Thursday, September 23, 2010

Have you seen them?

Have you seen those stick figure decals for cars that represent your family?  They're cute.  And I hate them.  If you have them on your car I hope you are not offended by this.

Adorable little stick figure people.  A mom with big curls in her hair and a briefcase.  A girl holding a soccer ball.  A boy in with a hockey stick.  A baby in a diaper with a big bow on her head.  A dad with a golf club.  A kitty cat.  Then I realized that I only saw "normal" stick figure families:  two parents, a couple of kids, a pet...an INTACT family.

I have spent quite a lot of time answering the question, "Are we still a family?"  No one ever asked me this question.  I just asked it myself.  Over and over and over again.  I know we ARE a family.  We are a small, loving, non-traditional family.  But I still miss the dream of what I thought my family would be.  I thought my family would look like one of those stick figure families on the minivan in front of me:  a wife, a husband, two kids and a dog.  But as many of us know, life had other plans. 

And I am OK with that....except when confronted with one of these annoyingly cute nuclear stick families on the car in front of me.  Somehow that stick figure family makes me feel like I am missing out on something.  I am proud of my family, but I am not going to put a decal of a mom and one kid on my back window.  I don't want to advertise that it's just me and my kiddo.  It just doesn't feel right to me.  It feels like it's nobody's business what my family "looks" like in stick figure form.  In fact I do not want everyone who sees my car to know I am a single mom.  I don't like the safety implications or the assumptions that might be made.

But they are cute.

10 comments:

  1. love this post! LOVE it! yep. Cute and annoying. Yet, I must admit I have thought about getting them - not for my car, but those return address ones. And...(stepping into the confession booth) I did put them on my facebook page when FB let those happen. Something always struck a nerve with me about those...but they are cute. I did see one today that I never have seen before - military family in camo.

    Thanks - great post!

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  2. LOL - I DO have them on my fb page - along with a stick house, a stick cat and a stick flower pot, just so the two people don't look lonely.

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  3. I could have written this! It has taken me years to understand that my family of 4 is intact! enough!! I think the same thing when I see those stick figures! Do I want everyone to know this vehicle holds a single mom and her 3 kids?/ you know what- now I do! BUT I choose not to because of the kooks! BUT finally I am proud that I am managing..as are you! It is NOT what my dream was..or the life I envisioned..but I am doing it!!! I want a stick figure that shows that....:)

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  4. I agree, it probably isn't "safe" to put these on a car for a single mom. I know when it was just me and my daughter I would never have considered putting these on my vehicle.

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  5. I think we should come up with our own stickers. Something really far fetched and off the wall to shock people. I have a few things in mind. LOL

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  6. I want to know what Danielle's thinking :)
    For years, I struggled with those what I felt were in my face slaps for not being the nuclear family. I would be thankful to live in SoCal and have my sunglasses on when tears would spring to my eyes, seeing a dad with his child on his shoulders, thinking, 'my girls will never have that.' However, now I DO want to flaunt what our family has accomplished all on our own. When we go on vacation, when we're out for dinner, I want people to stop and turn and see that single parent families CAN do this. And do it pretty damn well.

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  7. Debbie, I know you've struggled with this and my non-professional view, is that you will continue to until you can let go of your dream. You look at those stickers and assume they mean this perfect intact, nuclear family but who's to say it's not a blended a family? Maybe one of those children is a grandchild or a niece or nephew being raised by that person because of some tragedy. Maybe there were more children but one has passed away and this the family's way of reinforcing they are still a family.

    Your mom and dad play an important part in your life so if you want stickers on your car, go ahead and add your mom and dad - they are your family and family is how we choose to define it. Putting your stickers on your car will, I think help reinforce with your son, that you ARE a family and it may look a little different from others, but it's YOUR family.

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  8. Thanks Mandy - I have been thinking about what you said above for a few days now. You are SO right. It is so much more than the stickers. I still won't put them on my car...but I do need to continue to work on accepting my little non-traditional family!

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  9. I thought about getting some but realized one girl, 7 cats and 1 dog might make people think I'm a crazy animal horder. Little do they know I'm just crazy about animals! :)

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  10. Thank you so much for posting this! I actually AM going to get some of these stickers for my car. Only one adult and two kitties. That is my family. Non traditional, small, and happy. Someday maybe I'll find a partner and finally be able to afford that adoption (I've been blessed/cursed with piping that doesn't work), but for now this is my little family and I'm darn well proud of it! :-D

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