Friday, September 20, 2013

Raising My Rainbow

As recovery progresses we face all kinds of challenges. Too often we think they happen to us because we are addicts or that life happens to us in a certain way because we are in recovery. But the longer I am recovering the more I see that it’s not “us and them” and I don’t subscribe to the “earth people versus recovering people” dichotomy.

Everything humans face we have to face—love, success, loss, grief, betrayal, kids, no kids, family issues, work issues, money issues etc. What is true is that we were low on coping skills before recovery and so we used a substance or a behavior as a “coper” and then after that created a problem for us we were blessed to find recovery and learn new coping skills. Ideally we learned new ways to think and behave so that we didn’t need to cope with as many self-created problems. But we still have plenty of problems and challenges because that’s just life for everyone.

And raising children is one of those huge learning arenas.

So along the lines of “look what life delivered to me” I am delighting in and recommending the new book, “Raising My Rainbow” by Lori Duron.  You may have seen Lori and her husband Matt interviewed on morning TV or read about them in parenting magazines. Lori’s blog, also called “Raising My Rainbow” is one of the top Mommy Blogs and one of BlogHer’s must read blogs.

The book and the blog are about raising Lori and Matt’s two boys—Chase and CJ. One son is “gender-conforming” –a “boy’s boy” (Blue-wearing, truck-playing, sports-loving masculine.) Lori’s other son has been described as : gender-creative, gender-nonconforming, having gender dysphoria or gender identity disorder. (Loves pink, Barbies, Disney princesses, girl’s clothes and dance is his preferred sport.)

Yes, I was so curious. How do you make choices in this situation? Clothes friends, school, teachers, other kids, peer pressure medical professionals etc. And Lori shares all of that…some heart breaking, some incredibly funny and always inspiring. But what recommends this book the most is how Lori and her husband Matt choose to parent their sons—with and without differences.

This may be one of the best parenting books ever. And there is no “la-la—everything is gonna be all right” in this book” so watching Lori and Matt wrestle with raising kids can guide all of us.

Because the book is written by Lori I did have the lingering, “Is her husband OK with this?” question which sent me to Lori’s blog where the day-to-day story is told. And there I found this article by Matt offering his perspective on raising their gender-creative son.

Take a look at Matt’s article in the Atlantic—here is the link:

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