC

   
Author Topic: Family and OSC
Synesthesia
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I may disagree with OSC about 85-90% of the time, but I love what he has to say about family, like in this current article of his.
There's this line in Lost Boys that makes me cry every single time I read it.
I'd dig it up, but I'm afraid I'll start weeping. [Cry]

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Salsa
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Sorry, I'm a noob to Hatrack. Where's the article?
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BandoCommando
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I happen to agree, Synesthesia, that this review column and the segment about family was very powerful. I have a great deal of respect for anyone who is able to reflect on their own actions and determine they need to make changes to improve the lives of people for whom they are responsible; particularly when sacrifice is involved.
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Synesthesia
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When you go on the site, it's right on the lef,t the newest OSC reviews everything.
Right at the bottom.
That is a sweet thing to do.


I think it would be nice if women(and maybe men) could bring their babies to work and wear them in a sling, but it wouldn't happen, it's just amusing to think about.

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Omega M.
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I completely agree with OSC's views and decision in his column; I'm amazed he'd admit in print to having made what he sees as such a big mistake.

However, lately I've been turned off by OSC's tendency in his stories to take for granted that people's children are the most important things to them. I don't have any particular examples; it's just a feeling I get. Maybe if I had my own kids I'd feel differently.

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pooka
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It's kind of a natural selection thing, Omega.

P.S. So having read the piece, I do wonder things, various things, about my life and how I'm raising my children. Of course I recently decided (again- I went through this at the start of 2005) it was necessary for me to start working out of the home again. I don't feel like it is for my children. If I were motivated for my children, I would have figured out a way to stay home. Anyway, it's a subject I still feel a lot of conflict concerning, which implicit non-criticisms like this highlight.

[ June 07, 2007, 01:13 PM: Message edited by: pooka ]

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pooka
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Ah, I remembered what it was that makes me unhappy. It is being covetous. Funny how those 10 commandments work. But I learned a good lesson, something I didn't know before.
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JennaDean
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Pooka, I've recently discovered covetousness in myself. It was helpful to put a name on it, because now when I'm unhappy comparing what I have to what others have, I can use that word and get over it faster.

I appreciate and even applaud OSC's decision, while at the same time I mourn it - even though I was never going to go to SVU and my children won't be in college for at least 8 years. When he was teaching, there was always the possibility out there that I (or they) could take a class from him.
quote:
I think it would be nice if women(and maybe men) could bring their babies to work and wear them in a sling, but it wouldn't happen, it's just amusing to think about.
This struck me as really funny, in light of the article; just pictured OSC's "newly-teenaged daughter" in a sling while OSC was teaching. [Smile]
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Synesthesia
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That image makes me laugh so much.
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DDDaysh
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I've often really WISHED I could take my son to work with me, particularily when he was little and didn't cause much problem.

I often remember going to work with my parents and my grandparents when I was younger. I think that it's a good thing. Even "in office" daycares are a better alternative. Unfortunately, here in Texas, there aren't many options for that, nor are there all that many "work from home" options in the world. It's sad. That's the one thing really missing from life, as compared to the agricultural days.

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Scooter
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Bravo OSC! I will continue to similarly ponder about my life.

As far as taking a child to work, or even having one's employment at home, I see it as a poor substitute (but probably better than nothing) for being present AND accessible to a child. There is a big difference between being able to drop everything to respond to a child and being around the child but bending accessibility to the child around a set schedule and constraining circumstances. Much of what a child can benefit most from comes from spontaneous, child-driven activity/circumstances that the employment mindset/context (more typically than not) is not conducive to.

Sometimes combining worlds is a great way to go, sometimes they don't combine all that well and one is better off choosing one over the other. (forgive the platitude)

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Synesthesia
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You got to make money though... And these days, few can live off of one income.
So there needs to be a better balance between making money and taking care of children and attachement.
Attachment is extremely important.

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DDDaysh
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Being a stay at home parent is wonderful, I'm sure. Unfortunately, like Synesthesia says, some of us do not have that option. Few families can make it on one income, and single parent families (like mine)really have no choice. The best we can do is to try to find good places for our children to spend time when we cannot be with them, make the best of the time we are there, and strive to find working solutions that accomodate our kids better. I think, in reality, this is pretty much how parenting has worked for most of history though. When you think about it, even though most mothers "stayed at home", or in agricultural families, BOTH parents stayed "at home" in the centuries before this one, it isn't as if the days could be centered around the child. Back then, simply keeping up with day to day neccessities of life was amazingly time consuming. A mother stiring a pot of gruel over a cookfire couldn't exactly help her child admire a butterfly all that easily, and father's who brought their children with them to plow fields all day long rarely had enough breath for idle conversation. It was only the wealthy elite, who could afford servents, that had days free for exploration with their children. Most of those, it seemed, like to ship their kids off.

So really, it's not all that different from today. The lucky few have the ability to devote a large percentage of their time to their children. The rest of us have to balance child rearing with providing. I think it'll probably be a delicate balance until the end of humanity.

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Leroy
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I never thought it made much of a difference whether parents worked or not, once kids were in school, but then when my mom lost her job when I was in high school, I found that there was something really reassuring about the fact that, even though I was 17 years old and spent the whole day at school anyway, my mom didn't have any commitments she couldn't drop for me. Before, she could have come to school if there was an emergency, but now she could have come even if it was just a whim. It felt so good to know there was nothing higher-priority for her than me and my brother.
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Shanna
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I was glad to see this article after coming back from a family vacation.

I had just been discussing a similar topic with my boyfriend this evening. My mother is a stay-at-home mom and my father does some sort of accounting work for an oil company. During my high school years, my dad was constantly being fired and then re-hired by different divisions in the same company. He made alot of sacrifices to keep our lives stable and secure. He took more business trips and even lived in another state by himself for a year so that I could graduate from my high school. It was a year of pure torture from my family. But no matter how swamped with work he was or how tired he got, he caught a plane to see every one of my brother's basketball games or my choir concerts. As I'm graduating from college soon, we've talked alot about how a person chooses a career. He said that while some people make their career their life, he sees his job only as a means to enjoy what really matters to him, which is his family. He told me about all the promotions he'd been offered and turned down because it would have required more time at the office and less at home. I'm the oldest so I still remember when he was starting out at the company and was always away from home. I spent most of my youth in my parents' bed keeping my mom company. I mean, my mom was always there to cook dinner or drive us to after-school activities, but a stay-at-home moms don't negate the importance of being able to say goodnight to your dad.

But we're lucky that his sacrifices have paid off. We did have to relocate but the family has adjusted and his hours are pretty much back to normal. He is always home for dinner and my brothers and I will still get to graduate from college debt-free. Even after having him gone so much as a kid and again as a teenager, when he takes the occasional business trip now the world still seems alittle out of sorts. Our family functions so much as a single unit that its weird when one piece is missing for whatever reason.

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ketchupqueen
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There are companies with at-work daycare and ones that allow children to be brought to work, unfortunately too few.

We've chosen to have me stay home. Yes, money is tight, although really I couldn't make enough to pay for our kids to be in day care anyway, especially once we have as many as we want (or more if we decide we want more.) But I'm always kind of shocked when women tell me how much they hate having to work so that their kid can go to the fanciest preschool and the mommy-and-me classes and wear the stylish clothes and the expensive shoes and get her hair done at a salon. (These are women whose husbands make at least twice as much as mine, who often have only one child, who COULD afford very well not to work.) If you really hate it that much, don't do it. These things are not essential. Not that I criticize their choices, they have the right to choose what they think will give their child the best advantage. I just wonder if they have ever considered the advantages of trying a different kind of lifestyle. For me (and my husband), scraping by on one income, having a large family, and almost certainly homeschooling when they get to school age (although it will be considered again at that time, depending on the child involved, where we are living, and what schools we can afford/have access to) is the best way to give my children the advantages I want them to have in life, even if that means that they go to preschool no more than two days a week, if that, wear hand-me-downs and thrift-store clothes and shoes from Payless, I cut their hair, and mommy-and-me time is spent singing songs while they help me cook or playing patty-cake on the living room floor or dancing while we pick up toys or racing to see how much laundry we can fold before the end of a song.

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DDDaysh
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Awww ketchupqueen, it sounds like you have all the right priorities in life. Keep up the good work.

Unfortunately, I'm not one of the moms who COULD choose. I work so my son can EAT, and he still wears clothes from Wal-Mart. Still... maybe one day. I'm working on getting my MBA right now. It's sorta a killer, because it means 2 nights a week away from my son, but it will give me alot more leverage for job flexability later on. I figure it's easier to sacrifice the nights right now, then when he's in school and has activities I'll want to share with him in the evenings. Plus, I'm really lucky, and have chosen to continue living close to my parents. That means my mom or dad can pick him up from daycare when I have school, and he can spend evenings with them. I have two little brothers (12 & 16) who still live at home, so he gets to spend time with them.

BTW... have you ever played with CornStarch with your kids? It was a big success with mine, and occupational therapists say it really helps pre-schoolers develop good nerve connections, plus it's cheap, just cornstarch and water!

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ketchupqueen
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DDDaysh, my mom was a single mother and still managed to find ways to spend quality time with us and enrich our lives in myriad ways, I'm sure you will be able to do the same, and getting more schooling is, IMO, an excellent start on a path that will lead to the best life for your son. [Smile]

What is CornStarch? (I know what corn starch is, but I have never heard of a game with it.)

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docmagik
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I think she means just playing with corn starch.

It's fun. Just put some corn starch in a bowl and add water a little at a time, mixing it with your hands.

You'll know you have it right when it starts getting fun.

It reaches an odd point where it is solid enough to crack if you pull on it hard or hit it hard, but liquid enough to give if you stick your finger in it slowly.

It's cool--you can actually grab a glob of it and make a little ball if you roll your fingers around it fast enough, but the second you stop moving your hands, it goes liquid again.

Loads of fun.

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ketchupqueen
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Oooooh. Well, in that case, I did that as a kid but did not like it. Sensory stuff.
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