I hate the park. I hate being the only adult there under 40. I hate being asked what my rates are. I hate overhearing the conversations about Tastefully Simple and Mary Kay and Tupperware and Avon and Pampered Chef and being invited over to look at catalogs because there’s so much to buy that surely something will interest me.
I hate the long lines of minivans that are all shine and sparkle and not a one of them with a model year earlier than 2002. I hate the looks I get when I buckle the kids into my 1984 Volvo station wagon. “Wow, I didn’t know cars that old were safe for kids to ride in!”
I hate the questions. I hate the snide cutdowns that tell me that homeschooling is for freaks. “Oh, you homeschool? I couldn’t do that. Too disciplined.” If by disciplined you mean work I’m willing to do, gosh, yeah, you’re right. I hate the comments about them acting like children. “Oh, they’re not on Ritalin? But they’re so high-spirited! How do you manage?”
I hate the lines of Dora and Spongebob-clad kids, with their McDonalds lunches and no concept of tag or hide-and-seek. I hate that Rebecca gets cut down because she’s not wearing fucking Disney Princess gear. “You don’t match, so you can’t play with us.” Or worse, “You don’t match, so you have to be the bad guy.” I hate that having an imagination is a sin. “I’ll be Princess Becca, and this is my horse, Marcus,” is met with, “That’s not a real Disney Princess.”
I hate telling my kids that Halloween is off limits because our neighborhood isn’t really a trick-or-treating one. I hate that every other little girl in Rebecca’s gym class is going to be an angel or a princess or Cinderfuckingella, and she gets weird looks because we don’t celebrate the over-commercialized holiday. I hate that my kids lose the argument of whether a fall fair with hayrides and huge slides and smashing pumpkins and apple cider is just as good as buying a costume and being given candy by strangers.
Some days, I could just cry.