My Open Letter to Charlotte Kauffman

*Some of you may have been following the recent story of the family rescued at sea, it strummed up a lot of emotions for me and I wanted to write an open letter praising this mother who is currently being attacked*

Dear Charlotte, 

Fuck them. Fuck them all. This may seem harsh sounding and drastic to readers especially for the F word to be gracing the pages of a parenting blog but I can’t say it enough to you right now, F-U-C-K them. I’ve been there and don’t let them steal your flame. 

I heard about your story as many did when the press blew up days after your saving. I forwarded it to my dear friend Dana Glazer who wrote the recent Huff Post piece on rebel parenting but didn’t spend much time beyond that reading about the horrible thing you and your family lived through. It wasn’t till yesterday I was turned on to the horrible backlash, comments, and aggression, from onlookers particularly the parenting community you and your family are facing. My heart felt heavy reading over the oh so familiar comments of people jumping to “child abuse” and the like. I have been there girl, I feel ya. 

Just as you through my protesting career I was subjected to many judgements being labeled so many things and even being tracked by CPS for bringing my family to peaceful protests to act on our civil rights. I engaged my child in politics of our own country and in turn was labeled a “bad parent”. I received endless hate emails, calls, and blog/article comments. Nasty horrible messages were left for my family that I doubt people would have the balls to say to my face if the safety of the internet was removed and they had to look me in the eye. 

As I suspect of yourself (from the little I’ve learned about you) we both while undergoing scrutiny also happen to be highly engaged and highly involved in our children’s life’s. My daughter is growing to be a healthy, happy, balanced, and educated little girl. No though, that counts for nothing with these people. We were labeled bad mothers all because of our decisions to make the call on what we felt was safe and beneficial for my family. Interesting thing is most (if not all) of these hater I dealt with had never even been to a protest such as I imagine many beating on your internet door have never sailed.  

We have such a messed up prospective these days as to what is “good parenting”. Yes, it’s a dangerous world out there but does that constitute locking our kids away and living the homogenized version of childhood from behind the glass or the screen? When did letting your children experience life first hand become such a crime and when did having the ability to offer your child a well rounded experience of the world become bad parenting? 

It’s people that live in fear that hate on parents such as us. Fear of not looking beyond their own yards, cities, countries and closed minds. Fear of the unknown, fear of taking risk even safely planned ones and even when the outcome is fruitful and rewarding. I for one want my daughter to grow up with an open heart and an open mind. With a life full of first hand experiences and and adventures that will enrich her life so much with every breath that she feels alive. We will not let fear hold us back from offering everything good in this world to our children. I understand the pain being called a bad parent by strangers can hurt, confuse, and enrage oh too well. Doing your best for your children only to be treated otherwise because people don’t understand. Again I feel you and want you to know you are not alone.

I commend you for being a fearless mother and parenting your children how you see fit. You’ve offered them the real nectar of life through living it fully and first hand. Also for being graceful in facing the backlash from so many small minded people hiding behind the internet when your family lost so much.

I look forward to the day you relaunch on the Rebel Heart adventures with a new home and tell the story about offering everything to your two little girls. You’re brave for letting the world know you’ll be back and standing by your ideals. 

Bravo and be well,

Kirby Desmarais 

Kirby Costa Campos