November 07, 2008

Change

There may be a change coming.

To date, our boy Mr. D has been of the "live out loud" variety. Wears polka dot socks with abandon. Proudly claims hot pink as one of his top five colors. Talks his stylist into going for adventures like this:


Even with the latest haircut, when he knew he was likely to get teased for it, he forged ahead anyway, and proudly so.

Then his teacher sent an email to tell us that he and another boy in school had gotten into it over the composition of Mr. D's family. Our son's classmate couldn't quite wrap his brain around a two-mom family, and kept insisting that Mr. D's dad must be dead.

Needless to say, Mr. D got upset. But not, it turns out, for the reasons we might think.

Mr. D's main frustration was in not being believed. "I told him the truth, and he wouldn't believe me, even though I was talking about my own life!" he exclaimed indignantly to us.

He handled it perfectly, standing up for his truth and then asking for help when the other kid just couldn't let it go. Mr. D's teacher similarly did the right thing, both in supporting Mr. D and in immediately reaching out to tell us what had happened. And Mr. D himself seemed pretty unfazed by the whole thing, once it was over.

And yet.

We wonder if this kind of social interaction in Mr. D's life might mean that he eventually starts measuring the cost of difference differently. We've heard from other families that there is sometimes a change. A point at which an openness starts to give way to something more calculated. So will he change?


Or will he just keep speaking his truth?

(Thanks to the women
of Sunday Scribblings
for their continuing inspiration.)

11 comments:

Rinkly Rimes said...

Looks as though he's making friends for life!

Greyscale Territory said...

I believe most people far prefer those who voice their truth! I am sure your son has already discovered this valuable treasure!

Lilly said...

This is a beautifully written piece.

MemeGRL said...

He has the most stellar role models I know for learning to speak his truth.
I remember when the little boy I babysat for got in trouble at nursery school when another boy said his dad was a lawyer. "Your dad can't be a lawyer!" 'my' boy said. "That's a mommy-job!" Even notions like those are hard for kids to wrap their brains around. Good for D for hanging in there. And lucky all of you with that teacher!

Lilibeth said...

I hope you don't see him stifled. He sounds like a doll.

ingrid said...

i know i've said this before. . . what a beautiful boy.

paisley said...

i have no idea,, but i am anxiously awaiting the move to adulthood of this first real open generation of children parented by same sex couples.. it is my sincere hope that they are the proof,, that they shine above and beyond,, that they can teach us what we adults cannot seem to learn from eachother,, that love is love is love is love.....

and tell the d-man i totally love his newest cut.. the longer the tail gets the cooler it will look.....

Granny Smith said...

I've expressed my joy at being an American this week, but I can't say the same about being a Californian where we (NOT including me) passed a law against same-sex marriage. Your boy is doing the most important thing any of us can do - standing up for the truth.

maureenpoetryblog said...

this is a very thoughtful post and a touching story, how he's putting some power behind his truth. i have read that kids are more influenced by the dialogs in their lives about their differences than they are by the differences themselves. i bet he'll stand firm in his own definition of what a family is.

AscenderRisesAbove said...

I think he will continue telling his truth and using his voice. with you two as models he will naturally follow your lead. I paused and thought how being heard is similar to being seen.

Shelley said...

@rinkly rimes Thank you, we hope so!

@greyscale territory He's certainly working on it.

@lilly @ingrid @lilibeth Thanks so much for your kind words

@memegrl Awww, shucks, thanks! And yes, we know that the "little brains working on it" issue is definitely going to be in play for a while.