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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Is it wrong?

The other day, I was playing the Game of Life with the girls. It's a board game where you have a little car that you drive along this path through the various stages of Life. (Don't get me going on how restrictive the stages of Life are - there is, for example, no option for getting married, or for buying a house. AND the only "success" at the end of Life is if you've amassed a whole whack of money. But it's just a game, so is it all that important? I dunno. But I digress...)

When you get married, you have to place either a blue or pink tiny plastic figure next to your own tiny plastic figure in the car. For some reason (probably because it's rather tittilating and she can giggle about it), Nikki likes to be a "lesbian" with 2 pink figures in the car. I don't make a big deal about it - I just suggest she refrain from doing it if Grandma is playing with her.

Well, this time, she had second thoughts about it. She hesitated, and, because I know her so well, I was sure there was something behind her hesitation. Sure enough... part way through the game came "The Question" (there are ALWAYS questions where this girl is concerned). "Mom, is it WRONG to be a lesbian?"

Well, is it? Hmmm... I'm not sure I had a satisfactory answer for her. I mumbled something about how alot of people feel it goes against God's will, blah, blah, blah. Thankfully, she didn't push it beyond that. But have no doubt, the question will come back again. And next time it will be tougher.

I don't know if I'm ready for this level of questions. Having a daughter who's now a pre-teen, and has always thought way beyond her years is going to challenge me to come up with answers that satisfy her. For alot of this stuff, I haven't even found satisfactory answers for MYSELF, so how can I offer them to her? I guess it will mean I just have to be honest - that there are alot of things I haven't figured out yet. But she needs clearer boundaries than I do. Especially at this age. And she can be pretty persistent when she NEEDS to figure out where those boundaries are.

Sometimes (just sometimes) I think parenting would be easier if I were more like my mother. In her world, there is so much more black and white and there are EASY answers for these questions. My world doesn't work like hers though. It seems like the older I get, the more shades of gray there are. I'm getting used to it, but it doesn't always make for easy parenting. And, considering the fact that I've had a few good friends in my life who ARE lesbians, I just can't write them off the way my mother can.

I told Nikki last night that I thought she'd make a good journalist. She asks ALOT of good questions. But she says she'd rather be a politician. She wants to be President. When I told her she can't, because she's Canadian, she was bummed out. But I think she'll settle for Prime Minister. Is there an official name for "mother of the Prime Minister"? And do I get to live in a fancy house? Maybe I can get one of those patronage appointments as an ambassador to an exotic country...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, I remember the subtle (and not so subtle) message that "questions were bad." If you had questions, it meant you doubted, and if you doubted.... well, it seemed that hell would follow shortly after.

Never hurts to ask, and it never hurts to say you don't have the answers.
m

WordsRock said...

When my son and I used to play Life, I wanted to choose a pink plastic peg as a partner for my own pink plastic peg. At first he complained mightily (Mom, you CAN'T do that!), but as he became more aware of who I actually was, he ever so generously allowed me to choose my own partner without recrimination.

Questions from children can be hard. I always found it best to be honest. If I was unsure of something, or hadn't quite figured it out, we'd talk about it. Discussion is a great way to help children learn how to think. Questions do offer a good vehicle for sharing your own values with your children.

Nice post.

Suzanne