a bit has changed while i was on writing hiatus. my little chicken nuggets finally turned one, learned to walk, and ARE SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT! i finally chilled the fuck out, got confident as a mother, and got some freakin sleep. when i woke up on their birthday i realized we had all made it through the first year with very few battle scars and that i’d done a pretty great job for someone whose first experience with an infant came with an exact replica.
i had protected them from all of the first year Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad potential disasters and was feeling pretty good about myself until they started to walk and i quickly learned i hadn’t seen nothin’ yet! our days are filled with a whole lot of jumping, sliding and leaping and that’s just me trying to prevent them from grabbing the 400,000 deadly objects that they somehow find wherever we are. if they were any older i’d have them evaluated for suicidal tendencies.
aside from the necessary prevention acrobatics, i’ve found our days pretty damn boring since they’ve started walking. if they want their cup, they walk over and get it. if they want to play with their toy car they climb in and steer it around the room. so what’s a mother to do? i began to fear i’d be laid off. i decided i’d better step up my game and start to teach these puppies some new tricks before they declared me pretty dang useless. i asked sami (who is now called mimi) to buy a bunch of age appropriate learning cards and puzzles while i brushed up on my rusty teaching skills and came up with a weekly curriculum that even she was impressed with. colt and jett are super duper active so we do one activity indoors and one outdoors each day. for example, a day may be filled with story time at the library and water parks, or gymborees and a visit to the animal farm. we have learning time and nap time at home in between. the boys are stimulated and i am out of house arrest so it’s a win-win. my husband is happy with our new routine and encourages all our activities. well, all except for one.
i enrolled the boys in dance class. it’s a one hour tap and yes, ballet class, once a week. the class will help them develop their muscles, be exposed to classical music, and most importantly, will teach them to keep the open, non judgemental minds they were born with.
i posted adorable pictures of my sons in their white onesies, black leggings, and ballet slippers on my facebook wall. the startling number of text messages, comments, emails and phone calls i have gotten over how upset the photos made them, their husbands, wives, or kids has prompted me to write this entry.
“Why are you trying to make your kids gay?”
“If my wife did this to my son I would divorce her!”
“How could you do that to them?”
“My husband saw the pictures and I’ve never in ten years of marriage seen him more upset or…or….confused!”
“Take them out of that class NOW. It is NOT FUNNY!” -my very upset 11 year old stepson.
“They are going to grow up and punch you in the face.” – the only words my husband could muster when he saw the pictures.
the most fascinating part of all the responses was not the passion with which they were given, but the hypocritical way most prefaced their comments: “Look, I have nothing against gay people BUT….” or “I’m not homophobic or anything BUT…” and then went on to tell me the reason ballet class for boys is so horrific is that it’s going to make them gay.
one comment by a male relative was particularly interesting and was the only one i gave enough credit to to contemplate. “Look, I have no problem with dancing boys. If boys want to dance that’s great, but I just think they should be given a choice.”
hmmm. point digested and taken.
maybe he is right. maybe i don’t have a right making a decision like this for them and forcing them to be involved in something before they have an understanding of what it is. then he continued: “Why don’t you get them involved in some pee wee sports camps instead?”
and there it went. all his credibility.
it’s okay to enroll them in sports before they are old enough to choose for themselves, before they have an understanding of what sports are but not okay for dance? and why is that? perhaps it’s because it’s not about waiting until the boys have an understanding of what ballet is, it’s about waiting until their understanding of ballet is what society has decided it should be.
the brain washing happens early on. my friends 7 year old daughter laughed at the pictures and said “that’s for girls!”
i am not conducting some experiment in which i put my children through ridicule and torment in order to make a point. and i know that a blog entry and some photos of young boys in ballet shoes are not going to convince the world to change. my goals aren’t that big. but i have a goal and a responsibility to protect the minds of my sons. their minds deserve to be their own. free. and their hearts free to love. whatever and whoever they choose to. if i give the world two more neanderthals who actually believe that ballet slippers on a one year old determines his sexual orientation, or that their sexual orientation matters in the least, my mission as a mother will have failed.
i pray our sons try many different things to find what feels right for them and makes them most happy (drugs and illegal activity excluded). they play with soccer and footballs most of the day and i can already see they will be athletic. my husband doesn’t believe me but i swear i will encourage sports as much as i do anything they are passionate about. (hopefully they’ll choose the indoor air conditioned ones…)
so far the boys don’t seem to be fans of the dance class. they are too young to understand how to participate and they throw a fit when i put their tap shoes on. i’m told it takes about 4 classes before they want to get involved so we’ll stay a few more weeks but may be in the market for a new activity soon. if they don’t enjoy it they will have decided that on their own without having been affected by generations of bullshit trying to convince them what it is to be a real “man”. ironically, most of the REAL men i know ARE gay!
moral of the story: even if the ridiculous theory that ballet and tap dancing toddlers buy one way tickets to the Rainbow Train were true, then i’ll be incredibly proud to have two absolutely Fagtastic boys!