I initially wrote about half of this as another "Moonbat hunting" piece, but it came over as just plain mean given the target, which isn’t part of my nature (No really! – life is mean enough without adding to it unnecessarily!).I want to reserve Moonbat Hunting for the really mean ones that deserve it, so instead I am compelled to write this as an advice column.
WSJ Online’s Best of the Web Today identifies a Ms. Demetra Delía with a problem (fifth item):
'Those Hateful Airplanes'Now, 1) with a name like Demetra Delía, 2) living in Frisco, (they hate it when you call it ‘Frisco’) and 3) with a demonstrated penchant for carping about jet noise [aka the Sound of Freedom Baby!] I just KNEW Ms Delía had to have a good, even if somewhat short internet spoor trail to follow.....and I was right.
More fun from the letters column of the San Francisco Chronicle (fourth letter):Thank you, Fleet Week. My preschool-aged daughter, having heard your airplanes overhead all week, is now completely traumatized and afraid to go outside. She just heard a commercial airliner in the sky and ran inside shrieking, shaking, and trying to close all the windows and doors. We tried to have a fun family weekend enjoying free music in our park, but it was ruined by the thundering sound of those hateful airplanes overhead, forcing her (and most of the other children I saw) to throw her hands over her face and cower.Taranto notes:
If there is ever an opportunity for me to vote on any proposition keeping this ridiculous event and huge waste of resources from marring the skies of my city again, you can bet I'll be the first in line to get it voted in.
Apparently Demetra's little girl also is afraid of commercial planes, not just "hateful" military ones. Shouldn't parents try to help their children overcome such fears rather than wallow in them?
From her presence on the Internet, we can deduce that Ms. Delía, unfortunately, might have difficulty helping her child overcome her fears.
Here we see her with her daughter at the last Phish concert/festival in August 2004. I’d say off-hand they seem to be about the most normal-looking people at the concert. But if the event was anything like the pictures taken, it looks scarier than the 2002 Laughlin River Run to me. I know sound can have a powerful effect on even unborn children: an unkind person would point out the Phish noise might have traumatized the lass even through her ear protectors, so let's just say all the creepy characters that seemed to permeate the place could have done it instead.
Ms Delía’s letter above is somewhat of a ‘disconnect’ from the one she wrote last year to Salon.com where she described her daughter as “curious, independent, loving and fearless”. I say ‘somewhat’ because as you can in last year’s letter Ms Delía seems to carry a lot of anxiety over being a parent. I hate to inform her, but while 28 may seem to be a young age to be a mother in San Francisco, where for ‘some reason’ they aren’t having many kids, in the real world it is quite normal to have them even younger!
She seems to have some of the important basics down: such as “kids really need is to know that their parents love and support them”, but she gets it wrong about it being ‘all’ they need. They need structure, rules, and routine to feel secure. They need to think they are exploring without your supervision and yet find that you always somehow seem to be there to keep them out of serious trouble. When they learn the rules well they don’t need you physically there to protect them later at all – your early lessons will protect them. While Ms Delía would “rather spend my time enjoying her – not stressing about the possibilities”, 'stressing' is the parents job, especially when they are very young (You do it when the're older out of habit). Stress and prepare now, sleep better and more soundly later, not because it is easier in the long run (it is) but because it is better for the person you are parenting. More than once in this modern age did I have to remind one of my kids that I wasn’t their buddy, their friend, or their peer: I was their Father and I took the job seriously. I thanked my parents for taking that attitude when I was older, and my first-born has already done the same. In comparing the two letters, I have to wonder if the fear she sees in her daughter might be a case of simple projection.
And finally Ms. Delía, and this may seem a little harsh, but if you really want a more happy and healthy, well-adjusted life for and your daughter, you really need to find a better belief system (fourth response) .
About those airplanes scaring your daughter: at her age is when many children go though their first unreasonable ‘fear’ experiences: don't 'stress' on little things like that, just get some parental support.
UPDATE 10/13/06: "Best of the Web Today imitates Elements of Power after Elements of Power Shamelessly (Metaphor Alert!) Hangs on Best of the Web Today's Coattails". Seems I wasn't the only one that pulled on this thread (sixth item today).