I am the mother of a 12 year old girl. She is pretty average as tween girls go. She backtalks a bit, she loves her skinny jeans and Converse sneakers, and she brushes or flat irons her hair a million times a day.
Today, for a brief moment, I thought that she might not be so average. I found a letter in her room (since I’ve quit working, I clean her room regularly – vacuuming, dusting, etc) professing love to a girl named Ana. Or so I thought. I had a sort of crisis upon finding this letter. Is my daughter gay? Is she bisexual? She’s only 12, is she even old enough to know her sexual orientation? And why am I so concerned? I don’t have anything against the gay and lesbian community. I’m comfortable with any sexuality. Really. So why do I even care if my daughter is gay?
A lot of things went through my mind as I waited for her to come home. I spent the day scrubbing every inch of the house, trying to make the time pass quickly. The thought that went through my mind most frequently was “I don’t want to deal with this.” .It would change her life. Her family may reject her because of their religious beliefs. Her friends might not want to do sleepovers anymore because of the awkwardness. She might get ridiculed at school. What about marriage? What about kids? I want grandchildren, damn it! She is my only child.
So I waited patiently for her to arrive from school this afternoon. When she got home, I calmly sat her down at the kitchen table (I know, very June Cleaver of me) and showed her the letter. I asked her what it meant, if she had feelings for Ana. I started to go into my long speech about how its okay to be honest and tell me how she really feels.
“Me and Ana and wrote this together for the boy she likes. I helped her write it.” Yup. That simple. I prodded, giving her ample opportunity to confess her deepest secrets. She laughed. “No, mom, I really like boys.”
Then I felt guilty. Why thank goodness? If I am to be honest with myself, its because its easier this way. There won’t be any drama with our family, there won’t be any problems fitting in at school. This poor kid has enough going on with her father’s suicide, she doesn’t need anything else to deal with in her adolescence. I want her to have an easy life.
Oh, and I want grandchildren one day.