I was watching The Hunger Games with Cory, my 10 yr. old son, the other evening.
He finished the book a while ago and has been hawking us to rent the movie.
We kept hoping to tape it on regular T.V. rather than spring for the $4 Itunes rental.
Needless to say, his anticipation had been mounting.
He was excited to see the characters in his head on screen.
As he commented on each character aloud, I got stuck on the adjective he used to describe Gale, Katniss Everdeen’s best friend and hunting partner, played by Liam Hemsworth.
He said, “Oh Gale is cute”.
This prompted an interesting convo between the two of us.
Randi: “Have you ever considered whether you would marry a boy or a girl?”
Cory: “That’s a weird question to ask me.”
Randi: “Why is it weird? Some boys marry boys and some girls marry girls."
Cory: “Ya I know that. Remember we have Wawa & JJ and Kaka & Jen in our family.”
Randi: “I was just curious if you have an idea of who you will want to kiss one day.”
Cory: “Uhhhh, GIRLS…of course!”
Randi: “Why OF COURSE?”
Cory: “Because girls are beautiful and hott.”
The “hott” adjective triggered a whole new thought in my mind.
I don’t want my baby to become a teenager but I will save that topic for another day.
I share this story with y’all because I think it’s interesting that a simple thing like saying, a boy is cute by my son, triggered a little bit of panic within me and caused me to bring a mature topic to his attention prematurely.
You see, I consider myself very comfortable with “the gay” factor.
Both my brother and sister are gay.
My children have been raised to not only have awareness, tolerance and acceptance for all types of loving partnerships…it is familiar and normal to them.
My family is very close and both my brother and sister and their spouses are super involved in my kid’s lives.
I love my sibs exactly as they are and would never wish them to be different.
So why was it triggering for me when Cory called a boy cute?
He probably just used the wrong adjective or maybe he was simply noticing that the character on screen was better looking than the one he imagined when he read the book.
I notice other women’s beauty all the time and I’m heterosexual.
I know it would not make an ounce of difference whether my kids are gay or straight in terms of my love for them.
I know I am fully supportive of their entire beings.
I believe that most parents feel the exact same way about their kids even though most of us wouldn’t choose for our kids to be gay.
However, my triggered response makes me inquire and look within in regard to this issue.
I think that many of us worry about the pain, suffering and disappointment our children may be subjected to - if they are “different” than the norm.
The thought of the people we love the most, enduring future pain at the hands of others can cause great anxiety in parents.
And this fear of perceived future pain affects our behavior towards our kids.
My behavior played out by bringing up a subject matter that is too mature for my 10-year old son.
He flat out told me it was weird – code for, “What the f%&k are you talking about” and still I chose to proceed.
The real pain for our kids usually occurs because of our actions rather than at the hands of others.
How often does a mom police the food intake of her overweight daughter, causing her to feel weak and flawed?
That mom is fearful that others will make fun of her daughter or that her girl will suffer as a result of a larger body size than some of her friends.
How often does a dad use harsh words towards his little boy that would rather play video games and draw than play baseball?
That dad knows that athleticism holds loads of social currency in “boy world” and he wants his son to grow up feeling confident and happy.
Even sharing this story about the Cor makes me feel nervous that some of you might jump to conclusions about him and he could suffer from untrue gossip.
I feel like I need to provide evidence of all his “macho” qualities because the truth is, I am 99.9% sure he is all hetero.
Okay – I guess I just did and I will spare you the specific details and evidence of all the ways Cory is most likely not gay.
I’m human. I worry about my kids just like you worry about yours.
Our world is changing…evolving.
Boys can play baseball, draw AND love taking baths with yummy smelling fizzy bath balms.
Girls can run fast, enjoy fashion & make-up, excel at math & science and expel disgusting smells from their bodies equivalent to their brothers…unfortunately.
And Mamas can raise our kiddos, the next generation, to have a non-stereotypical definition of “N-O-R-M-A-L”.