An Un-apology


Sorry we haven’t been posting much for the past few weeks. We are only sorry because we enjoy blogging and the fact we haven’t been able to do it so much lately is something we regret for our own selfish reasons.

Partly we haven’t had time. Both Sophie and myself have been even busier than normal (and normally we are busier than a lot of people)! But also we decided to take a step back and a bit of a time out as a result of some flack we received about a recent post. In a way we were a bit bemused. We are pretty open about sex and sexuality but actually that has seldom caused much controversy here. We don’t hide our spiritual and philosophical beliefs which we know are not to everyone’s tastes, but again that has rarely provoked unpleasant feedback. The thing which did open us up to some abusive and hurtful criticism was a recent post Sophie wrote about the fact that our daughter has started smoking occasionally, and rather than get angry with her and forbid her to smoke we have accepted the fact, with just a few provisos. There were a few responses to that which accused Sophie in particular of being irresponsible, evil and unloving. Obviously none of those replies ever made it onto the blog. Now we are pretty thick skinned when it comes to criticism but to be honest the sheer venom of some of those replies and the fact that Sophie was accused of being an unfit mother did take us back a bit. We don’t mind intelligent criticism at all and are prepared to enter into respectful debate with anyone. We are also willing to change our opinion on any subject if somebody comes up with a well reasoned and convincing argument we have not thought of. But we are not willing to enter into any form of discussion with trolls or righteously arrogant people who just want to abuse and insult us.

Anyway, we will move on and continue blogging putting this little episode behind us. However, before doing so I want to state a few things of my own concerning that recent post. Firstly I totally agree with everything Sophie said in that post. Moreover, Sophie is the most intelligent and devoted mother any child could hope to have. Secondly when I got back to Zurich after a working trip I took my adopted daughter out for a coffee and a chat about everything that had been happening in her life while I was away and during the course of that outing I let her have one of my cigarettes and I’ll admit there was something nice about sitting in a cafe and smoking with my little girl who is beginning to change into an adult. Thirdly yes, she is a little younger than Sophie or I were when we started smoking and probably we would have preferred this step not to happen just yet, but it has and we accept it. Fourthly some cultural context that Americans in particular don’t seem to be aware of. In Europe in general, in Switzerland in particular and especially in Zurich, smoking is still a very much accepted part of the culture even though we are just as aware of the health risks as anyone else. People do start smoking at a young age and in fact Tina is pretty much the last in her peer group to take it up. Nextly in order to preserve her privacy and hide her identy to some degree I have always been a little vague about her exact age and birthdate. It is enough to say she is on the verge of teenagehood. And I hope this doesn’t come as a huge surprise to anybody but her name isn’t really Tina although it always will be in this blog.

And finally “Tina” is the most precious thing in the lives of Sophie and myself. We would give our lives for her at the drop of a hat. And we would and will defend her like vengeful lionesses if we have to. I think I can honestly say that Tina has had a pretty idealic childhood full of innocent fun and games and lots of freedom in the countryside that many would envy. We have certainly not forced her to grow up before her time and she is still charmingly child like in many ways. But she is beginning to make the transition from childhood to adulthood and we want to be as close and supportive as we can be during that process. We are certainly not going to alienate ourselves from her at the start of this phase of her life by being overbearing and hypocritical about this issue. My adopted daughter is a bright, beautiful, funny, clever girl and I love her as much as if I had given birth to her myself, as much as I love her mother and more than I love myself. I am fully convinced she is going to become a stunningly beautiful, intelligent, inspiring and well adjusted young woman and it is a privilege to play some small part in her upbringing.

Our little girl is growing up. One of the manifestations of that is that she has started smoking. We accept that. Anyone who can’t accept that is welcome to discuss with us politely or else fuck off.

And with that rant aired, our blog will return to its normal debauched content!

5 responses to “An Un-apology

  1. All i can say regarding stupid comments is that sometimes i let them thru to show how stupid they are and sometimes i just delete them, yawn. My attitude is it is my blog and my ideas and fk them if they are offended. Let them eat cake and watch the Disney channel….

  2. It continually amazes me how people want to project their likes, dislikes, life choices, etc., on to others. Your daughter sounds (and writes) like an intelligent young woman who can make choices for herself – and its not like you didn’t discuss the negatives associated with smoking. I fail to see the big deal.

    It also amazes me the number of people who would rant at you for smoking or for condoning your daughters smoking – but will eat fast food, or consume huge amounts of unhealthy food and drink… the double standard is awful.

  3. Cassie & Sophie

    Reblogged this on Smoker's Writes and commented:

    This is in response to some criticism we received for the previous post, “Smoking with my daughter.”

  4. My mother-in-law has been smoking with my wife ever since my wife was in her mid- to late teens, so I fail to see any problem. Granted, I’m not sure how I’d feel about it if it were my own children, but we’ll deal with that when (and if) it comes. In any case, the backlash against your post was clearly unjustified.

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