Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thankful

I try really hard to keep the lines of communication open with my kids. I want them to know that they can come to me with any problem, dilemma, or decision. I want them to know I will always give them the truth,  no matter how difficult that might be.

I had great parents, but there wasn't a lot of real nitty gritty discussion going on between parents and kids in those days. I wouldn't have dreamed of asking my parents about sex, and they wouldn't have dreamed of telling me. Same goes for drugs, alchohol, birth control, religion, politics...that's just not the way  parents related to their children in those days.

So I talk to my kids. A lot. Truth be told, I probably talk too much.

Boys are different from girls when it comes to communication. They don't feel the need to verbally disect every thought, emotion or impulse. They don't examine things too closely. If they do, they keep the findings to themselves.  I have had to learn to wait for those little gifts of information that they dispense far too slowly for my taste. When I try to rush them into divulging the details that I prize, they simply clam up, batten down, and beat a hasty retreat.

So when I talk, I wonder if at some point, my voice doesn't just become the wah-wah-wah-wah-wah of the Charlie Brown adults.

I know they hear. But I wonder if they really listen.

We don't often get to see the fruits of our parenting labors until the hard part is over with. We don't often get to know if we did it right until it's too late to do it differently. So on those rare occasions that we do get to know....its very sweet indeed.

I savor those moments. Then, after I have wrung every drop of gratification from them, I file them away in one of the many drawers in my mental filing cabinet; the one labelled "good Mommy moments". I pull them out when I need them, to remind me that I do get it right sometimes.

I got one of those moments the other day, courtesy of my teenager.

He and I sat facing one another at a local pizza place where Diminutive One's team had gone to celebrate a three game winning streak. Some of the team parents at an adjacent table began discussing a situation that has the entire Metro area up in arms. A transgendered teenager at one of the local high schools has petitioned the school board to be able to attend school in girl's clothing and make-up.

You can imagine how well that has gone over here in the Bible Belt.

The comments I have heard regarding this young man have ranged from mildly distasteful to downright hateful. I have not encountered one person who supports his right to dress as he pleases.

One of the parents turned to ask me what high school Pubescent One attends. I told her (it's not his school, but one that many of his friends attend) and in reply she said, "You must be really glad he doesn't go to that school!"

I am, glad. DAMN glad. But not because of Jonathan Escobar. I'm glad because I have no respect for a Principal who tells a student that he must man up or withrdaw and I do not want such a person to be an authority figure to my sons.

Through all of this discussion, Pubescent One listened quietly with a look of disgust on his face.

When the woman turned back to her table mates, Pubescent One said, "Geez what's the big deal??" 

"I don't know, but it is a big deal to some people. They want him expelled...or worse."

"WHY???" he asked, clearly incredulous. "Oh, oh, wait, because he's DIFFERENT, right?" his voice was dripping with scorn. He rolled his eyes, shook his head and said under his breath...."God...he's not hurting anyone."

I was so proud of him at that moment.

I've talked to my kids time and again about tolerance, acceptance, embracing diversity and reveling in our differences rather than fearing them. But here in the South, beliefs are handed down like family heirlooms. They are accepted and perpetuated, even if they are antiquated and offensive within the scope of modern thinking. Those who are different or unusual in any way are scorned, if not persecuted outright. There is no room for them in the comfortable little construct of Southern acceptability.

Thus, a panty wearing faggot at the high school is just the kind of thing that would incite an uproar of unparalleled magnitude. And has.

But my son has not fallen prey to the prejudices around him. He sees them for what they are...useless artifacts from an intolerant era. He is learning the way of things, my man child.  And he is learning to be his own person, think for himself...lead instead of follow. And even more importantly, he is learning to judge people for who....not what they are.

I'm sure before his teenage years are over, there will be plenty of things I do all wrong.

So I'm thankful I got to know that I did this one thing right.


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14 Comments:

  • At 2:31 PM, Anonymous Apryl's Antics said…

    Good work. I hope my kids don't fall prey to the heirloom thoughts they're exposed to here in my neck of Georgia. I'm trying my best.

     
  • At 4:22 PM, Blogger the only daughter said…

    Yes, boys communicate differently than girls. Now (@ 27) my son talks as much as my daughter, maybe more. Thankful, yes. I am.

    Lovely to SEE the fruits. Yep. Yep. Lovely.

     
  • At 5:47 PM, Blogger Margaret said…

    It makes me sad that so many people think this is such a HUGE deal (when there are so many more important issues) and that they feel the need to be judgmental and hateful. I don't think they are very good Christians at all, whether they go to church or not. Kudos to you and to your son!!!

     
  • At 6:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It must be really, really difficult to raise children in this culture. I don't know if I would be up to the job. It seems very apparent that you are. Cheers.

     
  • At 1:14 PM, Blogger Amy Y said…

    I'm proud of you and your son!! :)

     
  • At 7:28 PM, Blogger Woman with kids said…

    We're currently being bombarded with adds for boths side of the gay marriage issue here in Maine. It's been a good opportunity to talk with my boys about it, but we've had talks about it before.

    I think Boy 2 summed it up quite nicely. "If we're supposed to love everyone, why are some people so hateful?"

     
  • At 10:16 PM, OpenID wheelsonthebus said…

    i hope all the kids at that school show up in drag to support that young person.

     
  • At 1:52 AM, Anonymous yeahyeahwhatever said…

    I love that Pubescent One pointed out the obvious fact that adults always miss--"he's not hurting anyone." Good job, both of you!

     
  • At 7:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I understand some of the issues with the school, though. The child wanted to use the girl's restroom...and as a mother of girls, I would not be comfortable with that at all, no matter what his sexual orientation. They were allowing him to use the administrator's restroom (because they were worried for him in the boy's room), and he still chose to use the girl's bathroom.

    Part of the problem was that they knew that the way he dressed was going to get him beaten up...and it would have, eventually. Children that age are NOT all accepting. He was causing the other students to be distracted, and that is why there is a dress code in place to begin with. He might not have been hurting anyone...but neither are the girls that want to wear mini skirts and spaghetti straps, and that's not allowed either. Sometimes you just have to teach kids to follow the rules, even if you don't like them.

     
  • At 9:01 AM, Blogger mamatulip said…

    Good for you. Might I say I am proud of you? I am, and of your son, too.

     
  • At 9:11 AM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    Anonymouse, thanks for sharing your thoughts. But I have to disagree. I don't want my children to be taught to follow rules that are destructive and unfair, or those that promote or advocate intolerance. I want them to know that they have choices.

    The kids were distracted by the hoopla being made by administrators. Otherwise, they would have given him no more time or attention than one of those kids that shows up in black lipstick with safetypins through their eyebrows. They are a momentary curiosity. *Anybody* who is remotely nonconformist is. Does that mean we should make them all dress alike, wear their hair alike, speak alike, have the same intersts and talents? The administrators made this a big deal, not the kids. Most of them couldn't care less and think he should just be left alone.

    As for the bathroom issue, he didn't want to use the girl's restroom for the sake of promoting his identity as a girl, but rather because he was being assaulted in the boys' bathroom. He was perfectly happy with being allowed to use the staff restroom.

    There are a multitude of kids who get beaten up for being different. The nerdy kid, the poor kid, the kid who doesn't wash his hair....

    We don't remove *them*. We simply can 't remove every kid who is in danger of being persecuted. We punish the offenders for using violence. This situation is no different.

     
  • At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    God you must be strong (and proud)!

    I have tried to do as you have, telling my kids not to fall "prey to the prejudices around".

    My daughter seems to have gotten the idea. My son, not so much.

    He is too easily swayed by the locker room talk (and Texas is probably even worse that Georgia for this sort of thing).

    Mary in Texas

     
  • At 11:49 PM, Blogger SUEB0B said…

    You are doing good!

     
  • At 7:17 PM, Blogger Une femme libre said…

    You are an open-minded person and it is sad that it does not seem to be the case with the people surrounding you. Happy that your son is following your path.

     

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