I'm bracing myself. I know it's part of the deal. But I'm still all full of anxiety about it.
Boy-o's class is starting their unit on the family. "The family." Words that strike terror into this mama's old heart. I know right now that this is my baggage and not his. But I wonder how long I'll be able to say this?
The fear isn't that his school and teacher will deal with the unit poorly. On the contrary - I have every confidence that the discussion will be very inclusive of different family forms, and especially so of Boy-o's.
But my kid is the only kid in his class who doesn't have a dad. The only one. The one and only. And being the lone 'different' kid is not an easy road.
Thankfully, we have friends whose families look just like ours. Boy-o knows he isn't the only kid in the world with two moms or two dads. He knows that families come in all different shapes and sizes and forms. His classmates just (somewhat bizarrely, given our exceedingly high divorce rates) happen to have a fairly homogenous (and very traditional) family formations.
Already he is coming home and acting out families full of moms and dads. Calling L. his dad. Experimenting and playing with how he perceives his outer world and the very different world in our home. Don't get me wrong, I am fully aware that these actions are normal and inevitable. But it still touches a nerve.
Because the world is what it is - and we will always be 'different'. (And perhaps especially so in a town like Redneckville).
We will (and do) tell him over and over and over that difference is what makes this world, and the people in it, beautiful. If we teach him nothing else, this is the most essential. But it's a difficult thing to impart when the outside world, more often than not, does not reflect this message back.
So - I'll hold my breathe for the next little while. Try like hell not to let my anxiety filter down to Boy-o. Do lots of affirming difference kinds of things. And hope for the best.
That's all anyone can do, when it comes right down to it.