The Next Generation

Last night, as I was cooking dinner, Miguel came into the kitchen and said, "Why didn't you tell me about Osama bin Laden?" I said it was "complicated" and he said it was "important" so we proceeded to talk about 9/11, the Bush response, the war in Afghanistan and Iraq and - yes - Osama bin Laden. We talked about it for a long time. So long, in fact, that I wanted to say, "See! This is why I never talked to you about it." When we finally finished, he said, "Well...are there any other events going on that you are not telling about, anything else we should talk about?"   Of course, there is an issue that we needed to talk about - the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage here. Luisa and I had planned to talk to the kids about it once it was guaranteed to be on the ballot in 2012 and that guarantee came with the vote last weekend. This was the perfect opening and, despite the dread I felt in bringing it up, I explained it to the kids.

Zeca quickly responded, "People love who they love and should be able to get married. I will not be voting for that." Miguel stared at me for a moment and then said, "The constitution guarantees justice for everyone. This is not justice, denying people equal rights is not justice." He spoke so calmly and with such maturity that I started to cry. I didn't want to, didn't want either of them to feel the need to protect me - but I was so moved by their words that I couldn't stop the tears. Zeca - so resolute. Miguel - so righteous. 

I told them that the next 18 months would be rough, that people might say hateful things about GLBT people and that they should tell us or their teachers if they hear anything that makes them uncomfortable or scared. They both said that they would.

I cleared the table and started doing dishes and Miguel came into the kitchen and said, "People shouldn't judge." I nodded in agreement and he continued,

Mom, you are a better person because you embrace the possibility of love. You don't judge others even though they judge you. You are a better person for that.

We hugged and then I told him to go do his homework. He said, "Not tonight. Tonight I am writing a letter and I'm going to send it to the newspaper."

And he wrote a adorable heart-felt letter about equality. Reading it, I knew that no matter what the outcome of this particular battle - we will win eventually. This next generation will make sure of it.