Today is not my birthday.
But it is the day I gave birth to a small child, fourteen years ago. I called him my angel baby from the beginning. He had such a soft and shiny way about him. Now I look at him and my heart worries. He is still soft and shines bright. He has no pretense, no social cunning, no persona. He is brilliant, awkward, and unguarded.
He is just the kind of boy who appears as a bright blip on the great and terrible radar of the worst kind of life’s bullies.
We had a conversation, he and I, about life and relationships. He might want to have children, he tells me. He’s not sure if he will get married to a woman. We’ll see, he told me, he might want to be with a man. “We’ll see,” he said, matter-of-factly. “Maybe both.”
“Maybe both.” It was interesting moment for me, as a mother. I flashed forward, ten years, then twenty. It’s true, the masses who follow societal expectations, pass unnoticed, for the most part. They fall into line, and float along, reaping the benefits of privilege in return for their conformity.
But not this child. With just two words, his “We’ll see,” spoke volumes to me about his character. His open mind, his open heart. All at once, I wanted to scoop him up and lock him high in a tower, a la Rapunzel, just to protect his sweet small heart. I want the world for him, however he chooses to live out his life. I will keep the tiny part of my heart quiet that secretly wishes he would take the path of least resistance. Because the rest of my heart is happy and proud of this boy who has his whole life in front of him, and who isn’t automatically buying the first thing that’s presented to him.
“Maybe both.” That’s my angel boy.