Freeform Katia

April 4, 2008

keeping your opinions

Filed under: philadelphia — Tags: , , — freeformkatia @ 12:45 pm

I had the unfortunate pleasure of having someone personally attack my life choices today. This person had the audacity to judge where I live and where I plan to send my children to school. What frustrated me the most about the situation, though, was that this person did not even want to consider that there are a great many POSITIVE reasons for living in the city. She summarily dismissed it and implied that I, my family, and especially my children, were doomed to live a life in urban filth and amongst criminals and the uneducated.

It boggles my mind that such narrow-minded people exist.

I’m all for people expressing their opinions, but do not attack my choices. If you choose to live in the suburbs — fine. If you choose to send your child/ren to private school — fine. Everyone makes their choices based on what they believe is best for them and their family.

Me, I choose to live in a highly urban area and will send my children to a public school. I like it and it works for me and my family. We like living within walking distance of restaurants that run the gamut from African to Asian to American to European. We like living in a neighbourhood that is diverse (ethnically, racially, and yes, even with gender and family types) and where I can hear up to 5 different languages spoken at the playground at the same time. The public school in our neighbourhood is one of the best in the city and, I’ll wager, will provide my children with a better education then some of the private/charter/parochial schools in the city.

As I’ve said before on this blog: Don’t you judge me.

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8 Comments »

  1. I got to your site at random, but I’m commenting because of your 1 April post ;) Don’t spend too much energy being angry about this person, she is obviously the one with the problem …how can people not realize that the key to having a good life is being surrounded by things that you love but that also challenge you? There are huge advantages to being exposed to other cultures and economic groups and the history of a place like Philly, and there are great advantages to having great open spaces to roam around in where you don’t have to lock the doors at night. If she can’t see that, I shudder to think what her kids are going to be like when they grow up!

    Comment by galenaj — April 4, 2008 @ 1:01 pm

  2. Galenaj — thank you for your comment. I think you’re right: her problem, not mine.
    Cheers.

    Comment by freeformkatia — April 4, 2008 @ 1:08 pm

  3. totally agree with galenaj. i think our neighborhood would be a lot of fun to grow up in, but growing up in suburbia was ok, too (granted, it was close enough to philly that i could come here on my own when i got old enough) and i somehow managed to come out of it mostly unscathed, and not all sheltered and culturally unaware. thank goodness!

    Comment by addie — April 4, 2008 @ 1:32 pm

  4. I lived in all sorts of environments growing up including the city, the suburbs, and rural/country (can we say wheat fields?). And in all different parts of the US. They all have their advantages and disadvantages (including the frequent moving!). It’s all about what works for YOU and your family.

    And as Galenaj said, she’s the one with the problem if she believes her way is the only way. That’s how wars and crusades are started. :)

    Comment by Shana — April 4, 2008 @ 1:44 pm

  5. De-lurking to say that the only way we can change the world for the better is to be a part of it, perceived warts and all. There is nothing wrong with public schools or urban living. What a sad mindset that person has. Our children are better people for the economic and social diversity they’ve lived in and experienced. After many years we now find ourselves at the upper end of the economic scale but we still operate with the same consumer values that got us through grad school with kids. Well, except for the travel, we have upgraded that :) Vive la difference, mon amie!

    Comment by Toby — April 4, 2008 @ 4:19 pm

  6. hi, Katia
    This city person (who grew up on a farm in Iowa!) de-lurks at last. The one who blasted your choices is projecting her fears; alas, you were her target. But do not despair – city kids know how to cope, value people of all different sorts, and learn to treasure the abundant variety in the city instead of to fear it. Clark Park at your doorstep, all the delights of Baltimore Avenue, and bike rides to the library are things Maja and Madeleine will treasure their whole lives long. You are doing a great job as an urban parent of the 21st century!

    PS – loved the crawling video!

    Comment by MargaretR — April 4, 2008 @ 6:27 pm

  7. Likely her inconsideration for your way of life has to do with 1. fear (she herself would not be comfortable in your environment so she has to think that it’s “wrong”) and 2. ignorance (although if she works in the city I wonder how she could be unknowing of its perks). Life is complicated and you make choices to the best of your abilities based on your own unique set of circumstances. With you and Richard as their parents your girls would thrive on the farm, the burbs or the city.

    Comment by Lynette — April 4, 2008 @ 6:54 pm

  8. Katia:

    You, Nan and I are all very successful women in life, love and where we live. We all live in a big city after growing up in a small town. We are all culterally savvy and loving it. Our kids are growing up to know the diverse nature of the city and what they can be. You are doing a great job, I wish I had the time (or wasn’t as lazy) to do the things that your family is always doing.
    Love ya.
    Kir

    Comment by kir — April 6, 2008 @ 5:54 pm


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