Wednesday, June 25, 2014

We Are Pro Princess Interracial Gay Marriage Around Here

Maya Angelou dies ==> Racism ==> Gay Marriage ==> Marriage ≠ Happiness ==>
Let's have Princess Tiana marry Princess Anna

Oh, parenthood, you crack me up.  Listen to this chain of events.  I bought this book because, well, Maya Angelou died and I am a sucker so suddenly I think my kids should know about her?  I don't know.  Anyway, we read it together.  Next thing you know I'm explaining how she read a poem at President Obama's inauguration.  (That happened, right?  I'm not losing my mind?)  Talking about how it was extra special since Barack Obama is our first black president and Maya Angelou is also African-American.  Georgia was shocked to learn that Obama is our country's first black president.  (Incidentally, I love that form of innocence. What a shame it is also kind of my job to ruin it.)  Being a fan of truthiness, I go on to explain racism at an age-appropriate level to Georgia and June.  It's a topic we've discussed before, but you know, it takes a few tries.  As it should.  I mean, at base it makes absolutely no sense why people are treated differently based on skin color, so how the hell do you answer a four year old questioning "But why wouldn't they serve them lunch?"  That's right, we were to the point of trotting out examples like lunch counters and bus boycotts, and "What does 'boycott' mean, mama?"  Next thing you know, we're talking about Martin Luther King and changing rules that don't make sense.  With follow-up questions like, "What is 'change'?"  Oh, Lord, here we go, further down the rabbit hole.  I don't know how, but suddenly we're on to talking about how they changed the rules in Illinois so that boys can marry boys and girls can marry girls, because our girls are aware of this recent change in the law and find it confounding that it was ever any other way.  They are 100% on board with "love is love".  So, now we've taken a left turn into a full-on marriage discussion, including my repeated admonition that marriage is not the secret to happiness, despite what the movies and story books say.  It may be a fool's errand, but I am bound and determined to hammer this into their little heads, to counteract an entire culture of messages to the contrary.  (Including their parents' happy marriage, I guess, but I don't consider that to be logically inconsistent with the point I'm trying to make.)  I give them examples of wonderful single friends of mine and talk about how happiness and meaning can be found through work, and family, and faith, and community, and not just partnership and romance.  But this all leads to further discussion of the fact that in their story books, it's always a princess marrying a prince, but I bet it won't be by the time they are reading to their children one day, you know, should they have any.  The girls immediately announced an arranged marriage of Princess Tiana and Princess Anna.  In lieu of gifts, please just send checks straight to me, c/o P.C. Capital of the World.  



Kathy said...


If you want to continue the discussion on racism with the kids, there are some age-appropriate picture books on Ruby Bridges.

jessica said...

Love this post. Love all of you.

Emily said...

Our nanny is a lesbian and our next door neighbors are gay, so I thought we were doing well with Caris appreciating same-sex relationships -- until she described our nanny's girlfriend as her mother. Points for trying Kate!

TomT said...

Well if you need more gayness in your house, I'm available! :-)

Great post!