Jack is a lover. He's scrappy too, but he is a lover in his heart. He kisses and hugs the little boys and girls at his daycare freely and without hesitation. I treasure this age. I marvel at his instinctive displays of affection and tenderness because it won't always be this way. Eventually he will learn boundaries and that not everyone appreciates it when you walk up and kiss them, especially on their bellies. He's a belly kisser.
Last January, I wrote a poem for Jack's 1st birthday which you can read here. Go ahead and read it if you haven't, it will make the rest of this make more sense. It's ok, I can wait...
My first draft of the poem mentions Jack as a father in his bed on a birthday far into the future when his children come bouncing in with homemade birthday cards and his wife making pancakes in the kitchen. After I wrote it and read it, something didn't quite work for me. You see, I know plenty of married men and women, the majority of my friends are heterosexual couples. But I also know Annette and Allison, Eric and Kris, Dava and Kristin, Myke and Mark, Amy and Zayda, Chris and Dan, Jennifer and Mary. I know them all and I love them very much and I realized that if Jack is gay- and I won't know this for quite some time, but if he is gay, I don't ever want him to go back and read that very special poem and think for one second that my hopes and dreams for his life were wrapped up in him being married to a woman. All I hope for him is that he is surrounded by more love than one heart can hold and that's what I tried to capture in that poem*.
Jack might be gay. Those words will most likely sting some people I love very much, but they are words I need to come to terms with in the event that they're true. Would I love him one bit less? Absolutely, 100% no way, no how. Would I be fearful or sad? Sadly, yes. I don't know how to raise this little ball of love in a world so deeply divided over something that to me seems so unbelievably simple and easy to embrace- the God of my understanding wants us to love everyone. And if we can't love everyone, we shouldn't hurt them.
Last summer, hundreds of people all across the country lined up to buy fast food chicken saying they were defending the 1st amendment. But to me it sent a message that language intended to divide and judge is to be commended and celebrated and sponsored. I can ignore the words of one man but I can't ignore the sight of people cheering and rallying to support him. And maybe there was a time in my life when I could, but when I held that baby in my arms for the first time, I swore that I would love and defend him with all my might. And what if they were all cheering against my own precious son?
As a mother I have to take a very clear and firm stance on this issue and be an advocate for the rights of my dear friends who only wish to be married to their partners and given all of the rights and privileges they deserve. If not for my own children then for the thousands of children who live in fear of coming out to their families and friends; the children who are jumping off of bridges, crippled with anxiety and self-loathing. I didn't carry my son for 38 weeks to love him "only if" or "only when". I carried my boy into this earth to love him and protect him for as long as I can.
And Jack, I love you no matter what. It is my heart's greatest desire that the love that overflows in your heart today never diminishes as the years go by. I hope you find a partner to stand by you and love you for all the days of your life. Please don't ever be afraid of who you are. You were created by love, born by love and raised by love. You are 1 part me and 1 part daddy, 1 part uniquely you and 100% deserving of love.
We love you Jack for all that you are and will be. The end.
*But Jack, I want grandchildren. This is non-negotiable.