Suburban Snapshots

Black and White

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

As parents, there are plenty of things we could potentially worry about our kids becoming — drug addicts, prostitutes, tea partiers — there are all kinds of dreams we keep and hopes we cultivate as we watch them growing. We see them playing with bugs and think, "Maybe a scientist." We notice their interest in wooden blocks, "Architect." We balance the worry of what we don't want with the potential we see in them.

I'm pretty good at The Worry. I think too far ahead, I spin absurdly detailed scenarios based on sensational clips from Nancy Grace promos. But you know what I never, ever worry about? One thing that I know has devastated parents of friends, that became a spike through that sacred relationship?

I don't care if my kid turns out is gay.

Of course I'd have concern for how the world might treat her, but I know that I'm raising her with all the confidence I can spare, every day I nurture her little ego with praise and love. I give her the best I have and when I slip up in frustration or impatience, I work to fix it. I do this because I'm responsible for helping shore up all of her innocent goodness with enough strength to take her through the challenges she's sure to confront — and I want her to confront them. I want her to be tough enough to plant her feet and stare down the inevitable cruelties, and I want her to be resilient.

I want her to grow to be strong and independent, as much as it will break my heart as she learns to navigate without me. And I won't tell her what to wear, and I won't care what color her hair is, or what music she listens to, and if she's happy and confident, then she can love whomever she wants.

There aren't many issues I'm thoroughly black and white on, but this is one. I have no tolerance for intolerance, no patience for ignorance. I couldn't comprehend the devastation that played out in my twenties as friends came out to parents whose reactions ranged from bewildered to enraged, and now I understand it even less.

When you're expecting a baby, the mantra is, "I don't care if it's a boy or girl, I just want it to be healthy." Well, I don't care who my daughter ends up in love with. With every pulsing, microscopic particle of my being I just want that girl to be happy.

Thanks to Nerdy Apple Bottom for her inspiration.

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