Charla Bansley, would you say that to my face?

my daughter -- climbing to new heights

my daughter -- climbing to new heights

My daughter, like many young kids, finds transitions difficult. Now that she’s been in Kindergarten for one month, things are getting better for her. We were thrilled when she was awarded “Community Leader of the Week” at her school last week, for exercising all of the school’s five “be’s” and in particular for being a good listener. Here are the five “be’s:”

  • Be Safe
  • Be Respectful
  • Be Responsible
  • Be a Listener
  • Be a Learner

It warms our hearts endlessly that she has achieved so much in so short a time. Her moms are especially proud of her earning the award for listening. We could all stand to listen a little closer, so I’m paying attention to my daughter for tips here.

I’m particularly interested today, as the Maine Yes on 1 folks release their “It’s everything to do with schools” ad (see Julia Rosen’s post from today for a good summary of it), in the quality of Being Respectful.

In the ad, Charla Bansley re-introduces the Wirthlin family clip from last year’s California Prop 8 ad. The Wirthlins are the ones who warn us of gay marriage being taught in schools. They even took this to court. In the court’s ruling, from a post over at Dirigo Blue, is the following:

An exodus from class when issues of homosexuality or same-sex marriage are to be discussed could send the message that gays, lesbians, and the children of same-sex parents are inferior and, therefore, have a damaging effect on those students. … It might also undermine the defendants’ efforts to educate the remaining other students to understand and respect differences in sexual orientation.

This is what’s really going on here. The Wirthlins and Charla Bansley have no respect for me and my wife, and want us nowhere near their children. Charla Bansley goes a step further in this word-for-word quote, as Julia Rosen reports:

Public display of psychosis and we have dealt with it by redefining decency down so as to explain away and make normal what a more civilized, and ordered, and healthy society would label deviant and the result has been a stunning failure.

Not only do you not want us around, Charla Bansley, but you find that we are psychotic, deviant, indecent, AND a stunning failure.  Really Ms. Bansley?  If you met me, would you say that to my face? Would you say that to my five-year-old girl?

In reality, Charla Bansley, the Wirthlin family, dear people of Maine (and California): If you vote to pass Question 1 just as California voted last fall to pass Proposition 8, we are not going to disappear. And furthermore, if we met you while we were dropping our kid off at school, we’d have a smile for you — maybe even a hug, especially if you were having a hard drop-off — just like for the rest of the parents we meet.  I am delighted that my child is at a school that teaches respect and inclusion, and I would be happy to teach my child to respect your child even if they are different in any or many ways.

I just want to close with this, if I have your attention: If you can’t treat us with respect in return, would you please at least not teach your children to hurt us, or to ask us to die, or otherwise bully us? Kindergarten can be hard enough as it is (and it looks like some of us could stand a refresher on the curriculum of being respectful).

PS: Take a look at last year’s California ad side-by-side with today’s Maine ad:



Originally uploaded by moyalynne

My daughter has developed a brilliant coping mechanism for her tantrums. She takes a magazine (astonishingly politely, she asks if we have finished with it first), and begins to shred it up into tiny pieces.

I think of this and, compared to some less constructive “adult coping mechanisms,” I am proud of her. Eventually she becomes so engrossed in the task that she calms down and is able to cope again. Later, we can even talk about what it is that made her so mad.

She first created and demonstrated this skill on the floor of the back seat of the car a couple of weeks ago, where I still keep the huge pile of shredded magazine.

She did it again yesterday when she was mad about going to school. We gave her an extra copy of our latest Advocate.

I’m thinking that I should bring home a copy of the latest Rolling Stone, JUST so she can rip it up. Or maybe I should think about my own ability to cope.