Parenting comes with a lot of moments. Happy moments. Sad moments. Proud moments. Funny moments. Frustrating moments. Confused moments. What just happened moments. Moments for everything and they never stop. I have a lot of moments to be proud of, but my proudest moment came from my son while on a field trip.
A couple years ago my son went on a school field trip with his sixth grade class. They had went to the fish hatchery where they learned about fish and their anatomy. While on this field trip my son and a couple of his friends were down by the water. One of his friends decided this was when he wanted to come out to them. As they stood at the edge of the water he told them, “I’m gay.” This was a huge moment for him. He was about to see how his friends will react. He was about to know if he still had friends. A couple of the kids stayed quiet while my son shrugged his shoulders and said, “So, it doesn’t change anything.”
“So, it doesn’t change anything.”
I’ll never forget the day he told me. My heart was pounding as he told me his friend came out on their field trip. I’ve always tried to do my best to make sure my kids are educated, accepting, and that whatever we discuss is age appropriate. Sexual orientation wasn’t something on my list of topics to cover just yet. He was only a mere 11 years old. Had I let him down by not covering such a topic sooner? Often times in parenting the topics and discussions come from life, not preparation. With hesitation I asked what he said. What if he ended their friendship? What if he said something mean? What if he wasn’t accepting of his friend? I was terrified.
What a sigh of relief it was to hear his response. “So, it doesn’t change anything.” Some of his other friends weren’t as accepting. They gave him the cold shoulder and didn’t want to hang out with him. I told him I was so proud of the way things were handled and it sparked an important discussion. We talked about different sexual orientations and what they mean. We talked about the hate the LGBTQ community endures. We talked about how love is love and people are people. We talked about how treat others – just like anyone else. I kept everything as age appropriate as possible, but still gave him as much information as I could. I wanted him to understand and know someone’s sexual orientation doesn’t change anything about the person you already know.
I was and still am so incredibly proud of him. Things could have been very different in that situation. It not only reflects on who he is as a person, but it reflects on the young man I’m raising. It reinforced that even when I feel like I’m failing as a parent, I’m not. Somewhere I did something right to raise such an awesome young man that knows a friends sexual orientation doesn’t change a friendship or who they are. Someone that knew the right thing to do in such a big moment for someone else. I’ve had a lot of proud parenting moments, awards won, trophies received, first tackles, victorious games, etc. This moment right here. This moment that truly shows my sons character, is by far my proudest moment.