Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Just Another Family

Our boys’ school, for each child, has what they call a family spotlight. About every other week there is a day where one child brings a poster telling about themselves and their family and brings in family guests to meet their class. Last week was the spotlight for both our boys (though they are in separate classes).

I’m left feeling a bit foolish. I just posted on this last month, but yet again I found myself tensing up. What questions are the kids going to ask about our family? How do we answer them in a way that is honest and absolutely doesn’t make it seem to our boys we are downplaying the strength, form, love and solidity of our family, without stepping on the religious toes of some of the other parents who may be LDS?

I should have learned by now. There were no tough questions, no awkward pauses. The kids already know; their families have apparently already processed the issue with them. All I heard was one kid asked another if I was Brian’s Dad or Papa.

I thought I’d have something to work out and blog about, but there’s happily not much :-)

The questions we did get were along the lines of “Um, what’s your favorite toy?” and “I used to be Brian’s girlfriend but he won’t be my boyfriend anymore.” That last one was from the same girl I mentioned in this post. Once again, little girl, that’s not even a question.

Anyway, they both did a great job with their presentations:

We were all very proud. Rob and I are also more than grateful for the network of support that came with us (as well as the support of the dog and parakeet...).

Afterwards they had a playdate with about 6 of their friends. We took them all bowling. Yes, it is quite stupid to put that many kindergarteners in the vicinity of heavy, fast moving masses, but we got away with only a couple pinched fingers and one hurt toe for the fun.

I’m not sure if their technique is allowed in the rules of bowling but the kids were picking up strikes right and left:

Amazing huh? (Forgive the blocked out faces; best not post pictures of friend’s kids.)
Okay, don’t blame me that I’m about to type now well past an appropriate stopping point; Java said she likes it when I ramble :-)

Thinking on it, you know what is probably really scary, what keeps our detractors here in Utah up at night (fully clothed in pajamas, in separate beds with extra-firm mattresses, just like June and Ward Cleaver)?

Our family spotlight was just another family spotlight. We came and went. Our kid’s poster will hang up in that classroom for a couple weeks, and kids will just pass by it as casually as they did with any other. There is no issue with us taking a bunch of kids bowling. There is no meeting we need to have with teachers or parents. Heck, one teacher pulled my mom aside and went on again about how she wished all her students had the sort of family support we’ve given our boys (she also told us, to my great relief, that there hasn’t been a single issue related to our family that she’s heard from the children or parents).

No, what our detractors probably fear most is the joyous humdrum of it all. They have so much invested in a faith that our family will do poorly, be controversial, and that our kids with suffer (even if it has to be at the hands of their kids, with “love” and in faith of course; it’s not hate, never hate… :-)). They have put near all their eggs, all their reasons for denying our home equal rights and responsibilities under the law in one basket, in their mantra that our kids need not us, but some mom and a dad, that they need the “ideal family.” But that is all wrong for my family and for our children; I see it personally every day, from the time I prepare breakfast to my last hug goodnight.

No, what we hear now as blessed silence, to the ears of our detractors, is the raucous sound of their rickety worldview in mid collapse.


[kɹeɪ̯g̊] said...

Is everyone feeling better?

I'm glad it went so smoothly, and that people can see from your family the fallacy in believing that homosexuality is inherently wrong.

No, what we hear now as blessed silence, to the ears of our detractors, is the raucous sound of their rickety worldview in mid collapse.

I love that sound.

Scot said...

Is everyone feeling better?

All but Rob's back, and a waining cold in Alan.

I love that sound.

me too :-)

Java said...

I laughed heartily at the picture of all those bowling balls rolling down the lane at the same time. That's about the only way I'd be able to make a decent score, including having the gutters blocked.

And I do so love it when you ramble. ;-)

I have such hope for our children's generation. There is nothing significantly different about your family. (YES!) If that attitude remains with them through the teenage years we'll have a much better world. My kids live in a household with a gay couple. It is no big deal to them.

There will be more tests, bigger tests, that your family may not fair so well. But the foundation is set in your favor. Stay strong!

And those are some adorable pictures. The boys are so cute!!

Paul said...

I imagine that at your kids' age, a lot of the understanding is only what's "age appropriate." With divorces and remarriages, it's not unusual for kids to have two (or more) dads.

Before you start feeling too comfortable, you need to wait until the boys are in middle school ... where the really tough questions come, such as mechanics, positions, and sleeping arrangements.

Vanson said...

Awesome post, Scot.

I think this is one of those blogs I have been looking for for a long time... at least this post was something I have been looking for.


Scot said...

Thank you Java. With folks like you about, change for the better can't help but result. You should have been there; it was more hilarious to watch in person. They all would jump up, high five, and congratulate each other once their barrage of balls inevitable knocked down every pin.

Paul: We have some divorces in their class, but no women remarried (mainly it's the men cheating), but I get what you're saying. I do know at least some of the kids have been told our home isn't the same as having a step dad, as I've gotten wind that there's been some discussion in their homes about the fact that we are married but there are only certain places where the law recognizes it. It's all been very plane and innocuous though. As a good number have been to our home, they also know we live together, unlike most dads and step-dads ;-). Most of the kids will go to middle school and high school with our children, they will never have known any different, and I hope that helps.

No worries though. This is a topic in which, if history is a guide, I'll never be as comfortable as I should be. That's why I said "mid” collapse :-). The thing that gets me is that I was certain; I was prepared to have to talk to parents, to have to make assurances before our kids could have friends over for play dates, to struggle with administrators. But there's nothing to fight, from these three years of some sort of part time school. I mean, Imaging us having our “family spotlight” a decade ago in Utah; this was announced to all parents weeks before we came. My hope and hunch is that we're riding a wave that will get to middle school before we do, just as it got to elementary school seemingly a couple years before we did. But if not, we’ll tackle it when we hear it; in the mean time here’s to the present silence :-).

(I think Paul gets the award for the most able to push my ramble button; that may be why I like him so much, though :-))

And Vanson, thank you for visiting. :-)