Wednesday, October 10, 2007

October 2007

Ah Poppets, let me tell you – it’s been an interesting month. Through a complicated series of events that you really don’t care about, my sister, brother-in-law, their three children and I are all temporarily living under the same roof. Now, aside from the obvious chaos this implies, it has also triggered an internal debate in me I wasn’t expecting. See, the kids are 14, 5 and 3. And I am…me.

Now, being me isn’t a bad thing. In fact, I think being me is pretty damn cool. It’s just not always…age appropriate, shall we say. There is a reason my nickname is Aunt Mame. At the same time, having children in my life is no new thing. I have a total of six nieces and nephews and David has a teenage son whom I enjoy very much, as well. When they are far away, the issue doesn’t arise as much. Suddenly though, I’m dealing with two teenagers and two kids under the age of six on almost a daily basis.

Those of you who have children are probably rolling your eyes at me. “Welcome to my life” you may be thinking. But this on-a-daily-basis thing is new to me. Yes, figuring out how to let them know who I am without going overboard is a small challenge. But it’s also a relatively common one.

There are certain things you tell the children in your life and there are things you don’t. None of the kids need to know that I used to work at a porn store or attend fetish fairs. What we tell the kids may change as the children get older but still the general rule applies. Hell, I’m 38 years old and I still don’t need the details of my mother’s sex life beyond recognizing that she has one.

At the same time, all the kids already know our friends, John and Dale, and that they are a couple, just like Mommy and Daddy. I’m hoping the kids will meet my friend Christian. And my friend Crystal. And I will explain they are the same person. Luckily, my sister and brother-in-law aren’t as mainstream as they appear on the outside so it’s all good.

No, none of this is the real challenge. The real challenge is finding the balance between how we – my sister, brother-in-law, David and I – want the world to be and how it really is. Because in spite of our best efforts, the teenagers have still come home from school using the phrase “that’s so gay” as a derogatory statement. Because although the five-year old boy really likes my heels and the sandals his sister wears, we still have to explain to him that, generally, those kinds of shoes are designed for girls, not boys. Because while whoever he grows up to be is okay with us, if this penchant for high heels continues, he’s in for a rough ride. I know it. You know it. And, eventually, he may know it as well. But the rough ride shouldn’t start at home.

So, Aunt Mame wears black and has tattoos. John and Dale love each other very much. Christian and Crystal are the same person. And “that’s so gay” is indeed offensive. The rest will come as it comes and will be taught as it needs to be taught. I – and the other adults in their lives – will find the balance. And if necessary, Crystal has great taste in shoes.

Until next month, Poppets, keep your fingers crossed for me in this new situation, and take care of you.

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