Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How Do You Explain That?

I ran into an old friend this week. She was with her three children, all under ten, beautiful little steps of stairs. She and her husband were very good friends of ours, and we spent a lot of time together before children came along and our social lives disappeared. Over the years I often wondered why we never kept in touch.

While her kids wandered a short distance away, she told me she had tried to track us down on Facebook with no luck. She did manage to find some of our relatives. That’s when she asked the question she was so obviously itching to ask from the start, whispered behind her hand in a way made famous by paperback spies:

“Is Hubby’s brother gay?”

Yes. He is.

It was her next question that caught me totally off guard.

“How do you explain that?”

I haven’t seen this woman in five years and this is where she wants to take this conversation?

Before I could answer, she went on with a monologue about how she couldn’t imagine trying to explain anything like that to her kids. When something “like that” came on TV she would rush to change the channel. She was trying to raise her kids with old fashioned morals and values, but it was hard.

I took the hit to my values and morals and absorbed it like a pro. Perhaps she was expecting a sob story of family shame and denial, of how we were all so disappointed. I answered her question as simply as I could.

How do we explain that?

We don’t. It just is.

Our kids don’t ask us why their uncles are together. To them it is no different than their other uncles and aunts, grandma and grandpa, mom and dad.

It just is.

And thank God for that. Thank God that my children will grow up believing that same sex relationships are equal, and that, as far as gender is concerned, there is no right or wrong when it comes to love.

It just is.

And if they ever do ask, that's the explanation. Plain and simple. And without a hint of scandal.

So we said our good-byes. I gave my regards to her family, and she told me to send her an email or look her up on Facebook. Then I watched her walk away with her three precious children.

I won’t be in touch. I remember now why we lost contact to begin with. I’m doing her a favour really. Her children would surely notice our lack of values and morals, and I wouldn’t want her to have to explain anything. I pray that her children will never have to explain things to her.

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