Monday, February 4, 2008
Imagine My Shame
If you’re a reader from the days when Are You My Mothers was hosted by Parents.com you’ll remember a story about a classmate of Betsy’s who Bets wanted to have over for a play date. After meeting Faith and I the girl’s mom responded to our play date proposal with an email explaining she doesn’t allow her daughter to have play dates during the school year.
It reeked of homophobia to me and to most of my readers. If it smells like poop, tastes like poop…
This mom had initially been friendly to me and Faith individually and it wasn’t until after she met us together that her tune changed, or so we thought. The seemingly unlikely possibility that her rejection had nothing to do with us being two moms arose weeks later when another mom (straight) in the class acted the spy and invited the girl to her house to see what response she got.
She got the same story.
Well we met the other day, the sorry-no-play-date-mom and I. Our daughters have since become even closer. They wait for each other at the school door each morning, they trade jewelry, and fantasize about getting together. I saw the mom from afar, saw that she was in a room I was about to enter and realized I had no idea what I was in for – a cold shoulder, a forced smile. I gave her wide berth. I didn’t want to call too much attention to myself, to her, to our past interaction.
But she saw me.
And as soon as she did she came rushing over and gave me a big hug.
We had the friendliest chat during which she offered a fuller explanation about why they don’t do play-dates, one that had nothing whatsoever to do with Betsy having two moms and everything to do with some compulsive painstaking effort to prevent any children from feeling bad if they can’t accept a play-date (so they have decided to do none at all until the summer when the children aren’t around each other to compare social lives). I can’t say I understand - hurt feelings are an unavoidable part of growing up. Still I am much relieved, and chagrined.
As we talked our daughters sat squished next to each other on a single chair. The mom insisted we have a play-date the moment school lets out for the summer. Betsy and her friend want it to be a sleepover.
Betsy also showed me today how she and this friend pretend to kiss each other on the lips.
If there’s anything that will bring out the lovelorn obsessions of two 6-year old girls it’s not letting them see each other after school.
I’m thrilled and happily wiser for having been so wrong. One woman thinks she’s protecting children from hurt. Another thinks everyone’s a homophobe. We each have our issues.
Meanwhile, I need to keep an eye on my daughter, lover-lips. No, not because the daughter of lesbians shouldn’t be kissing other girls, but because strep throat is going around the class room. Geez. Don’t go jumping to conclusions.