On several different occasions, Paisley and I have talked about what it means to be gay. We took her to the Pride parade last year and she’s overheard us having conversations about different things. I told her that it means a man loves a man, or a woman loves a woman in the same way that Mommy and Daddy love each other. She has accepted the idea without judgement or confusion. She’s only five but without the social or cultural context she just sort of embraced it and moved on. I realize that as she gets older there will be more conversations, but I also think (hope) that by the time she is a teenager, it won’t be a big del. Already in my own lifetime, I have seen incredible steps taken towards equality and I can only assume that will continue.
The other day I was reading the newspaper and Paisley peered over my shoulder, “What is that picture of Mom?” It was a picture of a protest. Angry people were holding up posters printed with homophobic slurs. They were protesting gay marriage. I tried to explain to Paisley that some people don’t want gays to get married. She didn’t understand, “Why not?” I didn’t really have a good answer. So I tried to explain that for a long time, gay people had to hide away. That they couldn’t tell people who they really were or love who they loved. She found the entire idea hard to grasp and very sad, “But you should just be who you are, right Mom?”
I found it very interesting that homosexuality was a concept both easily explained and understood,but that we both struggled with understanding the hatred that so often accompanies it.
I guess it’s not really that complicated at all.
I didn’t die, I didn’t get sick and I definitely didn’t convert back to Christianity. I’m just trying to get my life together and carve out some space and time for myself. I was doing so well there for awhile and I missed this blog when I took a break. I really did.
My problem is that posts seem to come to me as I’m lying in bed at night, when I’m just too damn tired to get up and write. Or when I’m driving the car, and writing would kill me and my whole family. I’m not a good note-jotter because I always convince myself that I will remember (with unparalleled eloquence no less) all the things I want to say. Then Declan throws a cup at my head and Paisley starts screaming “Mom! Mom! Mom” and quels surprise, I lose it. I am forever awed by mothers who stay at home and write novels in their “spare time”. Okay, awed and maybe a little bit suspicious.
I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. About motherhood and womanhood and feminism and justice and anger. And what I’m going to do about all of those things. We are trying to decide whether we want another baby and I am also wrestling with the idea of going back to work (in some capacity anyway). These decisions have sent me into an existential tailspin and I have yet to come up with any concrete answers but I do feel like I’m making some headway. Will post in more detail as details become ̶r̶e̶a̶l̶i̶s̶t̶i̶c̶ available.
In the meantime, here are some pics of what we’ve been up to:
How time flies. My brother-in-law, who I first mentioned here (and then again, here and here) is back from serving his two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Better known as the Mormons. It was great to see him again and he has changed so much. His mission was a Spanish speaking one so he has returned completely fluent in Spanish. Pretty cool. While I obviously don’t support missions, I do think the church does an amazing job with these young people. My hubby served in France and remains fluent in French to this day. The church, very deliberately, takes these young men (there are some women missionaries but they are overwhelmingly young men who begin their mission at the age of 19) at a pivotal point in their lives and
immerses indoctrinates them even further into the teachings of the church. They are shielded from the world (no tv, no music, no movies, no shopping, no fun) and do nothing but read scriptures or teach scriptures for every waking hour.
After a melt down, followed by a hug:
“Mom, I just have one more, sob, thing to, sob, say…”
“Ok fine, as long as it’s positive.”
“It is. I don’t like you.”
“That’s not positive Paisley.”
“Fine. I’m positive I don’t like you.”
This recent article about reducing screen-time for young kids centres around childhood obesity and decreasing activity levels, but the take home message is the same. Get the kids away from the digital devices and into the real world. This issue has never been more relevant than it is today. I remember watching TV as a kid (especially in the winter as I grew up in a very cold climate) but mostly I remember playing a lot. Today, everywhere I look, young kids are playing with iPads, iPhones and portable gaming devices. They are plugged in and zoned out. They are usually sitting next to their plugged in, zoned out parents.