Sunday, September 12, 2010

Role models

Despite the post time, I actually wrote this last night. But, the new place doesn’t have any internet access, so just pretend it’s around eleven o’clock at night.

I babysat Jacob and Caroline tonight so their parents could go out for a belated anniversary dinner. For most of the night, Jacob was at a party hosted by one of his friends, celebrating the end of Ramadan. One of the things I love about my kids’ parents is how open they are and how much they want their children to learn. The family is Episcopalian. Yet, they still encourage knowledge in any form. Their mom has told me how they’ve already had conversations about drugs, euthanasia, and Iraq. In many ways, they are the parents I want V and me to be.

Since Jacob was at the party, Caroline and I came back to my apartment when her parents left. I’d been promising her she could come meet my kitties. We stayed here for two hours, her playing with the cats and finding an old tiara of mine to wear. She loaded the cat toys into one of my old purses, and, with her tiara and bag, wondered aloud if she could pass for a middle-schooler. I fed her Spaghettios, first putting an old t-shirt over her white dress. She reminded me just how much I want a daughter (as if I’d forgotten).

At one point, after she’d been over for an hour or so, I told her that something was in “V’s and my room,” and she walked in and stared at the bed as if seeing it for the first time. “Do you sleep together?” she asked, and when I answered affirmatively, she clarified, “Like, in the same bed?” I told her that V was my roommate, my best friend, and my girlfriend, and she went, “Ooh. It’s weird that you can have a girlfriend when you’re a girl.” --Only I don’t think “weird” was the word she used, and I really wish I could remember it. I explained that it depends on whom you fall in love with, and she asked if I’d fallen in love with V. Telling her “yes” got another “Ooh.”

I should mention that I’d rather unexpectedly talked to her parents the other night about what they could and couldn’t know. Turns out, one of Jacob’s first best friends was the son of a biracial blended lesbian family. If that isn’t introducing your kids to everything in one go!

But that’s what’s so wonderful about them. New ideas aren’t threatening. When I took the kids back home, we all somehow were talking about weddings, and Caroline looked up at me and said, “You should go to a country where girls can marry girls.” Her mom explained that it was state-by-state, and the conversation took a natural shift toward wedding attire (prompted by the tiara, which she was still wearing).

Reasons to love my job #571: I learn what kind of parent I want to be.

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