Monday, March 19, 2007

Love Is Love Is Love

Every so often my friends, Rico (pictured to the right)and Don ( couldn't find a photo), have everyone over for "Soul Food Sunday". Rico loves to cook from scratch and it takes him an entire day so these events don't happen too often.
Collard greens, fried chicken and macaroni and cheese were the main dishes today.
D and I went over to "Uncle Rico" and "Uncle Don's" around 4:00 today. They just moved into a gorgeous new house and while D was outside tossing a ball to their dog Phoebe I received the grand tour.
They have a 3600 sq. ft. 5 bedroom 2.5 bath house with an attached studio apartment that they rent out. It is beautiful. Formal dining room, living room, great room, newly remodled kitchen on an acre of land. Their home was built in the late 1800's and has all of the lovely character that you just can't get in a new home.
Later that day I asked D if he wanted a tour. He had seen the downstairs and so I took him upstairs and showed him the bedrooms and bathroom. The last portion was the master suite. I went in and said "Here is Uncle Rico & Uncle Don's bedroom."
D was quiet for a moment, got a strange look on his face and then said "You mean Uncle Rico & Uncle Don sleep in the same bed?"
"Yes", I replied.
A few more moments passed and I could tell that D was trying to process this information. He shrugged his shoulders and said "Oh, OK" and we continued on with our tour.
Later that night after a fantastic meal we were on our way home. I asked D if he had any questions. After inquiring about their lizard and fish we finally got to the subject that he had been pondering. He wanted to know why Uncle Rico and Uncle Don shared a bed.
I explained to D that most people love people of the opposite gender but that sometimes people fall in love with someone who is the same gender and that it is called homosexuality. D had heard the term before but didn't understand it so I explained it.
I told him that Rico and Don love each other very much and even though the laws don't allow it, in their hearts, Rico and Don are married to each other.
At first D was shocked and a bit grossed out. It wasn't something he had ever thought about. In his world girls were with boys and boys with girls. It was a totally new concept for him to think that some people love someone else that is the same gender that they are.
I said "Love is love is love. It doesn't make a difference whether you love a woman or a man, if you love someone, there isn't anything wrong with that because God is love and love can never be bad."
I asked him "Does it change anything about how you feel about Uncle Rico or Uncle Don? Do you still love them?"
D said "No it doesn't change anything. I still love them. It's just kinda weird though."
We got into a discussion about the term "gay". I explained that using it as a descriptive word to refer to people who are homosexual is ok but that it isn't ok to use it in a dorogatory manner like as a euphamism for stupid or dumb.
I told him that it was the same as using the "N" word if he used the word "gay" in a negative manner.
He decided that he wasn't going to use that word at all.
D knows that he can ask me any question about anything and that I will answer honestly and as openly as I can taking into consideration his age and capacity to fully comprehend the situation.
It only took D about 5 minutes to accept a life choice that was completely foreign to him. It took him less than 5 seconds to realize that it didn't matter that Uncle Rico and Uncle Don were gay because love is love is love.


Freckle Face Girl said...

Great lesson! You are a wonderful mom.

Dave said...

Wow what a way to tell him what is love all about! I loved it. It really boils down to just love.

Erica said...

You explained the concept of love to him so well. You are an inspiration as a mum and D will grow up to be a very tolerant, open minded young man!

Rachel said...

Freckle ~ Thanks!

Dave ~ Exactly. If you love others and love yourself how can life be bad?

Erica ~ I sure hope that for D. I would be so upset if he wasn't open minded. Life is always changing and you have to be open minded to allow for change.

Tara said...

You almost made me cry, Rachel, that was awesome. If only more people only took only 5 seconds to understand different lifestyles, things would be so much easier for everyone. D is very lucky to have you as a mother.

laughingattheslut said...

Love can be bad. I know this very well, as I imagine you have found out yourself. I just don't see why love between two people of the same sex is what gets people bent out of shape.

"Love is love" is way oversimplifying things, but I don't know what else you are supposed to say in the context of the conversation that you are having with a nine year old.

D is going to have a hard time if he really tries not to say the word gay. I don't know of a more polite word. I don't know of another word that they prefer. Two of my in-laws are gay and lesbian, and I think that is how they refer to themselves. I don't think that they use the term homosexual much, unless maybe they were talking to someone who was really, really slow.

playtah said...

I LOVE RICO AND DON!!!! And Rico is such a FANTASTIC cook! Oh, baby, those collard greens....hell to the yeah!

What a great way to talk about that with D. He is so smart, and thanks to you, he is loving and caring.

Rachel said...

Tara ~ I got a bit teary-eyed when I read it to Rico to get his ok to post it. Tolerance is definitely under-rated sometimes.

laughingattheslut ~ I think that he said that so that he didn't have to worry if he was using it in the correct way. I am sure that once he becomes more comfortable with the concept and learns more he will know how to use it correctly.
I disagree with you about love being bad. Love isn't bad. People and their behavoirs are bad.

Playtah ~ D took home some chicken so I am sure that he is going to have that when we get home tonight. I haven't ever seen two people eat more collard greens than you and Josh did yesterday.

Churlita said...

That was awesome. At my daughters' grade school, a lot of the parents were gay, and when my oldest was in 5th grade, she told me she would be much cooler if either me or her dad were gay and if we were vegetarians. Sorry kid. I can only love who I love too.

Dennis said...

Your last two posts where about this lifestyle "choice" as you put it. Are you trying to tell everyone something??? Inquiring minds are a little scared.

egan said...

This is when I'm thankful you have Comment Moderation on.

Great story and I'm glad your faith hasn't clouded your judgement or impressions of gay people. I'm not sure I would call it a "choice", but the semantics aren't worth it. The message is the most important thing here. Thanks for sharing.

Rachel said...

Churlita ~ I remember when I was young that everyone wanted to have braces. I never had them but lots of kids did. I guess whatever is "cool" at the time.

Dennis ~ Not that I know of.

Egan ~ I used the term choice because I believe that people are born the way that they are but that they have th choice on whether they want to live the way that God made them. Many people choose to deny who they are because they think that it is wrong. I think that not being your authentic self can only be detrimental.
As for comment moderation. I haven't had to delete any comments but I did get a few IM's from our favorite internet troll.

egan said...

Thanks Rachel for explaining why you used "choice". In that sense it makes sense. I appreciate your explanation. Trolls belong under bridges.

Babybull40 said...

good job explaining things to him.. it's good that you have such an openness of communicating..

Wanderlusting said...

That was a wonderful explanation. Love is love, God is love and love is good. So how can gay love ever be Evil or Wrong? Well said, D is a lucky boy ;)

Rachel said...

Egan ~ No problem. Sometimes I write something and since I rarely proof read there are times when an explanation is necessary.
Trolls do belong under bridges indeed!

babybull40 ~ There are some things that I haven't been able to bring myself to explain to him. Things that I think he will have to figure out on his own. Nothing earth shattering but things that I am not comfortable explaining to him. Like vibrators. He found mine once.

Wanderlust ~ Evil is never done in the name of love. Evil is done most times because of religion and fear. Combine the two and the nicest of people can convince themselves to do the most evil of deeds. I want my son to show people love and acceptance. To do that, I have to be an example.

laughingattheslut said...

I don't totally agree with everyone on the whole God is love concept.

But this is totally great that you keep lucking into these things to discuss with D right when he can start to understand them. It was awful that those teenagers got those little kids to smoke pot, but it was good that the tape was on the news for some parents to have an excuse to talk to their own kids about drugs. And your friends just happened to buy a house together right when D was ready for this discussion.

I know you must think of some of what to say ahead of time, but it must be a relief to get some of the big stuff talked about.

Malnurtured Snay said...

Hmm. The description of that food is making me hungry!

Indiana said...

Which just proves that if tolerance and acceptance are taught early this world would be a much better place.

M said...

you are such a great mum to be so open accepting and honest about things with your son. I know there are a lot of parents who don't want to discuss it because it's 'inappropriate' to discuss gay love with children - imagine what kind of message THAT sends? I think we underestimate just how accepting kids will be if we give them half a chance like you have!


Rachel said...

laughingattheslut ~ You should have seen me stumbling around trying to explain slavery. That was a very difficult discussion considering that he is bi-racial and his paternal family is black.
I had to go online and have him read some stuff.

malnurtured snay ~ It was better than the description.

Indiana ~ That is my goal. To have D tolerant and as accepting as people who are different as I can.

M ~ There are some things that I will have a difficult time discussing with him. The use of condoms comes to mind immediately. I don't even want to THINK about him having sex.
Although he has told me that he is going to be a virgin

Not so little Woman said...

Wow! This was a wonderful post. D is lucky to have such a wonderful mom. It's nice you are teaching this lessons early, so when he hits the teenage years and is confronted by racist of bigot opinions, he will be best prepared to face them and not fall for closed-minded ideas. You are indeed raising a very tolerant ,open minded young man. I hope I am as good as you when I have my own babies... :)

Rico said...

I'm just glad that everyone enjoyed my cooking. ;)