Explaning why we vote AGAINST the marriage amendment banning gay marriage wasn’t part of my lunch plan.
I sat down a twice reheated cup of coffee and uninspired salad, when my 5 year old asked, “so what are we voting for on May 8th?”
Choke- cough. Do wha–?
The signs in everybody’s yard. About voting. Like when we voted at the fire station– I got a ballot and a sticker, remember–
—And a flag— interjects the 3 year old.
Great, even the little one is listening.
Oh, yeah. And a flag. So, why are we voting against something, mom?
I have many reasons to be grateful for having an observant-of-the-world-around-him child. I adore that he went from not reading to reading like it’s his job.
For both reasons, I should have expected that it wouldn’t be long before he 1) noticed the signs, and 2) asked me about them. To be sure, he’s heard the adults talking about it–despite trying to be discreet, the child hears like echolocating animal.
Thankfully in our neighborhood, most of those signs are AGAINST THE MARRIAGE AMENDMENT ON MAY 8th (why yes, I am yelling, thanks for noticing).
There are a couple of For signs… and I, with a need to avoid hypocritically destroying someone else’s First Amendment rights, have not defaced them in any way. *But I really need a lot of reminders about the hypocrite thing from my husband.*
Someone in the neighborhood is stealing them (per our listserv), but it’s not me.
If you need to take a few moments to go read some truth about what this amendment will do–go ahead. I don’t mind.
Anyway– back to explaining this to a five year old.
It took me several wordy starts– and stops– to finally spit out:
Some of our legislators want to change the constitution to say that marriage can only be between a man and woman. Basically, they want to make a law that decides how each of us defines family.
I watched his eyes glaze over, remembering too late the time JB started to tell him about Zoroaster…
But, why? with genuine confusion.
See, we went to a rally last summer on this very topic already.
His sign is showing the states (in red) where it is legal to marry your cousin. But thank goodness– in North Carolina, while legal to marry your first cousin you are absolutely not allowed to marry your double cousin.
We got standards down here, y’all.
Both of my children have friends that also happen to have same-sex parents. The kids aren’t horrified– they are oblivious. For them, parents are the grown ups that drive you to playdates, while carrying a constant supply of cool beverages and goldfish crackers.
You have to teach children to hate…they certainly don’t do it spontaneously.
On the way out to that rally, he walked up to my friend declared, “I think it’s okay if you want to marry a girl” and left again. For several of the following weeks, he’d randomly mention how cool it would be to have two dads (double the wrestle), or two moms (double the hugs). Or– and this was his preferred combination: TWO DADs and TWO MOMs.
Dude, if that other mom cooks and does laundry– sign me up! Bonus points if she enjoys carpool.
With each generation, we choose whether we create tolerance (love), or intolerance (hate) in our children.
How can you watch this video and not want cry for every mom, dad, or child that is spending one minute of their precious time on earth worrying about whether some asshole lawmaker is going to rip their family apart? A stable partnership raising intelligent, happy, WANTED children.
However, at this point in the meal Elliot was starting to shove strawberry slices up his nose.
Then my one–and probably last–moment of on-the-spot parenting brilliance:
Zach, do you want the government to decide we aren’t a family because there are two boys, instead of a boy and girl? Is that fair?
His answer was an emphatic, NO!
‘Nuff said. Literally– we were all done with the discussion. Well, except for asking when we were going to get– or we could make one, mom— a yard sign.