Sprouting time!

This is Vera’s new bear. She was totally stuck to it at the thrift store while I was looking for fabric scraps and stuff, and I couldn’t resist getting it for her- plus it was only a couple bucks. When I asked her the bear’s name, she told me it was "Tolly". I love the names she picks! (Other examples are Lee-lo, Chicken, Dani)

I also got her this great retro memory game for a dollar. I love it- the pictures are so great! Oh, and the hat is my floppy garden hat, but Vera has to get a sampling of all the hats in the house it seems, regardless of if they actually fit or not…

Oh, so here’s a dilemma: We don’t buy things new. Well, with the exception of a few things like plastic freezer bags, rechargeable batteries, wood (but we’re trying to get out of that- Jeff’s building a wood storage shed off the back of the garage and we’ll start collecting scrap wood for projects), oh, and things like underwear. Otherwise, if we want something we try to wait it out until it comes our way- and it usually does. Now, with presents and things, while we haven’t made an official announcement, people generally are pretty thoughtful about this stuff and get things that meet our standards. Like, for my birthday I got a new high-quality composter bin for the counter, and also a tomato juicer- things that help me conserve! Vera (for her birthday and Christmas) got books, hand-me-down toys, and some really nice wooden toys that will last through many kids. I mean, we aren’t going to be big sticklers about it, but we appreciate it if people are thoughtful about it and get things for her/us that are still in line with our values.
Anyway, not that long ago Vera was passionately admiring her older cousin’s Tinkerbell socks. She wanted to wear them and was really into them the whole time we were there. My SIL said "That’s it, we’re getting her some, I don’t care what her mom says!" This was all said in fun, but I lightly protested and rolled my eyes. She talked about how cheap they were at Target, and the whole thing just left me hoping she’d forget, or that she wasn’t serious. I mean, we don’t go to those big stores usually, and definitely not for clothes branded with Disney princesses… So I talk to her today and she bought them! I said "You didn’t!" and she just chuckled. All I could think to say was "She’ll love them…" I mean, it’s a 2 dollar pair of socks. But I have issues with it- it’s something she doesn’t need or remember, and it’s setting her up for the envy of those things that all the other kids have that she doesn’t. I honestly want her to accept that she won’t get what everyone else gets- and I plan to explain why. I don’t need other adults slipping her the good stuff and thinking that mom & dad just suck and are overreacting. My SIL’s original statement makes me think that she knew I’d take issue with it- or at least that she knows I wouldn’t buy them myself for her. So… what the heck? I mean, I don’t think it’s fair to set me up for a) a child who resents me because she knows that the other adults in her life will get her the things she wants and/or b) an awkward as hell conversation where I have to turn down a silly little gift on principal. I mean, where’s the line? Regardless of whether or not everyone else in the family wants to adopt our values, I still expect them to back me up- or at least not interfere. Thank goodness she’s only 2 years old, but at some point it’s going to make a difference. She’s smart, too, so maybe it matters now. I don’t know.
So I’m not sure what to do about it. On the one hand I don’t think it was fair of her, and while of course it was well-intentioned and sweet, it’s just not something I want happening in the future. On the other hand, I’m totally stifled by the gift-giving/receiving etiquette I was raise with (which is good stuff) and don’t know how to handle this kind of thing graciously. I was talking to Jeff about that part of it, and he said "You know, there’s just no etiquette for this kind of thing yet…" Yeah. You mean the "thank you so much but your gift is contributing to consumer culture, the destruction of the planet, and the allover illusory notion that we can have whatever we like without consequences, and therefore is crossing our ethical boundaries… so no thanks!" rule of etiquette? Yeah, there’s not a great way to say that yet. I should probably write Miss Manners or something.
On top of that, we’re hypocrites. I’ve gotten loads of new books for Vera from people that I happily accept because… I don’t know. They are better for her development and we can use them longer? I mean, it’s still destructive. But I don’t have a problem with a high-quality book or toy, or a little sweater or dress- but for some reason some tinkerbell socks on a random occasion from Target just seem different. Maybe this is a call to be more consistent. I don’t know. If it is, how the heck do I go about setting these boundaries without it being really uncomfortable? I may just end up doing nothing about it for now. Maybe this was meant to just challenge me to think more about it and figure out what’s next. I’m not upset with my SIL- she wasn’t being malicious at all, I’m just uncomfortable about the clash here, and I don’t want to come off as being scolding or judgmental (if I do confront it). Thoughts?

On to more fun things. Garden!


Potato baby!

Lettuce that is definitely going in a salad tomorrow.


Baby greens! I forget what kind they are (maybe chard?), but we’ll find out soon enough. So much is sprouting now! I love this stage. 

Our little cherry tree. I’m looking forward to munching on little bitty cherries again this year.

Overview. It really came together. All that’s left to do is cut down the picket fence to 3/4 the size it is, and line the garden with it. I’m excited about this because Maya still romps through the beds and it drives me nuts. At least she out grew the puppy digging. That first year gardening with her was interesting… I found carrots everywhere. Also, at the end of the garden in that corner will be our clothes line.

So all that’s left to do, planting-wise, is to plant the tomatoes, peppers, green beans, and eggplant. Starting seeds this year has definitely been a learning experience. It’s tricky! We lost a bunch of stuff, and are likely going to lose more. Our tomatoes look pathetic- transplanting them took its toll. We definitely will do some things differently next year, so worst case we’ll just have to buy some plants and the money we spent on some of the seeds will be the cost of a lesson in seed-starting. We’ll also have the greenhouse up next year, so I’m hoping that will help. It’s a good thing I keep my expectations low!

I’ve had a real soft spot for this sweet puppy lately, which says a lot considering that she keeps running through my raised beds and mucking up the house with her constantly muddy paws. I have to keep our bedroom door shut now so that we don’t have to brush off the bed every night before we go to sleep. Soon the mud will be gone, and then there will be the shedding… I really love this dog.

"If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it." (Abraham Lincoln)


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Comments (27)

  1. david_anderson

    It looks beautiful

    It’s fun to compare how far along different things are in different gardens. Your onions are ahead of mine, but about 3/4 of my potato varieties are quite a ways ahead of yours. Your garlic is doing better, which probably means that you’ve gotten more sun than we have so far. I think we’re looking at a cool wet June again, but I really hope not.

    Losing plants is part of learning. You just get better and adapt every year. Don’t let your frugality keep you from buying starts when you need to, it’s still a lot cheaper and healthier than buying the food at the supermarket.

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Thank you! I’m feeling really pleased with it so far.

      Yeah, I’ve been itching for you to do a picture update! I want to know what you’re up to!


      1. david_anderson

        They will be coming, as I just mentioned in my last post. For the big updates, you will probably have to follow a link, but you will at least be able to get them. I’m back to LJ from facebook.

  2. brigittefires

    On the tinkerbell socks thing: hindsight is 20/20, but maybe you could have said during the first conversation, “Oh no you don’t need to get them, but we’ll happily take *munchkin’s* when she grows out of them!”

    The reality is that she will grow up differently, she will realize it, and sometimes she will resent it. She will be angry that she doesn’t get what other kids have and she will think that mom and dad suck for making her live this way. I don’t think that should stop you from doing it though. She will learn very valuable life lessons along the way, and most kids resent their parents anyway, over something. Might as well have it be something to which you are committed.

    I don’t think you are necessarily hypocritical to have new things. Your values are to TRY to do your BEST to re-use, recycle, etc, to reduce your waste and consumerism. But I think that part of that can also include buying things at a quality that allows you to reduce your own waste, and that can include buying new. When those things are items which are potentially unhealthy to buy used (such as underwear and ziplock bags) because you simply don’t know where they’ve been, it’s saving yourself a lot in the long run. When those items are books… well, maybe sometimes a treat isn’t such a bad thing. At least if those new items are few and far between, and limited to things that you buy/receive new for the quality/cost ratio, then that sets you up to appreciate the specialness of it. Is that making any sense? Girls in the olden days got lots of hand me down dresses, which made their occasional brand new one that much more special than if they got brand new stuff all the time.

    As far as how to deal with the SIL about it… Maybe if the above is something that resonates with you, you could share the idea with her while thanking her at the same time. “Thanks for those socks, she really likes them. I think not getting brand new stuff all the time and trying to limit it to stuff that she REALLY NEEDS could make these types of rare splurges that much more special when she’s old enough to reflect on them and understand why we choose to raise her the way we do.” Just some way of thanking her and letting your thoughts on it be known while also communicating that you would appreciate it if it weren’t a regular thing. Although I wouldn’t want to imply that she NEEDS Tinkerbell socks.

    I dunno, hopefully some of that rambling helped somewhat. It’s definitely a sticky situation, I don’t envy you that.

    On a completely unrelated note, your garden is looking fantastic. My poor basil plant might need to find a new home, since my BF’s tree filled in it doesn’t get any sun in the back window anymore. You’ve put so much hard work and effort into that garden, I can’t wait to see all the pictures of the lovely results! And that salad will be AMAZING!

    1. moondaughter20


      It’s a really tough road you have, because this culture is so top heavy with thoughtless consumerism, and suffers from a toxic case of big-boxism.

      I really think helping your child understand why people make choices, and encouraging her to be a critical thinker and make choices for herself as she grows older is one of the few ways to keep the unhealthy influences out there from penetrating too deeply. If you try to control and cut things off, when she’s old enough she will have plenty of access through her peers, and then might cut you off in her quest for ‘what everyone else has’. If she understands why you make the choices you do, as a family, then those times when, say a pair of cheap Chinese made Disney socks comes into her hands might be understood as exceptions.

      But as for the adults in your family, I like Brigette’s suggestion. 🙂

      1. Gracie (Post author)

        True. Thanks for this. I can’t possibly shelter her from this stuff, and she’s going to hear loads of justifications for it. Really the best thing I can do is lead by example and weather her disappointment from time to time. Hopefully, even if she waivers and doesn’t see why we do these things now, she will in the future.

    2. Gracie (Post author)

      Thanks for this comment. I think you’re right about finding creative ways to approach this stuff. It’s also true that these kinds of things are really really hard to get entirely away from, and so I do need to keep it in perspective to some degree. My hypocrisy is in some ways unavoidable. I like the idea of prefacing any of this stuff with an “It was so thoughtful of you to get her something that she likes so much…” I also think you’re right about me speaking up at the beginning. I did protest a little, but clearly not enough to dissuade the actual buying of the socks, so next time I’ll just say that we’ll take the hand-me-down or just flat out say no and that’ll be that. 🙂

    3. david_anderson

      Some of the kids I know, whose parents were homesteading hippies, really seem to have the best relationships with their parents. Since I’m going to a hippie college, I’m probably getting a biased sample, but it’s good to know that it works out at least part of the time.

  3. purerandomness

    Wow. Look at how much you already have! You’re going to have more good food than you know what to do with!
    We’ve got lettuce coming up from our stuff that bolted last year, although it’s nowhere near the size of yours!
    We also bought some stakes and chicken wire today to make our compost heap- I’m so excited!

  4. ladyfaith3

    tinkerbell socks.

    I am so with you on this I don’t know what to do!
    I have a religious bent here. I don’t celebrate christmas, easter, halloween or any of the traditional “American” holidays. AND YET, everyone wants to give the kids gifts, feeling that we just don’t do it out of financial trouble or whatever they imagine. If the holidays like that were important to us we’d make it work ya know? Truly we have holidays we keep passover, and are beginning some different things like that. I don’t like the materialism or the feeling of guilt to do with “I didn’t get you an tihng!” situation. We do celebrate birthday’s but we keep it very small and family oriented. People do not respect that we disapprove of these other things and I realize they really mean well but I wonder what it teaches my kids for people to give them things when we say “we don’t approve of this holiday?”
    You’re right it’s a mess to deal with. We also don’t allow barbie or disney princesses all over the place I think they send the wrong messages too soon about womanhood and marriage.
    ok enough from me on that.

    1. ladyfaith3

      Re: tinkerbell socks.

      I just want to add here that I do wish very much that I had put my foot down on the subject as soon as it began. NOW people feel they can just buy our kids presents, talk to them about Santa, and goofy things when they please. I had origionally taken the stance of “well these people are just being thoughtful…I guess it’s ok.” It really isn’t ok. It’s against the veiw I hope to set for my kids. The very first and only gift my SIL gave to my oldest child was a barbie after I had told her “We do not allow barbie dolls” So yes it was a challenge that seemed to me to state “I know better than you even though you’re the parent” I wouldn’t let this slide.
      I don’t think your girl will resent you keeping your family your way, it may even meke it all the more special to her. I have a friend I have mentioned before who lives an agrarian lifestyle and because her kids are so included in this life and the why’s of it they seem to appreciate it and value it very much. If she wants to grow up and buy her own brand new socks that will be your daughter’s choice but for now it’s your choice and you are her mother.
      If I had it to do over again and I were gutsy enough I’d hand that Barbie doll right back to my SIL and say, “NO thank you!” and I would not allow anyone to give my kids a christmas gift when I have clearly stated our reasons for not celelbrating. hmmm gonna have to re-think our next year I do believe….

  5. littleloveflame

    I love the name Tolly. You’re right – she comes up with great names 🙂
    I also love that beautiful puppy. I love dogs anyway, and that one is ezquisite.

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Thanks! I love that doggy. She is beautiful. She’s part Shiba Inu (and a big mix otherwise), but I think that’s what gives her those unique features. 🙂

  6. pithy_epigrams

    Ok, I think you’re right to feel conflicted about how to deal with this. I frequently find myself in tricky situations in which I am worried about insulting someone, even when it means I go along with something that is inconsistent with my beliefs.

    I think, for me at least, the best way to approach these situations is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. I know, for instance, if I give someone a gift that they don’t want, I would rather have them explain to me why they don’t want it, as opposed to just getting rid of it. When you are silent too many doors open. You will likely keep receiving gifts that you don’t want, and your relative will ask why she never sees Vera in her tinkerbell socks.

    You are a very considerate and grateful person, and I honestly believe if you lay out your beliefs about consumerism, and how it relates to your family, that would be the best. Similarly to how you described above. While there might be hurt feelings initially, it will be better in the long run.

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      You are so right about this. I really have to remember not to underestimate the people who love us. That’s all she’s trying to do- love us! I should receive that love regardless, and it’s certainly not doing that if I’m not honest or truly accepting of the spirit of the gift. We did receive the socks and didn’t say anything about it- this time. I think in the future though I’ll be more vocal about what I’m okay with and what I’m not, but earlier this time so that we don’t run into something like this again. I have that responsibility both for Vera’s sake and also for the sake of the rest of our family. It’s not fair of me to hold them to standards that they aren’t really aware of. I know that they all intend to respect us, so I shouldn’t be prematurely intimidated by what a reaction might be.

      You’re so insightful!

  7. kazzibee

    I didn’t get plenty of things growing up…and I never even really was given a reason…. somehow we just accepted what we got and what we didn’t. I think it helped that we were aware of the difference between what we needed and what we just wanted. We still occasionally received something that we reeeally wanted ..but I guess it’s a lot harder to combat the wantyness these days…

    I think that it will be good to accept the gift and let Vera wear them… and then when she is done, pass them onto someone who will use them… and let your sisterinlaw know that Vera’s socks have gone on to a new pair of feet where they’ll be loved again!

    Don’t get worked up and turn it onto yourself just because some people can’t even be asked to look outside of the box or appreciate someone else’s living choices, let alone do it for themselves…

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      You are right, there is a great deal of wantyness these days! Definitely compared to when I was a kid, and we were bombarded with ads. I remember being envious of other kids, but I also accepted it too. Perhaps I can turn this kind of thing into a lesson for her. I can talk about the treat items honestly (where they came from and why we don’t buy them) and use the experiences as an opportunity to teach about our ethics. Otherwise, I think you’re right. I’m always going to encounter this kind of thing- I remember a person I was with not long ago who handed Vera a little bag of Cheetos without asking me (in my general circle it’s pretty taboo to offer junk food without checking with a parent first). I thought about confronting it, but it was clear that she wouldn’t see why if I gave them back to her- it was one of those cultural things where it would have been really rude of me to refuse- more so than with other people. I do have to choose my battles. Thankfully with this person (with the socks) is a really thoughtful person who is generally on the same page as we are. I’m pretty confident it’ll be fine in the future if I just do a better job of speaking up. 🙂

      1. kazzibee

        ooh cheetos… i dunno… if someone handed my kid cheetos without asking I’d probably wanna brain them!

        please note: all recent comments are spoken with my “PMS” voice.. 😀 😀 😀

  8. pagangoat

    I totally get your conflict. The socks wouldn’t bother me too much themselves, but the fact that your SIL obviously was aware how you felt, and yet did it anyways…that sucks. And I can see that happening with us in the future, like the fact that I don’t want Eilidh to have barbies, and have stated that numerous times to my MIL, but I just KNOW that she will get her them anyways…I’m not sure how I’m going to handle it when the time comes. It’s a tricky situation, because you don’t want to offend the person, and yet, what they’ve done is actually pretty offensive/disrespectful in itself.
    Good luck, hope you can resolve it peacefully/without any hurt feelings:)

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      It is tricky, isn’t it! I think it’s extra hard because our reasons are completely legitimate, and it’s tough to explain it all without running the risk of having someone interpret it as a judgment or an implication that they have lax morals or something. Honestly, if I had stated many times that I didn’t want anything Disney or something, and then I got the socks, I’d turn them down for sure. If you get a barbie from your MIL then I’d just warn her that it’ll go straight to goodwill. It really sucks that you think you’ll be put in that situation. Not fair! Well, for what it’s worth, there are lots of mamas like me that are happy to stand behind you on it! Thanks for supporting me. 🙂

      1. pagangoat

        I’m sure my MIL takes it as a judgment on her parenting, because her kids had it all…from my little ponies to GI Joe, and everything in between. I wasn’t raised that way, if only partly because we were poor. I did get a couple of barbies, but never from my parents, only from my aunts. And I thought they looked very strange, with their teeny, inhuman waists, strange pointy breasts, perpetually smiling painted faces and oddly small feet…my favourite was my mom’s barbie from when she was little…she had a sort of neutral, non-smiling face,no makeup, small breasts, a bit of a belly, normal looking legs, and big feet:)
        I don’t know how I’ll handle it…possibly just put it away/give it away, but not say anything much, because omg, it is way too easy to have drama with Kris’ family. We’ll see when the time comes.
        Thank you for your support, as well!

  9. stupidfool

    are you sure that your SIL really understands your stance on this? it just makes me think of growing up with my parents… they were pretty strict about a lot of things–for example, no snacks after school, because they wanted us to have room for our dinner. but when our grandparents came to visit (which only happened a few times a year), and brought us a special treat, we could eat it, and it didn’t upset my parents. it wasn’t that they were morally opposed to us ever eating snacks before dinner or anything, and obviously if one time, we did not eat as much dinner as they felt necessary, it wasn’t going to ruin us. they just didn’t want us to do it daily, and they didn’t want to deal with the hassle of us asking for snacks every day, and the inconsistency of saying it was ok some times, and not ok other times. so their hard and strict rule was no snacks before dinner, but if some other adult broke the rule for us on occasion, they knew that we knew that it was only a special treat, and it didn’t matter to them.
    i obviously don’t know anything about your relationship with your sister-in-law, but are you sure she’s not just misunderstanding the situation, and thinking that you guys are opposed to consumerism, so you will never buy that stuff for vera, and she would know better than to get anything like that for either of you as a gift… but maybe she’s thinking of vera as a separate entity, and just thinking of it as though she’s getting vera a special treat that she wouldn’t normally get, rather than that by giving the socks to vera, she’s sort of causing you to raise to vera in way that you don’t want to raise her?
    (if this doesn’t make any sense, sorry–it makes sense in my head but i’m having trouble putting it into words, here!)

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Nope, I’m not sure, which is part of why I think next time I’ll be better about saying something like “We’ll take cousin’s socks when she grows out of them!” or something like that. I definitely think it’s up to me to curb this kind of thing in the future- if I even want to. I think this dilemma is really so much more about us choosing an alternate lifestyle for ourselves and our kids (as long as they are young), and how to best and most graciously go about setting boundaries with other people if we need to. The sock thing was really more representative of a larger issue, which is that I want to be able to communicate this stuff without coming off as offensive or judgmental. Gah!

  10. impeccablyme

    If you figure out the etiquette for that sort of thing, please let me know!

    We’re not super strict about not buying new, but we are pretty big sticklers about avoiding plastic/synthetic toys and clothing with characters/slogans on it. I have also wondered how we’ll explain some of the differences between how our family functions and how the majority of society does…like, why don’t we shop at Walmart when everyone else does? Why don’t we eat at Mc Donald’s when everyone else does? Why don’t we eat meat when everyone else does?

    Some of these things will be challenging to explain in an age appropriate fashion. (Especially the meat thing, because how will I explin that before she can thoroughly grasp the concept of death?) I also wonder how to handle it in such a way that she won’t think her grandparents/aunts/uncles/friends/etc. are horrible people because they don’t share our values.

    In other news, I am thoroughly envious of your garden! I’m not sure of the scale/size in your photographs, but I think our entire veggie garden is only slightly bigger than your onion bed!

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      It’s nice to know that so many other parents deal with this issue. You keep me posted as well!

      I think kids are really perceptive, and if anything they’ll absorb what you say like a sponge and force you to be really consistent! I think part of this dilemma is being confronted with a kid who’s actually old enough now to beg for “stuff” and not understand why she can’t get it when everyone around her can. I think it’s really more of a parenting challenge for me than anything else, and I’m figuring out what I want to do. Parenting is hard- I think especially when it’s impossible to be consistent in this culture! I have visions of people/Vera calling out my hypocrisy and I’ll just have to say “Hey, thanks for pointing that out. How can I be more consistent?”

      Most of those raised beds are 8×4, except for that back long one. It’s great that you have a garden! What are you growing? You should post pictures!

  11. lilpeace

    This is tough, and I think I may play devils advocate here…. I understand being irritated by gifts like this, but I also think it can be easy to come off as judgmental and hypocritical when/if confronting the situations. There’s a fine line between being principled and being an eco-snob, IMO, because there IS inevitably some hypocrisy going on, and we need to examine that and be prepared to confront it as long as we’re not being consistent.

    I lean toward just accepting them and saying thank you. She knows your values and your philosophies and will continue to get to know them over time, as you live them out. She made a choice based on HER values and philosophies, just like you do when you give a gift, and that’s not up to you.

    I can see drawing the line with some types of gifts that are really glaringly given in spite of your values, things that could be offensive, but I don’t think this is that. I don’t see a big difference between a pair of new socks and a new book, if Vera likes it. The difference is based on your personal preference, not on some difference in the inherent sustainability of the item. Both made of renewable resources that were likely not sustainably grown or harvested (cotton, wood). Both probably made in China or some other developing or underdeveloped country where the labor laws are lacking. I can actually see more reason to buy new socks rather than new books since socks wear so much faster (kinda like buying new underwear) and you can almost always find the book you want used.

    Maybe it’s me being stuck in our “gift etiquette,” but I just don’t see anything good come out of refusing someone’s well-intentioned gift. Vera will have to deal with the fact that other folks have different standards, other folks will spend their money on different things, and that’s just the way it is. We have to accept that sometimes others make choices that are not in line with our values, and that’s ok, because only our own choices need to be in line with our own values. We don’t live in a bubble and we can’t expect other folks to automatically come to the same conclusions, even if they know our values. It might not be obvious to SIL that socks are not in line with those.

    That said, I think it would be appropriate to have a chat with SIL about feeling undermined, if you feel like this sort of thing is part of a pattern of not taking you seriously or stepping on your parenting toes, so to speak.

    I empathize with this, more than anything, because I know it feels uncomfortable and choosing to live a lifestyle like yours will inevitably (sometimes) put you in a place where folks feel judged, because they’ll see their own inconsistencies and feel defensive about them.

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      That’s ultimately what I did. We accepted them and Vera’s been wearing them non-stop. It’s adorable of course, and I’m really appreciative of the gesture and how much she cares about Vera’s pleasure. It was totally generous. I don’t think I’m going to bring it up because she really tends to be on our side, so-to-speak, and I’m not too concerned about it in the future (and I can always be more specific, too). I really think it’s less about this situation than it is about this overall gift-giving situation, specifically when it comes to our kids and what kind of a message it sends them. This situation just challenged my thoughts about it, is all. At least that’s my conclusion thus far. 🙂

      “We have to accept that sometimes others make choices that are not in line with our values, and that’s ok, because only our own choices need to be in line with our own values. We don’t live in a bubble and we can’t expect other folks to automatically come to the same conclusions, even if they know our values.”

      Of course I understand this. I’m not expecting people to come to the same conclusions, but it’s a totally different ball game when it comes to making choices for our kids. Especially if it could undermine what is potentially going to be a challenging lesson for them to learn.


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