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Proud to be a Debate Mom

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Mom•Logic friend Ellen Feig talks about her soccer Mom alternative.

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"The conversation at Friday pick up is alwaysthe same. “Who is Jessica playing soccer against tomorrow?” “Do you need me to pick up Matt from hockey?” “I hear the travel basketball team made it to the semi-finals.” While all the other moms chat away, I stand off to the side reviewing my weekend plans: wake Ben at 7 a.m., meet the bus by 7:45 at the high school, chaperone a team of 10 novices at the tournament, and return home safe and sound by 8 p.m. While the other moms coo over their soccer-basketball-hockey playing children, I remain the silent outsider – the debate mom. That’s right, my weekends are spent watching my eldest child argue the benefits of fair trade,discuss the topicality of civil war in Darfur, and expound on the importance of health care for all Americans. My child does not dress incleats and a team jersey; rather, he outfits himself in a tailored blue jacket, ironed khakis and a button down shirt and tie. My car is notfilled with sports gear; rather, my trunk holds a blue tub filled withbrown file folders that hold the latest research on political and social issues. My heart does not beat a bit faster when my child gets a basket; rather, I am filled with pride when my son comes in second speaker at a statewide tournament (where he beats out kids from the illustrious Bronx Science). One day, when my son enters Harvard on a debate scholarship, I will move out of the shadows and proudly state, “This weekend I am spending the day at a debate tournament watching kids create flow charts, argue and learn.” Until then, my babysitter will be picking the kids up from school.

For more from Ellen, check out her blog Love in All the Wrong Places.


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3 comments so far | Post a comment now
catherine January 6, 2008, 7:37 PM

I hope to one day be a debate mom - my kiddo is too young to talk yet, but I met my husband when he was in college on a debate scholarship!

Kat January 7, 2008, 10:08 AM

Come on out of the shadows! Your child is awesome and deserves to be cooed over too. I was an athlete and scholar in high school and really don’t think the two should be held as mutually exclusive as it seems to be implied in this aricle. Go brag about your baby. I think you may be surprised that the other parents are receptive to your comments. They might even be curious and ask if their child can participate, and if not oh well.

Benjamin June 17, 2008, 3:51 PM

That kid of yours sounds amazing… That sounds like a fun weekend..


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