Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bert & Ernie

I thought we escaped preschool relatively unscathed. Sure Abby had moments with one of the girls in her class trying to define roles and friendship boundaries. I expected that, and overall it worked out that all of the children in the class got along tremendously well, thanks in large part to the guidance of Mrs. Hart.

But Mrs. Hart cannot be in on every conversation, and I'm guessing this one slipped in under her radar. After being away from home for nearly a week, Geoff was reminded tonight, at our first family meal since his return, of something Abby had asked him before he left: "Daddy, are Bert & Ernie gay?"

Hit me on the head with a hammer.... I didn't see that one coming! Of course I know kids talk about these things, especially when they realize these topics are taboo. And of course Abby has no idea what this means, but it won't be long and she will. So tonight, as we sat around the table, I held her in my arms and asked her about the conversation she had at preschool. She asked me if Bert & Ernie live together, to which I responded, "Yes." She asked why, to which I replied, "Because they are roommates." Yikes, how far is this going to go? But that is as far as it went. Geoff inquired if she knew what being gay was; she humbly said no.

I have been very cognisant when it comes to teaching the girls about the world and the people around them. Nothing is off limits and we talk about anything and everything that comes up. Bottom line, I want them to understand that there are a lot of different people in this world, and just because someone is different than they are, that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with that. I'm trying to foster acceptance, compassion and understanding. I find myself a bit taken aback when it comes to the issue of homosexuality. On one hand I want them to comprehend what it means, on the other I didn't think we would be talking about this yet. I'd like them to hear about it from me so that they understand what being gay means without having someone else's judgement swaying their beliefs. That is certainly preferable to Hot Topics at the playground.

So I guess we'll be adding the talk about homosexuality to our To Do list this summer; somewhere between visits with the grandparents and trips to the water park. With any luck, a leisurely viewing of Sesame Street, and perhaps a "Bert & Ernie's Great Adventure" cameo will get the ball rolling while we're out in Wenatchee with Grandma Phillips. And with any luck, Grandma Phillips will put on her best teacher voice and snuggle up with the girls over a good conversation about Bert & Ernie.... whatever that means.

1 comment:

ProfBee said... never know what those little ones talk about, even at preschool it happens. I am sure we will be asked a lot of questions and with our wisdom and experiences we can come up with a few answers. Can't wait to see you and those kids, getting ever so close. I am making the beds today, starting to move downstairs for the summer and thinking of fun activities that will add on to the stories of who we are and how much family means to all of us!


{About Me}

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Fairborn, Ohio, United States
I'm a teacher by trade, writer at heart & mom in every sense of my being. I never considered writing as a profession, but after I got married and began moving around the country, I began sharing my adventures, misadventures & updates through a sort of e-mail newsletter. I found a true passion in unconventional story-telling that has followed me into motherhood.