Well here we go…My first step into uncharted territory. Not gonna lie, I’m a little scared, actually terrified to take this leap. But my sleepless nights with my unrelenting thoughts swirling around in my head need a platform to release onto. No more laying in bed practicing my 10 deep yoga breaths to help lull me to sleep or praying to a greater God to please let me sleep just a few winks or plugging into my downloaded meditation apps to relax my mind just long enough to slip into a deep slumber. Nope, I just have too much to say to not share it with all of you or even just one of you, if it helps or you can relate. This blog is not meant to offend anyone and it is my hope that you can actually gain something from one of my posts, even if it’s just a smile or a connection to a point I make. These are just my experiences and my words, wit, and wisdom surrounding these experiences. My thoughts come in waves and at times I feel manic and can’t control them or even stop obsessing over them, to a point where I physically exhaust myself.
So here we go, a little background for you. I guess I’ve always been somewhat of a writer even though most of you won’t know that. It started with “The Shaggy Dog” written when I was a fifth grader. Then I had a poem published much later, that was written for my son when he first came into our family. But most of my writing has really taken place in a more cathartic way. When I hurt, I feel deeply and writing things down has always been my way of coping in a lot of difficult situations.
After years of struggling with infertility (that’s another whole post), I became a mom to both a biological child and an adopted child. I have also spent the last 18 years as a Special Education teacher, which I will also address in future posts. Today, I want to focus on my most recent trip to Barnes & Noble. You see, my adopted child is also gay. Happy and well adjusted I might add, to no credit of mine. He was born an old soul, who always lives in his truth. He was so damn confident in who he was that he chose, against our advice, to “come out” in 6th grade. Now as you can imagine, this only led to a torturous school experience from then on. I did everything I thought I should do, like enroll him in acting and dance classes (so stereotypical on my part) and even took him to PFLAG meetings, which weren’t even comfortable for him cause he was so young, but I was doing what I thought I should do to be a “good” and “supportive” mom. Well thank God he survived the bullying at school and “me” and is in college now. But after watching him pack, during our recent move, and throwing everything in the trash from his earlier school years in order to shed himself of all his painful school memories, moved me into action. Yes, he is lucky because he is living in a time when society is much more tolerant than ever before. But still not enough…and of course when he “came out”, I made the grave error of asking him, “Are you sure?” When was the last time someone asked you if you were sure about who you are? How insulting and ignorant on my part. But hey this is a learning process for me too. So back to my Barnes & Noble visit. I was in search of a children’s book addressing growing up gay. Well after a few hours of perusing the shelves in the children’s section, I was unsuccessful and had to solicit the Bookseller for help. Sheepishly I asked, “Do you carry any books on growing up gay?” (I’m still astounded and honestly a little ashamed of myself that I was so shy and quiet and kind of whispered the question!) Was I secretly embarrassed? I’ve been telling myself how “cool” I am with it, all these years and yet I instinctually whispered that question. Well that’s another conversation for a later date. The kind bookseller, who actually seemed more comfortable than me talking about it, did much research on the computer until she found “one” book that was on this issue. It was buried in the parenting section along with the “how to” books on potty training, talking about death to a child, how to handle a difficult child, etc…this topic was lumped into the ‘difficulties of parenting’ genre. Hmmm, didn’t really think being gay was a parenting problem “thing”. Not one picture book existed in the mainstream children’s section on this topic. Really?! Boy, could my son and his friends (or lack thereof) have used such a book years ago as a teaching tool to promote tolerance, acceptance, and that it’s ok to be different.
Well, I guess I will have to fill that void then and write one myself. Stay tuned and please come on my journey and follow my process as I strive to meet this passionate goal of mine and get “Free to Be Me” published.
BTW, here is that “one” book I wanted to share with all of you.