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August 28, 2007

Getting on the Bus With Chris and Elizabeth

Schoolbus_2 The blogoshpere has been buzzing lately. Rebecca shared her thoughts on campaigning with kids (in reaction to the New York Times article from last Sunday) in a post from the Silicon Valley Moms Blog titled "Speak to the press kiddo, or else a time out!!!" This stirred up some very interesting debate/comments, one from the eloquent and amazing Elizabeth Edwards herself. In agreement with the commenters Mir and Redsy, Ms. Edwards does end up looking classier in comparison and I will also be lighting a candle in the Elizabeth Edwards shrine. Then Chris from "Notes From The Trenches" shared her thoughts in a post titled "Getting on the bus with Elizabeth".

Being somewhat short of free time this morning like Chris, instead of a warm breakfast I gave my preschooler twins cheerios (after I sent my older son off to school) so I could write this. And instead of fighting over the TIVO remote, my twins had random acts of wrestling that I needed to break up even with their one hour of evil TV time this morning. Maybe I should of just baked cookies for breakfast, then would I have been the perfect mom?

I am glad that Rebecca shared her thoughts because it is an interesting debate. What is better for kids, being on the campaign trail with mom and dad or home going to school being taken care of by nannies? I don't mean to blow the image apart that parents of young kids have, but school is not the "perfect" place for kids. Before I had kids I dreamed of sending my kids off to school each morning, helping with their homework, cheering them on for afterschool sports. But as many parents find out, that dream is not always reality.

I am a big supporter of public schools, private schools and after school sports, but they may not be the best fit for every child. Some kids can't learn being forced into one or a few "boxes". Some kids don't want to participate in team sports and need individualized activities. So saying that any kid SHOULD be in school is completely off base. All kids SHOULD be educated, but there are many ways to educate kids. And experiential learning should not be overlooked. I think the most important thing is to have parents that provide a loving, enriching, supportive environment and that are role models for their kids. I agree with Stefania's comment to the post, John Edwards "speaks from his heart" and "shows passion for his cause", which is the "embodiment of American spirit". He and Mrs. Edwards are great role models for the country and their kids. They have my vote.

Like Chris, I thought about a "perfect" conclusion to my post. But then I realized that asking my 8 year old son his opinion would be the best last words. And just for background, while sending him off to that perfect place we call school for that perfect daily routine with perfect after school sports he has decided not to participate in, he regularly asks me why I can't be his teacher. So this morning I asked him "If daddy was running for president, would you want to travel with mom, dad and your brothers around the country campaigning? Even if that meant that I and a tutor would be your teacher, people would be asking you all sorts of questions that you would need to answer,  you would not be able to see your friends while on the road and you would be constantly going from one hotel to another but meeting interesting people while visiting states around the country?  Would you want to stay home in school with a nanny or travel with mom, dad and your brothers? He did NOT hesitate and said "Are you kidding, I would go with you and daddy!! Hey mom, is Daddy running for President? That would be so cool!". And I am happy for a reporter to ask my son that question.

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