Saturday, February 26, 2011

Parenting Through America's Fiscal Crisis

From: Chris R
Sent: Friday, February 25, 2011 2:18 PM
To: Michael R

Ripley just texted me on her friend's phone asking if she could sleepover at a friend's house. The kid's parents are splitting up, the kids in the family are staying with different relatives, and the last time Ripley slept over there for a party, the girls played spin the bottle and were kissing each other and stuff (Ripley says she didn't participate). I figure she'll be even less supervised than last time with all the family turmoil.

Anyways, I texted back "not tonight, some other time." I get a text back saying "why." Apparently she's at the age where she figures she deserves a reason. Instead of saying something like "don't question me" or "because I said so" (which would anger her), I said "It's because of the mortgage-backed derivatives market. We can talk more at home, my phone is about to die." She responded "ok".

I think that was kind of clever of me.

From: Chris R
Sent: Saturday, February 26, 2011 11:10 AM
To: Michael R
Subject: Re:

When I got home, Ripley asked me "so, what is that mortgage, market thing." I spoke with a bunch of enthusiasm about the Lehman Bros collapse, but how Paulson pressured BofA to prop up Merrill-Lynch.

Ripley, who never wants to appear to not know anything, nodded as she fed the dog. Then she asked "So, were you, like, part of that bank thing? Is that why I couldn't go to Nikki's?" I talked about how all of the US population was affected by it, talked about the resulting credit crisis, and how it has impacted global markets. I also discussed the $600 trillion in mortgage-backed derivatives in a shadowy, unregulated market that Brooksley Born fought Greenspan, Rubin, and Summers (the same Summers that was head of Harvard in "The Social Network") to shed light on, but their word held more weight with Congress than Born's, and she was silenced. I seriously talked for like 10 minutes as she unloaded the dishwasher.

I fully expected her to call bullshit, press the issue, and ask me why any of this had anything to do with why she couldn't sleep over at her friend's house, and I was going to explain how I wasn't comfortable with the level of supervision that might happen at Nikki's house. However, Ripley was comfortable accepting what I'd said as a legitimate reason rather than admit she didn't understand, so we got a pizza, made milkshakes, and watched "Lean on Me."


1 comment:

  1. ok, my favorite part is that ripley is doing all these chores without bitching! that is equally as awesome as all the rest. a+ job!!!