What do #RadiCoolUnschooling, the UNCRC, and vegan nice cream cake have in common?
They all taught me an important lesson about prejudging people this week…and made me a better person.
In case, you have not guessed yet…as an advocate for #LittleHumans, I am a huge fan of the UNCRC…if it were just applied properly. I have adopted the hashtag #LittleHumans instead of children as a reminder to everyone that they are not an extension of yourself, a tabula rasa (blank slate), or your chance to live life all again. They are their own person with their own hopes, dreams, and ideas.
I have always felt deeply connected to this song…
And even though I have finally found a hero, ‘someone to look up to’, in Cookie Monster, these words still speak volumes to me and guide my life…
I believe the children are our are future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be.
That is what I try to do every single day with my life. But like everyone else, I am still human. I still have my own prejudices. And I fail miserably sometimes.
This week PanKwake and another beautifully strong #HomeEd #LittleHuman lit my path and made me a better person.
You see…I have many vegan friends. I do my best to respect their views. When I have meetings and parties, I consider it a great challenge to cook vegan options that are as appealing as the other things on my table. But some of the passionate messages have turned me off.
A couple of weeks ago our #HomeCrazzyHome circle expanded to include the Four Little Bears family…Papa, Mama, Fairy, and Jelly Bear. It was the first time that I had experienced young #LittleHumans (less than ten years old) being vegan.
And I admit my prejudices took over. I worried about the baby Bears getting enough protein. And while I whole-heartedly advocate for the rights of #LittleHumans to make their own decisions under Article 5 of the UNCRC
(United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child)…
Governments must respect the rights and responsibilities of parents and carers to provide guidance and direction to their child as they grow up, so that they fully enjoy their rights. This must be done in a way that recognises the child’s increasing capacity to make their own choices.
I also get the first half of that. And I will admit that sometimes as with religion (and veganism can almost be one), politics, and things like racism, I worry about the balance. About just how free some #LittleHumans are to form their own opinions, beliefs, and thoughts.
Yes, even PanKwake. I wonder sometimes how much her radicalism on #neurodivergence and #RadiCoolUnschooling are her own…and how much are reflections of my own ideals. Then she does something kick a$$ like she did this week and I know that she is leaps and bounds ahead of me in life.
What did PanKwake do you ask?
She called me on my own prejudice. We were talking about the Four Little Bears. And I expressed my concerns including about my influence on her…and where the balance was. She told me…that I was only a little bit better than the ‘school people’ thinking that #Little Humans could not make decisions for themselves.
It was not the first time she had told me that either. A couple of weeks ago, PanKwake had made another SIMS family. In this one she had put the toddler in Speedos which happens to be another running joke in this family. ‘No man looks good in Speedos.’ I said that was just cruel of her. She replied that the little boy liked them. And before I even thought what I was saying…What do kids know.
PanKwake was all over me. Pointed out my own hypocrisy. It was a knife to my soul. One that I had handed her myself. But sometimes a lifetime of prejudices die slowly…they keep rearing their nasty heads. I am eternally grateful for PanKwake…and other #LittleHumans like Fairy Bear…for lighting the path for me.
You see…I admitted my sin to Mama Bear. And got egg on my face even now. It was Fairy Bear…ten years old…who lead the way. Who inspired her whole family to become vegan.
Now that…I gotta respect. Not just Fairy either, but Mama and Papa for enabling and empowering their #LittleHuman to not only express her beliefs (Article 13) but to support her to live them as well. Hats off to the Four Little Bears.
So as I was preparing for the Unschool Valentine’s Dance, I especially wanted to make the menu as balanced as possible so that Fairy and Jelly Bear would not feel they had missed out on anything.
I had bought a Joe’s Chocolate Heaven ice cream cake which while it is vegetarian is not vegan. I had seen a recipe on FaceBook for nice cream, a vegan ice cream made with bananas and coconut milk. And Mama Bear had shared a recipe for vegan cake with me. So viola…the idea of putting them together to make a Vegan Nice Cream Cake.
While it might not have been as pretty as the Joe’s version, I am told that it tasted very good. Thumbs up from Fairy Bear…which meant a lot to me.
Oh, and I apologized to both Mama and Fairy Bears as well as PanKwake for not living up to my own ideals sometimes. As I told Fairy…I respect and admire her convictions…even if I may never adopt them myself.
The party? Everyone seemed to have a blast. And the cotton candy/floss maker which was the vegan option was more popular than the chocolate fountain.
Growing up I learned a saying…
Don’t get too big for your britches.
In other words, don’t close your mind off to new information/possibilities.
I am dedicating this blog specifically to Sally Holland
, Children’s Commissioner for Wales, and Kirsty Williams
, Education Secretary for the Welsh Assembly. I hope that like me they will step back…learn the fact about the #HomeEd community…and re-evaluate the proposal that will cause serious stress and emotional harm (Adverse Childhood Experiences) to approximately 2,000 #LittleHumans every single year.
I hope that they too can learn from their mistakes and grow as a human being as I have this week. Thanks to two strong, thoughtful, and independent #HomeEd #LittleHumans.