A few days ago while Noah and I were having a discussion in the kitchen, this statement popped out of my child’s mouth, “Come on mom, why can’t I have a normal childhood?” He said it with a half cocked smile, but he wasn’t kidding. Noah is bummed out by the upcoming changes that will be taking place in our home. Our lives are constantly in a state of flux as we learn how to take the reins of self sufficiency and Noah’s desire is for things to stay as they are.
The biggest protest he has (although he hasn’t been all dramatic about it) is over the change from WIFI to non-wireless internet connections. It hasn’t happened yet, but those changes will be happening in the next few months. What does that do to a teenager who seems to live on his hand held devices? Its a pain in the ass! His Ipod touch won’t work to watch youtube videos or see cool things online from that little microwave beacon that is endlessly pulsing in his pocket irradiating his body. His cell phone will work, but he’s constantly using it to text one of his friends. Again, more microwaves. I have little say over whether my son has a cell phone (we don’t pay that bill) and I haven’t told him he can’t have one either. Still, the upcoming changes are enough to make him feel bummed out. He’s not happy that his XBox Live will not be wireless.
Noah doesn’t like the fact that there will be wires coming out of the back of his devices. I find this to be slightly humorous. He has this awesome black box that cost HIM a small fortune and he’s all nuts about moving from WIFI to a hardline modem in his room. His TV is internet friendly, his XBox can handle change better than he’s handling it. He’ll still be able to watch movies like he does right now and even though he has a laptop (falling apart) he’ll have to plug that into a modem as well. He also was offered a regular computer since his is falling apart and he turned it down because it was a regular desktop, and he didn’t want to clutter his room up.
So what’s the big deal right? It kind of sounds a little spoiled to me, but that’s just my opinion. These are some of the things that have come to the surface during our conversations. It will also mean that our cordless phones will be a thing of the past and in their place a regular corded phone. I wrote an article about microwave technology if you’d like to read it here. He uses his cell phone if he does talk on the phone, but once again this is a pain in the ass. LOL At this point, I have little sadness over his feelings because I’m more concerned about his health and overall well being. We’re not asking him to get rid of anything, just to restructure how he uses his things. There are lots of teens that don’t have cell phones, internet TV, Ipod touch, the newest version of Xbox 360 or whatever you call it, and a laptop.
“Come on mom, why can’t I have a normal childhood?” in our conversation also covered over our change in food. We’re working towards all homegrown organic food, jam packed with minerals and nutrients that are lacking in today’s conventional produce. Even store bought organic food is starting to show the affects of overworking the land and killing nutrients. I not only want my children to eat the best food, but to know how to grow it properly. That doesn’t happen with a “normal” childhood. I don’t think any of his friends or peers know how to grow food. That is a skill that can save lives, increase health, and satisfy the soul. The “normal” teen childhood usually revolves around school, extracurricular activities like social clubs and sports, friends, working a job, homework, studying, household chores, and sleep.
The “normal” teen would not be learning how to build chicken coops and other structures, learn how mix concrete properly in the right ratios, know how to cook fabulous meals, or learn other invaluable skills. I find it to be a little empty to just be a part of sports or some sort of club if you don’t attain any working knowledge that can enhance life. Yes sports and clubs are fun and help kids to work together, but I think that can’t be all there is. There needs to be more for them. I never learned how to grow things when I was young. Maybe if I did, it wouldn’t have taken us so long to get with the program! Most of my children have witnessed the slaughter of our ducks, the plucking and gutting, cooking and eating. That is not “normal” according to our society. Isn’t it abnormal to grow your own food and raise your own meat instead of buying it from the store? After all that’s why we work at a job isn’t it? To make money to buy food and pay bills? Eating the same sad types of fruits and vegetables from the supermarket and never taste new varieties? Eating meats that when the animal was alive it was treated with contempt and suffered horribly. Animals that were never able to live naturally and raise their young? Chickens with motherhood bred right out of them? I can say the same thing for our human populations.
We live in a time when motherhood is being bred out of women. A time of being labeled “the new domesticity” if we show our families how to clean toilets instead hiring another woman of a lower economic pay grade to do it for us. Yes, we’re supposed to buy into the idea that this lifestyle of ours is not normal. I’m not normal because I want make beautiful soaps. Why? Because it might become an “obligation” instead of making soap. Don’t we need to wash ourselves? I think abnormal would be to omit the soap all together.
“Come on mom, why can’t I have a normal childhood?” is a loaded statement, filled with real feelings and valid points. I don’t want ordinary and normal for my family, I want extraordinary and amazing. I hate to say it, but what we are doing will be far more luxurious than what I’ve been used to. You might be wondering how homesteading could be luxurious, but go to Wholefoods and buy EVERY THING organic instead of going to Walmart for your food. Can you afford to buy the very best organic food? How about if you could grow it and save all that money for grass fed organic beef? If you grow it, its like money in the bank. Organic food is a luxury that usually only wealthier people can afford. I can’t afford organic, but if I grow it, then it only costs the amount of the seed packet. It is a true investment to watch your money grow from those tiny seeds to thousands of pounds of organic produce. 2012 will be the first time we have a few large gardens. The goal will be to produce much more than we can consume and preserve the rest! I would much rather spend my time in a garden watching over my family’s food, then to go shopping for food that carries a hefty price tag and leaves me with lots of plastic or other waste I need to pay someone to get rid of.
It should be abnormal to use products that contain known carcinogens and instead because we choose to make our own laundry detergent, some how that’s the abnormal thing. Our detergent only contains a few ingredients, of which none cause cancer or are neuro-toxins. Noah has gotten used to our new detergent but I’m sure he misses the smell of Tide. He’ll know how to make his own (click for recipe —–>) laundry detergent so when he’s living on his own, he won’t pay a premium price for laundry detergent. For one young man, it will cost less than .25 cents a day for him to do his laundry (if he has his own machine to use). I can’t make him change his shampoo or soaps, but I can get him in on the action to learn how to make it for himself. I can take him to Wholefoods or Sunflower market to pick out new essential oils and to make custom soaps and shampoos that are better than anything he could possibly buy at the market. Is that normal? God, I hope not!
Normal, what is that? I guess its all relative huh?