Pink Floyd, A Saucerful of Secrets 1968
Unless you live in a cave, you may have heard of a post at the site known as Nerdy Apple Bottom, a fellow Kansas City blogger. I am not even going to attempt to paraphrase or explain her post. The post has been the subject of so much conflict and misinterpretation at this point, that you would do well to just read it yourself.
Are you back?
Mostly, I applauded that post because it resonated deeply with me. No, I do not know the blogger in question, but regardless, I could relate to her on a personal level. We are both mothers of boys the same age. We both live in the somewhat conservative area of Kansas City (although I live on the Kansas side, the side that is probably more Red, in terms of necks and politics.) We both send our boys to church-affiliated preschools. We both have boys who like girlie things.
And, oh my. How I adored that she cracked that secret wide open - the fact that many, many boys like girlie things. Gasp.
While I applaud the post, I cannot help but feel a bit guilty for this applause knowing that a little boy is now being considered a public face for a very adult cause. The mother has stated that she was not outing her son. And I trust her on that. But the message has grown larger than her original post.
Let me be clear, I do not believe for a moment that she did this as a stunt. The vilification of her is undeserved, in my opinion.. After all, we have many, many bloggers in our wee mommyblogging community who know how to do stunt posting and they do it quite well. I emphatically do not think this particular blogger was mongering for traffic.
And I also do not buy for one second all of those folks who say that parents should not have their children support political agendas or be involved in politics at all. That is ridiculous. No one sends their child off into the world as a blank slate. It is that very inherent piece of parenting that dictates you instill important beliefs in which you hold to be true. You can wordsmith all you want, but politics are always involved in our belief systems.
Still. I do squirm a little bit at the thought that this boy has been thrust into such public of a light and there now exists a permanent record. A record that will go stagnant after awhile, perhaps waiting to rise again when the boy is in middle school.
I am uncomfortable with that. I cannot lie.
I am not throwing stones, folks. Hell no, I just finished Windexing my own glass house and I would like to keep it all pretty-like. At least until the dog starts licking the windows again. And I have publicly stated time and time again that I support gay rights, that I believe it is a human right for someone to choose who they want to honor legally in marriage (since it is always in the back of my mind that it was not so very long ago that my own marriage was illegal in many, many states in America.)
Oh, how I wish that being labeled gay was not considered a backhanded insult or a convenient punchline. How about that for a thesis statement?
The hardest part is that this post hit me at a time when I was already having a huge existential blogging crisis with myself. It certainly did not help to watch a post with innocuous intentions blow up so spectacularly on a national level. I always question what I am doing on my own site and to what extent I should share my children here. Oh sure, it has helped that Erma Bombeck and Teresa Bloomingdale wrote such a respectful, loving treasure trove of books detailing their own family lives. Two classy ladies who can serve as remarkable role models for all of us. It also helps that I have a small readership, most of whom are friends and family, and that I feel safe here. However, blogging is still relatively new and we are still unsure as to the long-term effects on our children as they approach more sensitive ages. It is quite easy to share baby stories and not worry about the awkward years to come. Yes, this post has had me thinking in regard to what responsibility I owe my children as I share our lives here.
And I am not sure I like some of the answers.