Sara Whitman

The Root, Not the Drama

Filed By Sara Whitman | November 12, 2008 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics
Tags: California, gay marriage, marriage equality, politics, Prop 8, same-sex marriage, two moms

The root, not the behavior. I keep telling myself that over and over again. Don't look at the kids' behavior- think about the root of it.

Except when they burp out loud at the dinner table. That's about behavior. Period.

It's been a bit of a roller coaster lately with Ben. I had a friend suggest that Ben's meltdown while I was away was perhaps because he wanted to be my project- instead of all the "dumb politics" as he calls it.

Hmm.

There is a parallel, of course. Dumb politics often focuses on the drama de jour rather than digging for the roots of the problem. Bailing out the economy isn't the answer- it's a Band-Aid. We will go down the same tubes again if we do not change the fundamentals.

The loss on Prop. 8 in California is about deep-rooted ignorance, not which television ads were used or not used. People voted against a faceless categorization of people. Often, because their church told them to.

Ben had a moment last night. I'm not going to get into the specifics because I realize it's not the point. The point is I have a boy who is desperately struggling in a society that is not very open to him. He loves music, Facebook and being fashionably dressed. He is kind, at heart.

Every mom says that, he responded last night when I said that to him.

But you are going to great lengths to never let anyone see it, I replied back.

How do we get to the core? How do we get past the words, and the news reports and see what lies underneath?

The Dow reaches 9,000 and everyone sighs relief. They shouldn't. It's still broken and the people who broke it are still in charge.

The loss in CA has been responded to by some of the most negative, personal assessments of those running the campaign. It misses the point.

We live in such an instant gratification society it's hard to slow down and stop. Examine. Evaluate. Underneath all the bad boy bravado, my son is scared. He doesn't feel normal at an age that normalcy is at a premium. No, where conformity is all anyone strives for because none of them feel normal.

With all those hormones in full swing, who could?

He has an added layer, with two moms, two dads, no divorce to explain it. Not to mention other parts of his life he is beyond reluctant to address. He writes, "Ben is awesome" all over his notebooks.

I know who he is trying to convince.

And yet when he gets in my face, his brothers faces, it's hard to remember this is a boy turning into a young man. It is often so hurtful, his brothers lash out at him. They call him the names he is most afraid of.

He doesn't feel good about himself. He continues to sabotage everything, screaming out for help and screaming when he gets it.

I thought I needed Valium for the election...

Instead, I've been taking long walks with my dog when I get too upset. I go back to the root, and try to think of how to address it. He is furious, currently, that we are moving him to a private school.

You will get a second chance, I said.

The kids are all the same everywhere! He shouted back.

Yes, they are. But who you are, if you let yourself be who you really are? Will attract different kids. It won't be so hard all the time.

I know his secret. He knows I do. He wants me to fix it and wants me as far away as possible.

I can't fix it. I can only understand the root and open doors for him. He will have to walk through them.

Mostly? I must remember, every day, to look past the drama de jour and focus on the cause. It's pointless and engages me in the wrong way to do anything else.

Now if we could only learn that in the political arena, we might actually get somewhere for once.


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Sara, like Patricia, I adore your stories because they don't seem to scream "political parroting #34789986". These are posts from the heart, just how I like them. You draw from your own experiences, and you make a point about how your life interacts with what you're writing about.

I like that humanity in your contributions. Thanks for the moving read.

Amen, Lucrece. Sara is one of my fave contributors for just the same reasons.

It has to be very difficult for any child these days. Perhaps it was easier when many of us were growing up, since there was SUCH silence about being LGBTIQ (we would have thought that was a typo back then); we had a clear answer..."NO! IT'S WRONG"....but at least it was a consistent answer.

Today children have been exposed to open & affirming people and the whole gay-positive post-Will & Grace era, BUT they are also hearing MORE "hushed-ness" and repression depending on their family's social circles.

"I'm OK, but some people HATE me". I'm no child expert.....well, actually I kind of am....but regardless, I think most people can see this as VERY confusing for children.....esp. those who are identifying as LGBTIQ.

Does their world feel safe?