I am amazed at the ability children have to love and accept unconditionally. They love without question and without boundaries. They are not apt to resist differences. Their points of opposition will surround a toy or space in a sandbox not race or gender or family make-up or physical dissimilarity. Children, unlike adults, have the ability to look far beyond these things to see what is directly in front of them. Another human being. A person with wants and needs and aspirations just like them.
As adults we are given the privilege of molding our tiny beings. That's right. It is a privilege. It is not something to be scoffed at or brushed off. We take them away from their innocence and expose them to a gamut of human emotions and behaviors. We teach them our own worldly definition of normalcy coupled with judgement and recognition of irrelevant disparities. We teach them how to love, to demonstrate empathy, to be selfless. Or, instead, we fill their cups with apathy, ignorance, and hypocrisy. We are given the power of influence.
Influence is a scary tool. I think it can be a gift or a curse. When it is used to demonstrate good, it is a gift. On the contrary, when it is used to develop bad, it is a curse. My partner, no...that is such an insult, my wife and I want to teach our children to that it is okay to love whomever THEY choose. We don't need for them to be gay or straight. We need for them to be safe and loved and happy. It is important that they respect individuality and that they are humble, yet confident. They should grow understanding that hard work pays off and that honesty, integrity, and charisma are desirable traits. Most importantly, they should be as the good Lord intended for them to be. They must love themselves first. Then they will have all the love in the world to share with others.
Graisyn, you are smart. Graisyn, you are beautiful. Graisyn, you are kind and important.
Kazmer, you are smart and you are handsome. Don't forget, you are kind and you are important.
These are not things that we can instill in our children on our own. I think Sara and I would agree that we would be naive to think we could do so. We can do damn good job at it, or at least kill ourselves trying, but, at the end of the day, our children are influenced by many, many others outside the secure walls of our home. The thought of this used to scare me, but now, as I watch them grow, it excites me.
Our children get to live in a world that communicates on a scale beyond my mind's comprehension. Because of this they will be exposed to more culture than Sara and I and even our parents combined. I envy them. I was in a bubble growing up. I was surrounded by straight, Catholic, anglos. There is no ill will intended with that statement. It is a fact. My bubble kept me safe and unexposed. I knew the community around me. Nothing further.
This bubble has been popped for Grai and Kaz. Human migration and technology has fostered cultural integration. They have been dumped into a melting pot where they will fit in and be misfits and make friends and have foes and create successes through learned failures and, I hope, thrive. Let me and Sara, and all adults with greater influence in their lives, inscribe them in such a way that they continue to take pride in the beings that they are, love without precincts, and embrace the differences of themselves and others.