Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Glad to share in his world

January 13, 2006

Pat - 36
San Mateo, CA
3 children - boy (8), twin girls (3)

Buster wanted to know if (insert celebrity name here) was a lesbian.

Buster is eight.

My husband - after I replied that I thought she was, as I had read so in a magazine – asked me where he would get such terminology. I eyed him suspiciously to see if he was kidding. Not long ago it had been legal in San Francisco for gays and lesbians to marry (that’s one place) and The “L” Word is a very popular show on Showtime about Lesbians (that another place). And although we don’t have Showtime, The “L” Word has commercials on E! This is where he would hear the word lesbian.

But the fact that he would come and ask me such a question without a moments hesitation makes me proud, makes me feel like I am giving him the tools he needs to feel confident and trust that I can be trusted with his thoughts; his curious nature.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Caroline said...

I appreciate this outlook/response in the wake of your son’s questioning. I have found myself in similar conversations with my own son and chatting about these kinds of talks with girlfriends who have children. Despite how we feel about homosexuality (our opinions are as various as our personalities) it is imperative that we address this with sensitivity and honesty. As a community we are facing denial, dishonesty and disease in epic proportions because of our discomfort with this subject. This is one more thing we simply can not afford to ignore. An open honest relationship with our children breeds open honest conversation. This is the very best place to start.

Thank you Pat for sharing.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Leslie said...

It is amazing the power that we as parents hold in the palms of our hands. The power to mold and shape minds, the power to teach and help understand, the power to yeild unending love and support. This truly is the most wonderful job.

9:35 AM  
Blogger alex said...

I too am surprised at some of the things that come out of my children’s mouth. At first I was bothered by it, but my wife set me straight.

She let me know that if we did not have an open forum in the house for our children to get answers and explanations then they would turn to their peers for information. And we all know how wrong that can be.

Congrats Mom!

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Angel said...

I am so glad to see these responses. It proves another aspect of our growth as a people. My mother and her mother would not have responded in the same way. There would have been a raised brow, a curled up fist on the hip, and a swift dismissal to another part of the house or maybe to the backyard. But that was a different time and good for us, of this generation, to know that that is not the kind of response our children need. I'm sure we've all been the recipients of misinformation, handed off in coat closets amid thermoses full of milk and half eaten peanut butter sandwiches. The world is too different a place for that now and the consequences too great.

Peace to us all,

ANGEL

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Sunnlover said...

I hope I am building a similar trust with my daughter. She must know she can come to me about anything. We cannot take this for granted.

I remember going to a friend for some information in my teens. My mother was so hurt I didn't go to her. She thought we were close. My actions revealed something else. I was not comfortable talking to her about anything.

Bravo!

5:53 PM  
Anonymous jasai said...

I keep asking myself, what is the difference between the parent who listens, waits, holds their reaction and the parent who flies off the handle or worse, ignores. I keep coming up with fear. I can recall the visible anger (almost resentment) in my father's face in light of something he had found out about me, something he found out I was no longer innocent to. He was ablaze with judgment and harsh treatment. When I look back on that time, on him, and reflect that against what I know about his life as a kid, I know that he was afraid for me. Afraid that I would run head-long into a disaster he was not strong enough or brave enough to rescue me from. Afraid that the things people projected onto him as a child would somehow be projected onto me.

I have caught myself doing this to my own children. Afraid that my son’s being too loud and rambunctious – the way boys are – would be misconstrued as out of control, or “wild”; afraid that some word or deed from my daughter would put her in the “fast” category and I would be ill equipped to defend her. I am working on being open with my children. Not about the things that are sideline issues for me like other people’s sexuality or the perils of drug abuse (these are easy topics for us) but how people will judge their intellectual ability, or how the objects of their interests as children (i.e. rims and shiny jewels and fancy shoes) will color the way people see/judge them. This is difficult for me, even though I recognize it as projection. My instinct is to make the discomfort (my discomfort) go away. To cover. To protect. Me.

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