Sometimes there is a moment, an unspoken pause of sorts, when the way in which someone has been looking at you as you speak makes a subtle shift from overly polite to delicately tender. It is one of the most unexpectedly delightful gifts to receive. ❤
A video showed up in my news feed on Facebook recently about a young teenage boy coming out to his mom as gay. The mother was accepting and understanding, and the whole thing made me cry, but not for the reason you would think. I cried because I could see how shaken and scared he was. I could see him tremble with relief after he finally opened up, but I could also see how scared he was to move forward from here in a world that has not yet fully accepted the differences among us.
This is the reason why my children are growing up knowing that love is different for each person, just as gender identity and sexual identity can vary from person to person. They are growing up with a firm understanding that love is love, and there is no right or wrong way to be, so long as you live your life in a way that makes you happy. They will have the foundation to grow up secure in who they are, but also to be the change that the world needs in order to allow others to feel accepted too. They are the future, and the future starts now.
Not the story that you share with acquaintances whom you haven’t seen in a while; practiced lines exchanged like trading cards in the school yard. Simple, yet interesting; exciting, but safe. Not the story that you have built up in order to please your family, to pacify your coworkers or to reassure your friends. Not the story that you tell yourself as you push forward, image built up, smile bright, head high, ready and waiting for the world to see you shine. Not those stories. Those are the pictures that you hang on your walls, the paintings on display for all to see. Beauty, creativity, dedication and talent; your presentations and offerings to the world.
No, I want to know the story of your soul. The story of who you are; the brushstrokes upon your canvas. I can see who you are now, but I want to know how you became this way. I want to understand what can’t possibly make any sense when you put it into words, but I want you to say it anyway. I want to know you in that messy, beautiful way that is raw and uncensored. I want to see you, but not just with my eyes, and hear you, but not only with my ears. I want to figure out how you work until you no longer need to explain it. That is when I will finally know you, and that is how I want you to know me, too.
This is what I want to say to people, but can’t, or won’t, because this kind of intensity is frowned upon. It’s outside of our comfort zone, as it leaves us vulnerable and exposed. It’s what I need though in order truly know you, and to feel comfortable with you. It’s a compliment of sorts, for if you are someone I like, then I want to know you as well as you know yourself. A dazzlingly disheveled kind of friendship; a breath of honesty, a sigh of relief.
This morning I overheard the kids all playing happily together in Emma’s room. They were reenacting a scene from Star Wars, but with one very interesting twist. Luke had two moms. No big deal. Just Luke, chilling with his two moms. You guys, this is the next generation right here. Inclusive and accepting. We are who we are. We love who we love. Life is what it is.