Caesar asks me one morning...
Besides Christian and I, the most influential people in my eldest son's life are gay. It's never anything he has inquired about; it's nothing that any of us are ashamed of and so it is not hidden from him.
On top of that, I am crazy about RuPaul's Drag Race. The only reason the boys aren't allowed to paint their fingernails is because they always have their fingers in their mouths, and if they want to wear pink, or lavender, or blue, or polka dots -- they can.
We're just not interested in that "You'll turn them gay!" crap, because it's really too absurd to consider and I'd rather turn my concerns to something important like them 1: turning into couch cushion eaters, or 2: what if they don't appreciate books, or 3: they pick their noses compulsively -- because then they'll never get a lover of any sex and they'll live in my garage with 42 cats.
"What kind of love do you mean, Bubs? Friendship love, or like Mommy and Daddy's love?"
"Like yours and Daddy's."
I put down the tissue paper and star shaped hole punch I was using.
I consider how I'm going to answer this question. I've been in love with his father for a very long time, and I still can't define it, or explain it, or know how it happened.
Caesar waits as I ponder, poking his finger around the container filled with the rainbow colored stars I've already stamped out, for the Mother's Day cards he'll be decorating later.
That must have been what prompted the question. He has so many grandmothers, after all.
He flushes a bit, I've kept him waiting too long and now he's worried he asked an inappropriate question.
He shuffles his feet, and speaks again:
"I was just wondering how they love each other and if it's okay."
He's only five now, but how I answer this will shape what he knows, what he lives, what he repeats -- forever.
No one really explained to me, what my mother being a lesbian meant, all I knew was that my family was different.
When I was in the 8th grade, a classmate that had seen my mother and her partner at the time holding hands in the supermarket, told me that my mother was going to Hell, along with a few other repulsive things I've tried hard to forget.
I can't let that be the first thing my son is told, so I will answer this the right way.
I want to be poignant. I want to be honest. I want him to understand.
"Their hearts picked each other, Scrumpet. There's really no way to explain love, or how it happens, it just does."
"Oh. But... Is it okay?"
He puts his fingers into his mouth, his nervous habit, and I take his hand, hold it in my own and I tell him:
"Love is so, so amazing! And when one person loves another person, it doesn't matter if it's a boy and a girl, or two girls, or two boys, or even two people who are not quite sure if they are boys or girls -- it is always okay."
The answer satisfies his curiosity and he skitters off to finish playing Batman with Mercutio and Severus.
I know he's only five, but I can't wait to see who his heart picks out, because they will be incredibly lucky to have the unconditional love of my son.
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