So i mentioned a conversation with our 15-year old son in a previous post and i want to make good on my promise to talk about this.
Let me first set the stage…..
Our only child is 15. We will call him “J” as that is his initial. J is a sophomore in HS, in a suburb of a big city in Texas. (Overall – your average conservative Texas HS & his place to grow up!). And he is a rules follower. If you told him to brush his teeth, he does. If you told him to run a stop sign, he would think you’ve lost your mind…. because after all, the rule is to stop!
i mention “rules” because i think there used to be rules to follow for relationships…. grow up, find someone of the other sex, marry, have sex, have kids, and repeat in the next generation.
i don’t know that that is so true anymore. And while i may/may not exactly agree with someone’s choices, i am still a realist and recognize that my son might want to make a different choice that what the “rules” (of society) have historically dictated.
So we have tried to keep an open mind and raise him to show respect and grace with dignity to all people, while making your own choices in life too. AND having a good compass pointed NORTH to God at the same time.
So what is all the need to get all philosophical? Well… ok, now that you have the background….I’ll just start the story.
J has his first girlfriend (GF) now, and her initial is N. They started dating over the Christmas break. And she’s a lot like him, so they are really good together.
On Sunday night, David, J , and i go out to dinner. At the restaurant, we start talking about his GF. He starts saying how her friend (not a “BFF” but a close girl-friend at school) has really been bullying N since they’ve been dating.
When i asked our son “why”, he says that this friend is a lesbian and is jealous of N dating J instead of her. i asked J “did she ask N out?” And J says “no, but even if she did, N is very straight. Just like me. But N’s other friend is a bisexual, so I say those two girls should just date each other and leave us alone.” And he laughs.
Now let me give you a little more background…..
David and i are raising J to be honest, confident, and in charge of himself. We tell him regularly, “no one can MAKE you do anything. You always have a choice. Sometimes the choices aren’t great and/or make you want to pick one more than another, but you DO have a choice”.
And who anyone of us sleeps with, is indeed a choice. While i don’t happen to agree with everyone’s choices, i can still choose to be friends with you. And i think if the whole world had more grace and compassion, we’d be a better place. (Does it really matter who you sleep with for crap sake?!). Ok… i digress.
At this point, I’m really curious about J’s friends though. We have lived in this same community for 7-years now, so i’ve had all these kids in my house at some point or another. And i start saying, “if you are all so open with your sexuality, what does Julie think she is? And Bob? And George? And Sarah and and and”
J says “oh that person is A-sexual, and that one is Bi-sexual, and that one is Homosexual, and that one.. well, he thinks he’s bisexual, but I think he’s confused and is really just homosexual”.
So first off… my son had to educate me on what exactly A-sexual and pan sexual even means.. because even after i googled it, i really didn’t quite understand.
Wow. Ok, and second… when exactly did we come up with so many choices? And why?? i mean why did we have to put a box around it, wrap it up with a bow, and put a label on it?
What if today you want to be one thing and tomorrow a different thing? Is that even allowed??
So i started to asked these things of J. But… he’s a rules follower AND a teen…. enough said, right? (He rolled his eyes at me and was like, “really mom?!?”)
i guess i don’t really remember thinking that much about what I was when i was in HS. Maybe because the normal traditional expectation was… find someone of the opposite sex, marry, have sex, have kids, repeat.
But even those who did give it a lot of thought, or wanted to take a non-traditional route, certainly didn’t talk about it openly with one another – or with their parents – like we were doing with our teen at dinner.
So i said, “when i was a teen, coming out and announcing you were anything but straight was a BIG deal. i guess you all just sit around lunch and talk about these things???!!?!”
And J kinda laughed and said, “well, not everyone and for some it is still a big deal to come out too, but well, I guess it just isn’t a big deal.”
And then he said, “but N and I both know we are straight.”
My husband said “well, I’m glad for that!”
And J looked at me and said, “Dad is straight but I think he’s homophobic. And I think you are to” (to me).
i laughed and said, “you think i’m straight or homophobic?” And he responded with, “both!”
Little does he know… the history i have….
And that i consider myself to be bisexual. And David and i have had sex with others before, together and apart, and likely will again. But i suppose that’s yet another story for YOU, but not our son. So i just smiled and chuckled.
It made for a strange dinner conversation and i guess i realized i am a little bit “in the closet” myself… i just don’t think the whole world needs to know all about all my sexual escapades…. except now you know! Somewhat. Kinda. Ok, i will tell you some of my history in coming posts. Probably. Of course, maybe what happens in the closet, maybe should stay in the closet. Maybe?