Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Learning to Love

When I read this, I kept thinking about all the crushes kids at this age, (around ages 4-8ish,) have;  lots of boys want to marry their mommy's & girl's their daddy's  (I suspect visa versa too.)  Many, many kids have crushes on their kindergarten teachers.  No one thinks much of these "school kid crushes."  They're considered normal.  This is the way in which a child at this age processes love for the people they know.  I know both my girls claim they are never moving out.  They'll just move their families into our house with us.  They can't even imagine wanted to live away from home for college.  This makes me laugh, because, I suspect, they will be "chomping at the bit" to get out by that time.  And I do hope they're excited when it's their turn.  But they're kids and they can't imagine loving someone any more than they love us right now. As they get older their world gets bigger, and so does their idea of what love is.  My point is, that I totally agree with the author.  She's right, we should imagine as if all of our kids are being targeted by the hateful anti-gay rhetoric.  Even people who "aren't anti-gay" but are against gay-marriage need to stop deluding themselves.  While you might not be a hateful person, the message you send our kids is that they aren't equal.  And that is not okay. 

When the whole prop 8 thing started here in CA, it was interesting to me how many of our neighbors posted pro-prop 8 signs in their yards.  Churches were passing them out at their services.  To me it felt like they were going out of their way to point out their feelings.  So, in turn, several of us made calls & got anti-prop 8 signs for our yards.  Listen, I'm fine with the whole we can agree to disagree thing, but not when it comes to my child's self-esteem.  If it turns out, a child of mine is gay, then I want them to know that I will not tolerate them being treated differently. I will fight for them and their rights always.  I'm their parent and they are my child above all else.  There are no conditions on that.  That's why they call it unconditional love.  At the time of the prop 8 discussion, an older family member indicated that they "weren't anti-gay, but they just didn't think they (the gays,) should be allowed to marry.  They can have civil unions, why do they need marriage?"  I have to admit was I was shocked.  There are several people in our extended families who feel this way, but I was surprised by this person.  This person wanted to "agree to disagree," but I was really having a hard time with leaving it like that.  I finally asked them, "What if one of your grandchildren is gay?  Do you want any of them to be told they are a lesser person because of that?  Do you think it's okay to deny them the right to a marriage? They already legally can be on each others' health care, have children together, purchase a home together, (which is harder than any of those other things,) so why not marriage?"  Initially, the person wanted to drop it, so I let it go, but I made it clear I didn't like it.  The day after the election this person told me that they voted against prop 8.  The idea made them uncomfortable because of what they've been told are their life.  But when I put it in the framework of their own grand kids, whom they love and cherish and truly just want them to be happy, that made them realize they could live with uncomfortable.  Their grand kids deserved more."
Are either of my children gay?  I don't know, neither do they, they're too young to know.  What I do know, is that they are loved no matter what, and I will not tolerate people judging them harshly on that subject.  I know that any "crushes" they have at this age are just a normal part of growing.  It tells me we're doing something right; our children know how to love.