Magic Wand

10 05 2012

I have met moms who said when their children came out they barely blinked, said “OK”, and life just moved on. I was not that mom. I wish I would’ve been that mom – I really do. At the same time, I can appreciate that the journey of my life is what has prepared me to be who I am in this very moment. I can appreciate and be grateful for the knowledge I have acquired.

Have I told you about when I thought oral sex meant homosexuality? literally I did! So – I was probably about 12 and I asked my mom what oral sex was. She gave me a very brief explanation. Now, I must give kudos to my mom because her mom had not taught her anything about sex so she was bound and determined that we would be raised “educated”. I could ask my mom ANYthing and she never acted uncomfortable. In fact, we had friends who would ask my mom things because they knew she would give them the straight up answers. Well, in her brief oral sex explanation – it was a bit too brief because I spent years confused.

Me: “Mom, what is oral sex?” Mom: “well, you know what sex is right?” Me: “yes” Mom: “well, oral sex is the opposite.” I wonder if she said more and I don’t remember? That is honestly all I remember about the conversation. I do know that I tried to convince my best friend in 7th grade that this was true – because if my mom said so it must have been. I went home and was indignant with my mom about my stupid friend. When my mom almost fell onto the floor laughing I knew I had missed something somewhere. My mom promptly pulled out a pen and paper and drew me diagrams. I was confused no longer.

OK – back to the story at hand. My son didn’t come out to me. That is still to this day what I consider one of my greatest failures as a parent. That he didn’t trust me enough, didn’t feel my unconditional love enough to tell me. My heart aches at this moment of writing those words, even years after the fact. My sweet boy not only spent many sleepless, fearful nights when he was discovering the truth for himself, he carried the burden completely and totally alone. He didn’t know if my love would be strong enough to keep loving him if I knew. He never did come out to me. He came out to another family member who then in a round about way told me. Well, I had to guess… but the word “bisexual” didn’t enter my mind. I was totally unfamiliar with that word – it probably never would’ve entered my mind – EVER.

I think life is pretty damn hard when things are “normal”. I guess as a parent I never really wanted something that would make my kids a “target” of ridicule. I didn’t want them to have to wear glasses and be called “four eyes” as I was. I didn’t want them to be overweight. I tried to send them out the door presentable. You get my drift – eliminate as many things as possible to eleviate the possibility of people making fun of them or targeting them as different. I think as parents we just want to try to make life as easy as we can to help them adjust into this cruel world. I had a bit of a clue my son was different. In fact I had asked him on more than occasion if he was gay. He always answered “no”. Now, I realize he wasn’t really lying. He isn’t gay. When I asked, and he replied “no”. I walked away thinking “whew”. I felt relief much in the same way I would feel relief when my kids came home from a social event and had been included and felt a part of things. I didn’t want him to be gay. That would make him a target to some people. I wanted him to be straight so that life would be “easier”.

One of my favorite films is called “For the Bible Tells Me So”. It tells the story of several different families. There is one scene where the father says something like this: “when this all started if someone would’ve asked me if I had a magic wand and could make this all go away would I? In the beginning I would’ve said ‘yes’! Now – I wouldn’t change who my son is for anything!” I identify with that so much. When I first knew, it was like I was punched in the stomach. I came home and in the dark of our bedroom I shared this deep dark secret with my best friend (my husband) and we held each other and cried that night. I couldn’t see the light then. I had no idea that what seemed like one of the darkest things to happen in our family would end up being one of the best journeys that we had ever been on. The night is dark – but joy does come in the morning!

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