Sunday, December 10, 2006

Raising Kids in LA

As I'm finally near the end of my overwhelmingly busy and draining 1st semester, it's great to catch up with friends. Last night, two families, one with three kids (all under 6), the other with one (under 2), and I went out for dinner. We went to a local pizza joint/bar in my friend's neighborhood and the kids scurried around, playing arcade games, sneaking into the back hallway watching the kitchen, causing mischief and having a good time. Doing the things that kids are supposed to do.

Of course, there were a bunch of adults at the bar too, drinking, having a good time. It's no coincidence that both couples each have one parent who's European. I mean, how many American-creative-class couples, so stressed about their kid's future, their own job [in]security, the general stress/anxiety in their family would take the kids out - regularly - to a LOCAL BAR/PIZZA JOINT? I'm talking a real, honkey-good-time people drinking and having a good-time place. Maybe I'm misjudging, but I'm guessing most parents would feel that it's not the "appropriate" place.

LA is a hard place no matter what to raise kids. There's no place that embraces superficiality better. But there are counter-trends, esp. if you look to the ethnic communities. I'm lucky to live in one. Just yesterday, I saw a mom playing with her daughter, scaring her by pushing the carriage down a hill, then catching it, again and again. Their laughter reached my apartment and I took a break from writing my paper and watched.

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