Thursday, November 11, 2010

My son is happy

My response/comment to a blog that went viral last week "My son is gay" from  This mom will probably never read the comment because there's probably been thousands of comments left on her blog.  I read this article last week when a friend messaged me the link on Facebook; saw it on my MSN page a few days ago; decided I wasn't going to comment; but woke up this morning with it on my mind for some reason.  I've read a little about this issue lately so here are my thoughts:

You seem to be fine with the fact that your child may or may not be gay. I believe that right now your child is not gay. No matter how much the media and pro-gay groups try to emphasize it, there is absolutely no proof that we are born gay. It does seem that some children have more of an affinity for things that are generally considered appropriate for the opposite sex and some girls appear physically to be more masculine, and some boys more effeminate.

I think as parents we should do our best to encourage our girls to accept and embrace their femininity, and our boys to do the same for their masculinity. Even at a young age. If we notice our son seems to be drawn to activities that girls are stereotypically drawn to (ie. ballet, gymnastics), it does not mean that we should totally shoot the child’s interests down, but that we could also introduce activities that are considered more masculine. Maybe our son could be a beautiful ballet dancer, and is not that great or interested in basketball, but let’s introduce another activity such as Scouts to have the boy well-rounded. Maybe he could also share an interest in nature and the outdoors, while interacting with boys his own age and developing positive male friendships. I can’t quote a research article but I’ve read on numerous occasions that children who turn out to be gay often develop a sense of inferiority to those of the same sex, and even look to older or more typically masculine boys as idols of the masculinity that they feel they are lacking. Maybe his school friends will make fun of his ballet abilities, but his Scout mates will see a different side of him, encouraging him that he can develop positive relationships with other males where he doesn’t feel inferior.

I guess my main concern is that no matter how much homosexuality is being “normalized” in our society, the fact remains that gay teens and adults have greater incidence of depression, suicide, guilt, feelings of loss for a normal nuclear family etc etc the list goes on. Why would we want to encourage our children to embrace that?

As a last note, I find it so funny that you found it offensive that the Christian women at your Christian pre-school were offended by your child’s outfit. They perhaps could have been a little more tactful (ie not talk about it in front of your child) but it’s a CHRISTIAN pre-school. Christians in general do not believe cross-dressing, homosexuality, etc are normal human behaviors. Would you have been offended by a Muslim school finding it shocking that your teenage daughter came to school without a burka? Would you spend time in a nudist/naturalist resort and be offended if someone asked you why you were wearing clothes? Would you be offended if a mothers at a Jewish school looked at you funny walking into school munching on a leg of ham? If you have a problem with the religious attitudes/beliefs of your school then you should look elsewhere. That being said, there is nothing wrong with addressing that mom in private and expressing your anger at her talking to you that way in front of your son. The mom who was standing there in dismay I’m sure was unaware of her actions, but the talking mom should have known better.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Benvenuta Bella! Welcome Beautiful!

We've a new beauty in our home, the lovely Bella. My husband and I have been talking about getting another dog for a few months now: "Oh, when we move"... or "When we get a bigger house." He showed me Bella on online and I just couldn't get her off my mind. She's supposed to be a Shepherd mix and I'm not really a big dog person but she looked so much like my husband's old dog that I was just sure he would love her. He wasn't really serious about

getting her but I just really wanted to see what she was like.

I wouldn't dare take a grown dog without bringing her home first to see how she was with the kids and our other dog, so I arranged to have her come for the evening last night and she's been with us ever since. I expect her former owner will want to take her back at least to say goodbye, but it seems like she’s ours! She is so great with the kids and comes from a family with two children, one being a one-year-old which is nice that she’s used to babies. She also doesn’t give two hoots about our dog Sam. Sam can be aggressive to other dogs especially ones that are vying for my husband’s attention. He’s very protective and doesn’t like Bella to go near my two daughters. He’s not so protective of my son, but that’s probably because he’s bigger.

We love Sam but he isn’t the most easy going dog. He’s great with the kids which we are so grateful for and is really the most important thing when you have pets and children but he runs away the first chance he can. He’ll come back for my husband sometimes if he’s already had a little run, but he barely ever listens to me. We have 3 acres of land so he loves to explore it and he never runs more than 1/2 km from the house but he’s a car chaser and we’re so afraid he’s going to get hit. We’ve considered the electric fence but keep saying we’ll get it for our new home. Mind you we’ve been talking about moving for 2 years now and we’re still here.

Sam will also get into garbage, compost etc but if we specifically say “No” then he’s pretty good to listen. He used to have a disgusting habit of eating our daughter’s dirty diapers but he’s kinda gotten out of that now that he’s older. When he was a younger, I’m not sure if he was a puppy or maybe over a year old, our glass outdoor table blew over and broke and no word of a lie, he ate the broken glass. It’s the kind of glass that doesn’t shard, but it was still like eating sharp rocks. It’s amazing he’s still around really. He jumped out of our car window while we were driving 100 km an hour and got away with just some road rash. I was holding him in my lap, and looking back I think if I hadn’t been holding the leash or had let go immediately, he might have gone straight under the car tires and well, he might not be here. He also does many other annoying things like scratch at the door to get in even though he knows that I won’t let him in unless he barks. I’ve trained him to do bark on command but he reverts to his instinctual scratching. What is with that anyways? Why do so many dogs scratch to get in? He’s a good boy though for the most part.

Bella seems like she’s much more laid back. She’s also more cuddly and affectionate. With Sam if you try to rub him down or scratch him he just gets all excited and wants to lick you or play or get in your face. Bella will gently put her head on your lap and snuggle in. She’s even done this with my son who was tickled pick with that because even though Sam will play and is good with the kids he’s just not that kind of dog. I feel bad for him because he’s getting a lot of scolding for growling at Bella and I’m sure he feels so threatened right now but I know he’ll get over it. He was the same way with my sister-in-law’s dog and now they are the best of buddies. Right now he’s preoccupied with some perceived threat outside and he’s hasn’t growled or bothered with Belle since they came in from their nighttime potty. I think it’s because the outside light which usually only comes on by motion sensor is set to stay on and he’s really smart, he probably thinks there is something out there to make it turn on. I should turn it off and see what he does.

Ha ha just what I thought. He spent a few more minutes looking out the window, then moseyed on down the hall to his bed, ohh, back for one more look, and gone again. He’s just too smart and that’s what frustrating about him, he knows when he is doing wrong but chooses to do it anyways :). Like us all at times I guess.

Bella seems to like to lie down next to wherever you are and that’s what she’s doing right now. Sam has finally decided there really is nothing outside and has gone to flake out on the couch. Me? I’m going to bed, Char out.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Devil’s Night!

Halloween is an ambiguous event in our home. We haven’t really trick or treated with our kids. In fact, my husband has never trick or treated at all, ever, in his whole life. His family and upbringing, although not much more conservative then mine, was deadset against Halloween (pardon the unintentional pun:). They went out every Halloween night to go swimming and to Pizza Hut. However as a child I thoroughly enjoyed celebrating Halloween. My siblings and I loved drawing and cutting out pumpkins and white ghosts to pin on our windows in the weeks before Halloween. It was simple then. None of this over-decorating, orange Christmas lights stuff. I enjoyed the trick or treating but the part I remember as the most fun was creating a costume and getting all done up for the night. I don’t actually ever remember having a store-bought costume. We created our own with maybe some Halloween make-up and spray-in hair dye as a treat. My brother and our neighbour once went as a garbage man and garbage bag; my brother wrapped up in a black bag and our friend in raggedy, dirty clothes. How simple and hilarious is that?

As an adult, even before meeting my husband, I began to question my inclination towards Halloween. Should I as a Christian, dedicated to glorifying God, participate in an event that is so obviously glorifying “the dark side”? I know some of the history surrounding Halloween pertains to early Christians but before that it revolved around the pagan tradition of trying to ward off evil spirits and the dead that were to be roaming the earth in the last few days of October. Other pagan traditions will state that there was no fear of these spirits but that it was a time to honor and communicate with dead loved ones. Whatever the case, when Christianity came to the Celts, it sought to eliminate this obsession with the dead, and finding it hard to stamp out all pagan traditions, incorporated it as a time to recognize saints who had passed, without idolizin or fearing them.

But as we all know, both the pagan and Christian traditions of honoring our loved ones are long gone in general society. Every year there are more homes decorated with dark and gruesome images inciting both fear, and glorification of everything deathly, evil, and hellish. But it’s all in good fun, right? Well, that is the question that I am still ambiguous about. I don’t watch movies or TV shows that give any credence to outright satanic or occult practices, but I still don’t mind sitting through a scattered vampire movie (The Twilight series excluded, I refuse to jump on that bandwagon) or the latest werewolf rendition. Are the witches and vampires, ghosts and zombies of Halloween simply scary fairytales or is it a guise for a night that is offered up solely to glorify Satan and his evil ways? Pagans will note that Christianity has simply added their own holidays to ancient pagan feasts generally occurring around the solstices. Christmas? Maybe so as there is no real mention of Jesus’ birthdate in the Bible, but Easter is after Passover so that happens to follow Jewish feasts. There are arguments that modern Easter traditions are steeped in ancient pagan ones (i. e. rabbits symbolizing fertility, etc.) but that’s a whole other blog. Back to Halloween, it is quite obvious that it no longer has any ties to Christianity and is there any real reason to celebrate it, particularly, the dark, devilish side of it?

I mentioned earlier that we haven’t “really” trick or treated with our kids. By “really” I mean that we haven’t done the door to door thing. We do dress up every year and attend our church’s Light the Night party and sometimes before we go, we might visit our neighbors and friends, but we don’t make a big deal out of it. The Light the Night party is always lots of fun for the kids and adults where everyone dresses up in non-scary costumes, plays games, watches the latest Veggietales movie and goes home with a bag of treats. It’s sorta celebrating Halloween, but with a lighter twist on it. One thing I’ve noticed about Light the Night that differs from typical Halloween celebrations is that it seems when kids outgrow the superhero and princess costume stage they turn to the witches, devils, and zombies costumes. (I keep starting to spell customs instead of costumes, it’s so annoying :). Whereas at church it seems like there are more creative ideas like tonight’s Anne of Green Gables by a little girl from our church who has long beautiful auburn, not red, auburn hair, porcelain skin, and the slightest sprinkle of freckles across her cheeks. Her mom didn’t have to do much dressing up at all, just a period dress, straw hat and braids. It was so cute. There was also a Dorothy from Wizard of Oz and a little guy dressed as a French (or Italian) chef. Maybe I’m biased but I didn’t see any of those kinds of cust… there I go, I did it again… costumes at my son’s cub scouts Halloween party. I’m not too biased to admit that it could just be the specification for non-scary costumes at Light the Night and not the parents’ conscious decision to dress their kids in less otherworldly get up, but whatever the motivation it makes for an interesting and lovely group of costumed kids.

I guess the real reason this is on my mind tonight is because for the first time my husband decided we should take the kids trick or treating. I was actually feeling a little guilty all week for even celebrating Light the Night on a Sunday and didn’t know how I felt about trick or treating. I do have somewhat of a respectful obligation to my in-laws who would be hurt if we participated so openly in Halloween but as I’ve said, I also still have my own confusion regarding the matter. I just read a Bible verse from Romans that says “I want you to wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil” (16:19). That’s exactly what I want for my children. My husband just kinda wants to have the experience-more for himself than the kids hahaha. As it turns out, he had to work a night shift at 6pm and we didn’t get home until 5:30pm (we had an early Light the Night this year to accommodate church services), so we didn’t go trick or treating. Next year? Who knows? I have a whole 365 days to think and pray about it, and other ways I should flee even the appearance of evil in my life (1 Thess. 5:22).