Me and and the Best Friend and another friend of deep roots and long times ago (i.e. college) have spent the night definitively stating how we will communally homeschool our future children. We will build treehouses! We will take all the kids on a tour of a factory–no! We will trace the origins of a product (like chocolate chip cookies) all around the world! We will find out where the wheat comes from, where the chocolate comes from, where the factory is where they put it all together, we will meet all the people who do it, we will try to understand how everything we eat and use comes from somewhere. We will learn fractions by cooking delicious food! We will watch M*A*S*H and discuss what a metaphor is, how one war (the Korean) can be a metaphor for another (the Vietnam). What “subversives” are. We will get the doctors among us to teach the kids to stain slides and what the parts of cells are! We will sleep all morning and read the paper, then do yoga! (Fantasy: parenthood will be just like life is now.) Instead of music class, we will simply ROCK OUT. We will raise little hipster children and we will keep them from school, where we were pelted with dodgeballs and taught lies! LIES! “Hegemony” will be all our kids’ first word. They will know textbooks only as artifacts of a culture they observe but do not fully participate in. I am secretly afraid my kids will be biters and bite the other children. (Aggression runs in the family.) I am secretly afraid my kids will hate me and wish they had gone to school and learned lies and played dodgeball. But I am excited to bring people into the world one day knowing that the hell of institutional education will never be inflicted upon them. I will say to them, “What do you want to know about? What do you love?” And instead of hours spent staring at a clock or trying to melt into a hallway of lockers, they will just do THAT.

But what if it was the alienation that made us who we are today? What if it was the years of adolescent hell that formed us, what if we will be denying the Progeny the valuable experience of feeling like they Don’t Belong, the useful pent-up energy of restless adolescent angst, what if high school was some kind of crucible, what if it we are fueling off it now, what if running as far and as fast as you can get from it keeps you moving, what if, in a life without jocks, without nerds, without the reductive, confining categories of “smart girls” and “hot girls” our hypothetical future children would flounder, lost among our best intentions of experiential learning, lost without the very perameters against we rebelled?

Nah, we decided. It would be better not to lie to them, whoever they might be, if we could ever stop drinking and smoking and drugging and generally freaking out long enough to actually reproduce the species. It would be better to at least try to tell them the truth, to show them what little we have learned in these confused deacdes of our so-called youth. The experiment in happiness would be worth it, if it worked. And I, personally, was already too excited about all I would learn.

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