Monday, March 17, 2008

Give your children some credit....they are smart!

A few years back at the end of my first relationship after my marriage ended, my daughter and I sat down to watch TV one night. Before starting the show we were going to watch I turned to her and asked her if she knew something about me that we had never discussed. I'm from a small town, people talk and I had just finished a 3 year relationship with someone who had a son who was 5-8 years old while we were together and he didn't want to come out during that time. My daughter just looked at me. I DO know that I'm gay don't you? She said..DUH lived with a partner for 3 years! I said to her "but we slept in separate rooms when you were there". Her comment was simply "And you thought you were fooling somebody?" lol. At the time she was 12. I was just sitting there stunned. I figured being from a small town she would have heard people talk, but I really thought I had kept something quiet from her all that time. Kids really are perceptive. They see right through us when we have problems or are in trouble. They usually know that we are down or hiding something. I'm not saying that we need to share with them all of our struggles or drama. I do think that we need to be honest with them when they ask questions and at least give them the minimum information we can at that moment so they see that we are sharing with them. How else can we expect them to be honest with us and share with us when they need to. My daughter turns 16 this July and I'm proud to say that she has asked to march in the Pride parade with me this year. Yes, sometimes kids are a lot smarter than we think. Sometimes they can teach us a lesson.

1 comment:

Brandi A said...

I agree about the perceptiveness of children. I can recall questioning myself about a year after my divorce. The kids were 4 and 6 at the time. I can remember debating between whether to tell them early or to wait until I actually had a partner before opening up. At that time, I just said all girlfriends or dates they actually met were "friends." Well, I decided to just come out and tell them, even though I had no idea what life would hold for me. I thought, "Gosh, they could be in their 20s before I settle down with the right woman. I certainly don't want to surprise them that late in life." day, I noticed my son and daughter had paired up their Barbie dolls and action figures on "dates." All of the "couples" were opposite-sex. At that point, I said, "You know, Morghan and Chandler...usually girls have boyfriends and boys have girlfriends. But, sometimes boys have boyfriends and girls have girlfriends." They looked puzzled, but essentially accepted the idea. About a week after that, I brought up the subject again, and asked, "But what would you think if Mommy had a girlfriend?" Morghan (then 6), responded, "You do! Miss Shelley is your girlfriend." My jaw dropped. That was actually a woman I briefly dated, but I couldn't believe Morghan already knew. Ever since then, it has been "normal" to them. Now that I do have a life partner, I'm glad the kids knew about my sexual orientation ahead of time.