Sunday, September 8, 2013

Who I Am

Since having babies, my friendships have been built mostly on the common ground of motherhood. Maybe baby wearing, breast feeding, gentle parenting, healthy eating, food allergies, homeschooling, Waldorf, or crafting brought us together. Maybe it's that we were both teachers once upon a time, and struggling to apply (or not apply) that to our own littles. Maybe we met through a friend, or in a Facebook group. But however we met, on whatever level we connected, chances are good that I don't know a whole lot more about you beyond the here and now, the ever-present motherhood or education issues of daily life. Maybe I know bits and pieces of who you were before, or about your siblings or parents or former job. But I don't know you. As in how you would react to a given situation outside of parenting.

 

Parenting is so all-consuming. It provides all the conversation, all the commonality we need. Right? Or maybe not. The very few friends I have from childhood and early teaching years, I can say exactly where they stand on most issues. I know how they react to things. I know some of the challenges they faced- I was even there for some of them. I knew them first, before they had children. For my mommy friends, it is hard to get past the here and now, usually because the children are always right there, listening, or could be at any moment. Not the right environment for baring one's soul, is it?

 

I hadn't given that a whole lot of thought until recently. It doesn't matter to me if my friends are Christian, Jew, Pagan, Wiccan, Atheist, Buddhist, or Mormon. It's none of my business who you voted for, if you are married, divorced, single, or partnered, or if your baby was born into a marriage or not. It isnt up to me to decide if you should vaccinate your children or eat vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten free, or anything else. We all have our own path to follow. And I kind of assumed that my friends felt similarly.... Or at least I thought I knew which friends didn't.

 

Until the whole gay marriage thing. I had no idea I had so many friends who felt so compelled to throw stones. As in not just opposing gay marriage, but also rejecting the people involved. Which makes me so sad. These are people. Real people, living their lives in the best way they know how, just like the rest of us. Maybe you have sheltered yourself and your children so completely that you have forgotten that they are just that.

 

Thus I'd like to put it out there that I am in total support of people living their lives as they see fit, provided it isn't hurting anyone. Live and let live. The Bible says to love everyone, to not throw stones, and to remove the plank from your own eye before worrying about anyone else's supposed speck. If you don't want to hear me say that, well... you have to do what you have to do- I'm probably not your ideal friend, in real life or on Facebook.

 

I have a cousin who got married yesterday to the love of her life, someone who has stuck with her through thick and thin, someone who is caring for our elderly grandpa and raising their teenage son. I am so thankful that they all have each other, and that finally it can be recognized legally.

 

Sooo.... What about my kids? Are they scarred for life, or thinking maybe they want to be gay just because they know about it? Well, I have a sweet friend who patiently answered all the questions regarding her same-sex marriage E came up with over the course of a month or so before we moved. Even the ones about babies and sperm donors. A week or so ago, when I told the children that my cousin was getting married, E told me that he had come to the conclusion that love conquers all.

 

Love conquers all. Now THAT is a lesson I want my children to remember.

 

3 comments:

  1. I read this post several times, trying to understand your thoughts.
    I believe you can and should accept a person without accepting and embracing the particular action. I have a dear Mormon friend. I more than accept her, I love her, but I do not accept Mormonism for me or my family. We had a homosexual friend of John's over for dinner last week. We enjoyed his company a lot, but do not teach our children that his lifestyle is the natural way God intended. My 24-year-old son just had a baby with a girl he had a one night stand with. We love the baby and him, of course, but teach our younger children (and him as well) that God intends for a loving commitment(marriage) to come before a child.(That reason is evident now.)
    All of these examples come from my (and my husband's)CHOICE to have faith in God and believe the Bible as truth- be a Christian.

    So, I think we associate and are friends with those who accept us without necessarily accepting our lifestyle. If my Mormon friend was making comments regularly about how Mormons are the only ones who know God, then I would back off and our friendship wouldn't be as close. If my public school or vegan friends put down homeschooling or using animals for food in conversation, I would tend not to want to hang out with them. If someone tries to be pushy with me about accepting things the Bible teaches against, then I tend to keep my distance. It seems to be natural to have friends that have things in common with you. My closest friends are probably going to be homeschooling mamas that teach their kids that there is a God that can bring ultimate fulfillment to their lives... but not always - I do have the few friends that have differences with our family, but the reason is because we accept each other without accepting every lifestyle choice. They accept that I am a Christian, even if they have chosen not to be. I accept that they are public schoolers, pagan, homosexual, etc. We can be friends because we respect each other and do not bring damage to one another because of our separate beliefs. These friendships are a blessing just like my friendships of very like-minded people.
    My conclusion: Our closest friends will most likely share our beliefs and choices, but anyone can be friends if the right conditions of respect are given to one another. Accepting a person does not mean loving everything they choose. I am so thankful for reading this post and giving time to ponder it.

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  2. Well put, Lisa. :) Love you too, Brook! Why do I live so far from the two of you?

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