August 7, 2012

Mississippi Hippie

 On a recent trip a few of my (childless) friends were asking about various parenting issues and what it was like to be a mom these days. Eventually the topic of cloth diapering, homemade baby food making and organic foods came up. I mentioned that these are all things we participate in. After answering many questions, one of which included a lengthy explanation of why we cloth diaper and how it works (you mean you don't just throw them in the wash with a bottle of tide and a gallon of downy?!? Don't they smell bad?!?), one of them exclaimed "Wow, you're like a little hippie super-mom!" I kind of laughed because um, no. I'm so not. Clearly, the fact that I didn't breastfeed kicks me out of that camp, not to mention after four years in Boulder, CO I know what a real hippie looks like (not to be confused with hip-STER).

But, really, in the deep South? Yeah I am kind of a hippie. Politically I am right-leaning moderate which pretty much equates me to a dirty liberal*. I believe in Global Warming. I support marriage equality. I actively take steps to reduce the amount of waste my family produces and if you ask, I'll tell you about it. This includes cloth diapering and making our own baby food. I am passionate about food sourcing, thus I also try to eat as much locally and organically grown produce as possible. I worry about the amount of processed chemically enhanced food we eat. I'm concerned that all these scientists playing God with the chemicals in, and the genetic makeup of, our food can only lead to disaster. And? If you ask, I'll tell you about that too. I went out of my way to exempt Evie from Mississippi State's mandatory fruit juice law and even got the ok to bring her organic milk for her lunches.

So yeah down here in the chicken nugget scarfing and climate change ignoring crowd, I stick out like a sore thumb. I'm ok with that. I've never really let one thing about me define who I am to an extreme. In High School I was captain of the cheer squad, most certainly a member of what could have been (but weren't in my class) the mean popular girls, but I regularly hung out with people in other cliques, people that would have been deemed uncool. I didn't care. I liked them. In college I refused to let my sorority girl status define my experience and I made time to hang out with the weird liberal arts loving crowd too. And now as an adult, wife and mother I refuse still to let my self-proclaimed Southern Belle status, my addiction to fried chicken and my love of all things Southern be all that I believe in.

And there you have me, the Mississippi Hippie.

*I don't think liberals are dirty.

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