|Leslie Morgan Steiner is the editor of the best-selling anthology Mommy Wars and the brand new memoir Crazy Love. Steiner is a frequent guest on the Today Show, MSNBC, and regularly contributes to The New York Times, Newsweek and Vanity Fair. She lives with her husband and 3 kids in Washington, DC. In this column, she will offer her Two Cents on issues relating to modern motherhood.|
I am not sure how parenting has sunk quite this low, but last week I actually had a serious 20-plus minute discussion with four other adults about whether or not schools should ban dodgeball.
The arguments went like this:
1. Dodgeball has limited educational or fitness value for kids.
2. It is an excuse for bullies to attack and eliminate the weakest physical specimens.
3. It's not a team sport, it's a mob sport.
The Washington Post doesn’t have a Parenting section, although one might be as, if not more, useful than a Sports section. But there was an insightful, funny, comforting article about parenting recently in the Health & Science broadsheet. It was called “A Pre-College Snooze” (great title) and was written by mom Rebecca Lanning.
When I was growing up in the 1970s and '80s, sexism came in the guise of construction workers who whistled at me when I walked by on a summer afternoon. It was boyfriends who issued instructions about when I should wear a bikini and how much I should weigh. Sexism was my older aunt who asked, “What was she wearing?” when a college friend was raped in an alley after a concert one night.
Let’s just say, the world has gotten more complicated for girls growing up today.
I watched the back of his T-shirt as my 16 year-old-son marched off with another woman. She was a gray-haired African American grandma, her hair pulled back in a bun pulled so tight it looked like it had to hurt. Her clothes were starched as if she had spent most of her life in the military.
I had lunch with an old friend recently. She’s a New York-based Broadway actress. My friend is a pixie -- waifishly pretty, sweet and thoughtful. You’ve seen her in a few commercials playing a ditzy young housewife and a cute first date trying to figure out how to use her new phone.
She is now in her early 40s, and has never had children. In many ways she is still a child herself.
I loooooved being a mom when my kids were 10 and under.
I was the unrivaled hero in their lives. My middle daughter once presented me with a crayon drawing scribbled with “There are many pritty things in life, but you are the prittiest of all.” My youngest daughter asked me to marry her at Cinderella’s castle in Disney World. When he was six, my son asked me to drive him to and from college so that he could keep on living at home, with me, forever.
Ah, the sweetness of early motherhood!
Last week, my take on young girls, high heels, and bikinis generated a lot of dialogue - ok, mostly disagreement - from my fellow moms. So it seems worth it to dig into this topic again.
Here’s a sampling of what other moms wrote:
“Call me a mommy buzz kill, but I am way DOWN with mini-heels (I'm looking at you, Suri Cruise...)”