I have mentioned several times over the past year how I’ve become aware of how we bring our own assumptions to the table. We see things as colored from our lives and not always how they really are. I’ve shared that this happened to me, someone close to me made an assumption that was very real and valid in their reality; however, it wasn’t what was really happening, and it was a big eye opener for me. I’ve worked very hard to leave my assumptions behind and see things as they are today, to see people as they are today. Not as they were when I met them, or last year, or last week, or even yesterday. Part of my journey to live in the Now has really focused on this.
Apparently some days are better/easier than others. And that’s okay, it helps me learn and grow, but man, those off days…
I stole the title of this blog post from Deborah at The Monster in my Closet for several reasons. First off, it’s a kick butt title, secondly, it totally applies and third, you MUST go read her blog post by the same title.
I have massive respect for The Monster in my Closet, she has a wonderful life story, and while we are on different paths, it has been fun to read about her journey. One of my favorite parts is that she welcomes discussion. I watch her communicate with others and I really enjoy seeing the different view points and perspectives that show up on her blog!
She posted something a few days ago, on a different media outlet, that immediately sent me over the edge.
And not in a good way.
When the Supreme Court handed down their decision on gay marriage, The Monster in my Closet read it. Not skimmed it, not read what others posted, but read the actual words set forth by SCOTUS (Mad props for that!) and in that ruling, she found a beautiful paragraph that addressed the children of gay couples, and how SCOTUS took them into consideration.
And, it was beautiful, I found it awesome that the children were addressed; however, there was some verbiage included that pretty much had me reverting to an older version of myself, getting defensive and well, with hands shaking and stomach quivering, I shot off a response. I was upfront and told her that I recognized I was taking this single paragraph out of context – and I was, but it sure didn’t stop me!
Excluding same-sex couple from marriage thus conflicts with a central premise of the right to marry. Without the recognition, stability and predictability marriage offers, their children suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser. They also suffer the significant material costs of being raised by unmarried parents, relegated through no fault of their own to a more difficult and uncertain family life.
Stigma? Somehow lesser? Material costs of being raised by unmarried parents???
I was okay until they threw in “unmarried parents” and then all of the sudden, the ruling became personal. I have worked so very hard to make sure my son doesn’t feel a “stigma” because he comes from a “lesser” family because he is being raised by an “unmarried” parent.
That was a shot to my heart. How could I NOT read that as an affront to all I have worked for for 16 years?
There is no stigma there, unconventional, yes. But a lesser family?!? Them are fightin’ words!!
Again, in one part of my brain, I recognized I was taking it out of context, but apparently we have found the issue that is still, well, an issue for me! Deborah and I exchanged several emails as we discussed this – not mean or nasty, but genuine emails with a real discussion. And here is the best part.
While I knew in part of my brain that it was okay, I just couldn’t get the rest of me there. I was fixated on those words.
Then Deborah sent me a link to an article posted on the American Academy of Pediatrics site. And I cried.
AAP has supported families in all their diversity, because the family has always been the basic social unit in which children develop the supporting and nurturing relationships with adults that they need to thrive. Children may be born to, adopted by, or cared for temporarily by married couples, nonmarried couples, single parents, grandparents, or legal guardians, and any of these may be heterosexual, gay or lesbian, or of another orientation. Children need secure and enduring relationships with committed and nurturing adults to enhance their life experiences for optimal social-emotional and cognitive development. Scientific evidence affirms that children have similar developmental and emotional needs and receive similar parenting whether they are raised by parents of the same or different genders.
The rest of me finally caught up. It’s okay. I’m okay. My family is whole.