Thursday, April 14, 2011

Why Primetime smooching matters to me

So this week kurt and Blaine finally smooched on "Glee" and it was everything you could hope for in a first kiss: tentative, anticipated, sensitive, sweet, and not just a little passionate. Sigh. For fans of the show it was past due, for me it provided another jumping off point in conversation with by sons.

I don't watch Glee because it makes sense or is going to change the world. I watch it because it is entertaining, funny, silly, has some fabulous one-liners:"I don't even remember putting that in there." But Tuesday night when my boys were cuddled up beside me in bed after their upteenth outpatient ear surgery I watched because I couldn't stand one more episode of anything scifi or animated.

So the episode started, the damn bird died, and then the kiss. "It's just weird Mom," said my 13 year old. Weird or different I asked? So the boys and I talked for a while about how it would be different for them to see two men kiss simply because they haven't ever seen it before. But is that kind of love weird? "Nope", my 11 year old said- "everybody ought to be able to be loved, right?"

Glee isn't important because it's going to change everyone's attitudes about sexuality or politics, music or scary cheerleading coaches. What's important and useful to me as a mom is that the episode and the context of the smooch gave my 11 and 13 year old sons a safe opportunity to talk about something different, weird, new-and the chance to think about how they feel about it. How to process through the lens of their own burgeoning adolescence and all the assorted misery that entails.

How to stand up for the rights of the weird-when their peers only value the same. Even how to disagree with their mom. As they continue to grow and change I know we will not always agree-my job as a parent isn't to raise automatons-but thinking, responsible and compassionate adults. Already I see how they treat others, how they stick up for the underdogs, and reach out to those in need of help. They are loving, funny, surprising, and thoughtful creatures (most of the time).

Most importantly they know, "Everybody ought to be able to be loved right?" Indeed.

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