I wrote this post a year ago after I had this experience with my kids and one of my best friends. Because I generally shy away from anything that could remotely be controversial on my blog I hesitated to hit publish. One year later, I decided it was time. I think part of creating a loving and positive atmosphere is listening to different perspectives and sharing our experiences. I believe it’s important to stop, listen and go out of our way to show love to every type of person, so here you have it. What my kids overheard during breakfast…
Have you ever had one of those experiences that seemed insignificant in the moment, but once it’s over you can’t stop thinking about it? That was this weekend for me.
We were having breakfast with a good friend of mine. A girl I’ve known for most of my life, but we’ve only recently become the talk-every-day kind of friends.
We were sitting around a burger king table with my 5 year old and my 3 year old and she was telling me some funny story in this uniquely animated way that she has. But then she stopped herself mid-sentence and looked at me nervously to ask: “can I say that around the kids?” as she mouthed the word lesbian to me.
You guys. This broke my heart.
You see, I love my friend for being considerate of my parenting and my kiddos. I love that she would be respectful of me, and them and not try to bring up topics I might not be ready to cover with them just yet.
But I can’t tell you how much it saddens me that she even had to ask.
That somewhere along the lines people have told her that who she is isn’t fit for children’s ears.
My friend is one of the sweetest, most genuine, most loving people I know on this earth. She also happens to be gay.
So my kids heard the word “lesbian” over breakfast yesterday. Probably for the first time, since it’s not a topic that typically comes up in the midst of our multiple and very serious daily discussions about LEGO and Paw Patrol.
The world didn’t stop spinning. My kids didn’t magically turn gay. In fact, they just kept staring at my friend and eating their french toast sticks without a care in the world.
In that moment, I probably rolled my eyes at her and said something like “yes, of course you can say that in front of my kids” and we carried on with our day as if it never happened.
But truth be told, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.
I’m not offended that she asked me, I love her even more for that. For respecting my parenting and my religion enough, even knowing she might disagree with it.
She took the chance at being offended herself before she’d cause offense to me, my family or my religion.
But still. My heart is broken that it is even a question.
I want my kids growing up loving everyone no matter what. Not loving with “in spite ofs” in front of their love or even disclaimers and explanations. Just love.
My kids are five and three. Regardless of your personal or religious views on marriage, kiddos aren’t comprehending them right now. In fact, just last week, we had to convince my daughter that my husband’s parents are not, in fact, brother and sister.
Kids don’t understand relationships. They don’t know how it works.
But they do understand kindness.
They do know when they are receiving kindness and when we are showing it to others.
They can see love a mile away, even when they don’t know what it means or all the different types.
So for today. They heard the word lesbian and nothing bad happened.
They hung out with a lesbian who just happens to be one of our favorite people. Because she’s a wonderful person. Not in spite of being gay, not even because of being gay. She’s just a wonderful, kind person, and that’s the type of person I want my kids to be around.