September 15, 2012

When words fail, go to Sonic

A few weeks ago, the kids and I were in Dallas waiting to pick Mr. Harper up at Love Field airport.  We had time to spare and we were hungry - but Love Field's immediate vicinity isn't overflowing with an abundance of clean palatable restaurants.  I drove a few blocks away to an area that has always been a nice part of town - clean, safe and a good bet for a decent meal, and known as a gay area.

Times have changed.  Don't get me wrong, the area is still clean, well kept, there is a very active social and dining scene.  It is just that what used to be a gay hangout is now Planet Gay.  As we entered the neighborhood, there were rainbow flags on every light pole, signs and stickers supporting gay rights, stores that cater to, um, alternative life styles, etc.  Most of the bars and restaurants had outdoor patio areas that were busting at the seams with gay couples - and they were overwhelmingly male and overwhelmingly flamboyantly gay.  We saw 4 females in our trip around the block.  And there isn't a damn thing wrong with any of it - live and let live, to each his own...

I would have liked to have gotten a meal there, I was really hungry and time was going to become an issue, but, Crash was in the car.  Crash had never seen gay public displays of affection.  He has had no coaching, no experience, no exposure to what he was suddenly bombarded with as he looked out the window.

As you know, five year old's aren't generally great at thoughtful subtlety when they speak.  He freaked the hell out.  He spoke his mind.  Even with the windows up and radio playing, I worried that someone outside the car would hear his uncensored thoughts about what he was seeing.

And what do you say, as a parent?  This isn't like a kid staring at someone with a deformity, or declaring loudly that someone is FAT.  There isn't a way to walk up to a gay couple and say, 'My son has never seen men kissing, could you introduce yourself and show him that you are normal?'

At least, I couldn't ask that without risking an ass kicking.  And there was no guarantee that anything we, or anyone else, could say to Crash would get him to stop vocally expressing his aversion to what he was seeing.

Some parenting challenges I am just not up for. 

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