|Homeschooling: Not even once.|
Q: Damn six kids is a lot. Are you Catholic/Mormon/Mexican/religious?
No. Joe and I are recovering Catholics who also happen to be super
white not Mexican and originally of the Midwest. He was an altar boy as a teen and I was baptized as an infant, but our whole churchgoing career has been limited to Joe’s childhood experiences of being bribed with AM/PM for tankards of soda after Mass.
|Sippin' on sparkling cider.|
We also had two and a half babies before we made it down the aisle, and it was a random lady we found on the internet who married us*. I was twenty weeks pregnant at the time, we had our two- and one-year-old in our wedding party, and it was an unchurched, outdoor ceremony.
There is no question that I’ve been influenced by having been raised by a guy who went to Catholic school for a few years. I spent years arguing with Dad about whether his homophobia toward Sarah McLachlan’s so-called “lesbian love song” [Adia, which actually happens to be about her grandma] was at all acceptable. I got in Dad’s face and advocated for the parents of a teenager who wanted to stop their disabled daughter from having periods—she lacked the capacity to ever give sexual consent, anyway. I loathe the church’s protection of child sexual abusers and its myriad abuses of power. And I hate how much people can be protective over a fetus even at the expense of its own parent. But I would by lying to myself if I claimed that my view of When Life Begins has not been colored by Catholic ideas. I have a biochemistry degree and am staunchly pro-choice, but also feel that even early-term abortion is sorta sad and to some extent destructive of something unique. There are many tragedies in the world, though; uncared-for children are undeniably more tragic than the loss of zygotes, embryos, early-term fetuses, late-term fetuses, or or pretty much anything else I can think of.
The Church also condemned my dad for the sin of getting a divorce he truly never wanted in the first place, so there’s that. And yeah. Birth control is a good thing, too. The church and I disagree on a lot.
On the lighter side: Joe was in a church-affiliated youth group as a teen, for which he was tasked with giving a canned talk to the younger teens. It was called "Masturbation is Wrong and I'm Here to Tell You Why." More than anything else it was an exercise in hypocrisy, since Joe was probably a strong candidate for World’s Biggest Wanker at that life stage. So we laugh about this now and do not subscribe to that belief system.
TL;DR: We’re not churchy but each come from a long line of explosively-breeding Catholics, so it’s in our DNA to enjoy f***ing. Hence, kids.
Q: Do you homeschool?
Oh hell no. I love my kids, but I do not aspire to argue with them every day about why we should be reading Bartleby the Scrivener; let’s just say that, although I love Bartleby, I’d prefer not to.
The large-family parents I know that do homeschool successfully are superhuman. I know a mom with six kids who spends at least 15 hours a day with them (not counting middle-of-the-nights with an infant) and I would not be clinging to a single shred of sanity if I were doing that.
And like a good Michigan State alumnus, I’m skeptical of most folks who feel that their child is too special for the public school system. This is not to say public (or private) school is for everyone, especially if your kid is in the uppermost echelon of Mensa or something like that. But even then, isn’t it a lot less work to just let them get pulled out of advanced math for GT, so they can learn about flying buttresses from someone with a true passion for that sh*t? Let go, and defer to the nerds of the world. Many of the most brilliant and dedicated people I have ever met are public school teachers.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for the gritty-@ss professional educators who have wrangled my children.
Why Bad Parody?
My dad is the fourth of nine kids. There are 26 of us first-cousins alone (that I know of) and we (grandma’s direct descendants) have produced 28 great-grandchildren for her at last count**. We Millers are the original invasive species of Michigan*** and are just getting started. So with all these people to feed, none of us is really in the position to shell out for a $200 mixer every time someone’s son gets married. Instead, our family’s love language is writing awesomely bad songs for each other together for special occasions.
When Joe and I got married, the song that was collectively written by the family was Spartans Are Forever, a parody of Diamonds Are Forever of James Bond movie fame. This is a nod to how Joe and I met at MSU. (Go Green!) Cheesy and most excellent.
The ones I'm posting here are not wedding songs. Mostly momlife stuff. It makes me laugh to write this crap in my head while I am driving the carpool and listening to music.
Also, I love Weird Al.
Are you going to have more kids?
Nope. I love babies but should probably stop cranking them out before I (G-d willing) become a grandma. I am drafting a persuasive essay called Have Kids Until the Thought of Having More Kids Flashes Fresh to Hold and Horrify, though.
*No, my wedding dress was not white. But I would’ve worn white if I’d felt like it. Because screw people telling me what to do.
**The extended Miller baby factory has at least two more comin' down the assembly line by the end of this year. If I need my baby fix I’m hanging out with my cousins.
***This is literally true. My grandma descended from one of the two OG German/Catholics who sailed from Bremer to the U.S. and landed in 1836. These dudes actually walked from Detroit to Ionia to buy and settle what land would eventually become the town of Westphalia, MI. It’s all German Catholics today; pretty much nobody else lives there. (Note: I’ve never lived in Westphalia.)