Sunday, March 21, 2010

first contract

At Tsia's school this year, the parents have all been taking turns teaching the kids about our careers. Since the East Village is a creative community, the kids have tried their hands at photography, learned about interior design, built a house from sticks (one parent builds treehouses when his band isn't touring), constructed cityscapes (three of the parents are architects), made jewelry, written books (literary agent), and learned to conduct interviews (journalist). Last week, they learned about contracts from the lone lawyer in the group.

I love how this career was presented. The parent introduced the children to the idea of contracts by negotiating with his daughter, who wants a computer. He left himself plenty of wiggle room (as lawyers are wont to do) while convincing his daughter that she shouldn't fight with her little sister. Of course Tsia came home from the experience wanting to negotiate her own contract, and she promptly sat down at the dining room table to fill out the contract template that came home from the lesson--even signing my name for me.

Anyway, last week Tsia and Todd sat down together to complete the census form, and they agreed that they will always complete their census forms together. The even wrote a contract to ensure that they're legally bound to do this. So they produced Tsia's first contract: copy below.

I wish I had my camera handy when they were negotiating and completing this form; it was really precious to see them leaning over the paper together, concentrating on the wording and signing their names. Tsia said she'll never move out (much to Todd's horror!), but I'm all for flying her home someday if she's living in Paris.

Nothing like a tradition and a little civic duty to hold a family together.

Wish me luck. This week it's my turn to talk about designing sewing patterns for children's clothing.


  1. That is so funny. I have to tell you teenagers should all be lawyers. They love to argue with you. I love this though. Your children sound very lucky to have all this exposure to talented parents.

  2. Anonymous3:00 PM

    This is so sad. Did your little one view the PBS Dora the Explorer propaganda video re: the census? Is that what put the idea in her poor little head? Big Brother loves you and obviously love Big Brother.

  3. Anonymous, I find it sad and very troubling, actually, that people are buying into this kind of nonsense about the census.

    If you're really concerned about the information the government has about you, it's not the census you need to worry about. Do you use the US Postal Service? Do you file an income tax form every April 15?

    Each of these transactions provides the government with much more information about you and your household than completing the census form does. Have you stopped sending and receiving mail? Are you not going to file a tax return to collect your refund this year?

    I didn't think so.

    This isn't really about the census form, is it?

    I deliberately keep politics and religion off my blog. Those are personal choices that we all make, and I choose not to discuss them here. I posted this entry because it's about a sweet moment that a father and daughter shared and a ritual they've agreed to follow once every ten years for the rest of their lives.

    You've crossed a line with your comment here. To keep this thread from degenerating into an inane shouting match between commentators, I'm turning off comments on this post now, and I would appreciate it if you would refrain from commenting here in the future.