Before Hunter went to bed the other night, he crawled between Donna and me and asked, "You guys will still love me even if I did something really bad, right?" He was fighting tears as he waited for our reassurance.
Once he had it from both of us, he admitted that when he had two of his best buddies over for the weekend of his birthday, they were bragging about different websites they had seen which have some pretty questionable content. What he described was nothing like pornography (Thank God!), but more along the lines of Jackass-style shorts. He tried to explain that he felt like a baby because he knew we would not approve of the content of the sites, so he hadn't seen them.
I tried to explain that sometimes guys exaggerate about what they've done or seen to seem cool. He wasn't buying it. Donna tried to explain that both of the boys in question have older brothers, so they would have been more likely to be exposed to things like that. He wasn't having that, either. He insisted that he needed more "guy time."
That always hits a sore spot with me. Neither Donna nor I can fulfill that craving. It's our Achilles heel. As much as we have strong men in his circle, none of them live with us and they each have family and careers that they juggle. They often include Hunter, but not frequently enough for his liking. Add to that, both Donna's brother and my brothers live in different parts of the world, and his Godfather lives in Florida and is adjusting to being a new Dad, so I think Hunter's feeling lost in a sea of estrogen.
He's such a good boy and he's growing into a such a strong young man. Ten years old is the new 14. It's fraught with messages of dating and independence so close he can barely take it. I know he's trying to maintain a strong code of integrity and honor while also trying to fit in with the guys. I can't imagine how frustrating and lonely he must be at times.
My hope is that his belief we will love him no matter what will help him navigate the choppy waters ahead of him right now. Whether or not he realizes it, Hunter is one of my heroes. He's very comfortable telling his friends he has two moms and he's willingly stepping into leadership roles, having signed up as a "Safety" at his school. That means he's in charge of the kindergarten class and helps the kindergarten teachers line them up and corral them until schools starts and ends. He's a great role model.
Somehow, he's demonstrating that being a good man is more about character than testosterone and I couldn't be prouder of the person he is and the man he's growing into. So, although I wish I could put the brakes on as he catapults towards puberty, I will trust that he has the common sense to navigate the world in a manner that allows him to maintain his integrity.
- Stacy Graffam
- I'm a lesbian mom in an inter-racial relationship, living in Bergen County, NJ. My wife and I are raising two beautiful children, an eleven year-old son and a six year-old daughter. I'll be sharing our adventures in faith and parenting on a regular basis. My entries are also published in Gay Parent Magazine (www.gayparentmag.com).