Editor’s Notes

Pub date February 24, 2009
WriterTim Redmond

› Tredmond@sfbg.com

You’d think Gavin and Jennifer were the king and queen or something, or that the San Francisco Examiner had turned into People magazine, to see all the fuss about the First Baby. Seriously, the Ex devoted a full two-page spread to the kid, who isn’t even past the first trimester. Sample baby names, a composite photo of what His or Her Little Highness might look like, an entire story on the political implications of fatherhood (hint: family photos look great in campaign mailers) … it’s not as if it’s been a slow news week.

Does anybody really care that much if a married couple decides to procreate? Jesus, when Willie Brown was mayor and impregnated his fundraiser, who was about 30 years younger than he was, it was a collective civic "whatever."

The mayor doesn’t typically take my phone calls (imagine that) so I passed along my best wishes through his press secretary, Nathan Ballard, who doesn’t take my phone calls, either, but does occasionally deign to respond to my e-mail. I don’t know if he got that one, since he never wrote back, so perhaps I’ll just say it again, in public:

Congratulations, folks. It’s a wonderful and crazy world out there, being working parents with busy careers and raising a kid. I hope you never need all the family services you’re about to cut.

Cloth diapers are much more ecological, but that absorbent stuff they use to make the disposables is so incredibly cool that you just want to take them apart with a scissors and pour colored water on them just to see how they expand. (Trust me, things like this will become fascinating at 5 a.m. when you’ve been up all night.) A tiny little square of that stuff sucks up about 50 times its weight in liquid. It’s one of the great inventions of the 20th century.

When the kid’s a little older, you can ride the Muni trains. That’s what my son and I used to do every weekend. You come to appreciate Muni as performance art. It doesn’t really matter when the train shows up or how slowly it moves; you aren’t going anywhere anyway. And you’ll meet all kinds of people who will give you all kinds of tips about child-rearing, and maybe a few about how to run San Francisco. And it only cost $1.50; kids still ride free.

Then it’s time to send your kid to public schools.

I get a lot of shit when I talk about this; my blog post complaining about the Obamas choosing a private school got all sorts of comments from all over the country, every single one of them negative. But I soldier on: elected officials should send their kids to public schools. If the San Francisco schools aren’t good enough for the mayor’s kid, then the mayor needs to be working harder to fix them. I know it’s none of my business, and that you have to do what you think is right for your own child and all that, but … if the mayor, or the president, or the school superintendent, or the school board members, or the supervisors choose private schools, then they’re saying that public education is good enough for the poor kids, but not for their own.

Hell of a statement, huh Gavin?

San Francisco has some great public schools, and I suspect you can figure out the admissions process. Or just gimme a call. I’ll pass along some tips.