11.20.2008

Straight Talk.

a few weeks back I was at a school function at my kid's school
it was a sunny saturday afternoon they had speakers and music playing
there were only a few songs playing in the rotation
kids were running around doing kid things

that Katy Perry "I Kissed A Girl" song came through the rotation a few times
at one play I was talking with a parent of a child the same age as my older son
I tried to bring up the topic of difficult discussions with the children

taking a moderately logical leap this father spoke about how he has always given it to his kids straight
when they ask questions he just gives the adult answers
as in the case of Santa Claus... he gave it to his daughter straight that there is not such thing as Santa Claus
being pragmatic about the volume of toys and the time it would take to go from house to house all over the world just seems impossible
the conversation did not go much further
our attention was pulled in different directions

in short my boys must be very different than his kids
my seven year old asks so many "what if... " questions that you could never answer them with all seriousness
then there are questions that are valid but are sometimes not so easily answered
my issue was the notion of discussing same sex relationships
not whether or not a Jewish family raises their children to believe in Santa Claus or not
his straight talk on that issue was not so impressive
personally I do not dispel things quite so simply
usually in the case of religion or myth I pass things off as "that is not what I believe... but some people do believe that"
when my older son was younger he was a bit of a creationist
who was I to tell him that his beliefs were off base?
rather than argue it to any great length I figured I would allow him to formulate his own beliefs as he was introduced to more ideas
concepts of Santa and the Easter Bunny are introduced by grandparents and kids at school
and well... in this mean and nasty world I try to be allowing of the children in indulging in such harmless fantasies

the issue of sexuality comes up
questions of same sex relationships are difficult
saying... it is okay if you do or okay if you don't is not so easy
years ago we had some friends on the block who had children our boys' age
it was a house with two moms and no dad's children born from the same sperm man and the children born from each of the mothers
thus making them biological brothers as well as brothers by family
the boys were younger... but it was never hidden that they were the boys mothers
we never got into the specifics of birth or the birthing process as that is a topic that their brains were not ready for
but we never shyed away from the notion of the their family being built the way it is

I am all for gay marriage... as the bumper sticker says SHARE THE MISERY
I am open to people being who they are and living their lives on their terms
this is where I say I have plenty of gay friends... you know... some of my best friends are gay
but it is confusing to me
if I am accepting of this concept
but at what stage of the game do I explain to my children the concept of same sex relationships

the teen years are an age of hormonal confusion...

this thought may be too heavy for this little coffee
I will put off this rant just as I have put off this discussion


2 comments:

Stephen said...

Explain same-sex relationships to them the same way you would explain opposite-sex relationships. When they are young, someone can have two mommies, just like they have a mom and a dad. When they are older and it comes time to talk about sex, someone can be attracted to the same sex, just as they can be attracted to the opposite sex. Sure, they are different but they should be treated the same.

Your queasiness, it seems, comes not from discussing same-sex relationships. It seems to come from discussing sex at all.

With unimportant matters, such as Santa Claus, it's not imperative that you be honest. With important matters like families, you have to be honest.

gwadzilla said...

it is many issues

not any of them easy

even the concept of santa claus is an important decision in the development of a child's perception of the world