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February 16, 2006

Conversations With My Daughter, Thursday Edition.

From this morning, as I was driving her to school.

Me: So you know I'll be gone this weekend, right?

Athena: Yes. Where will you be going?

Me: Boston.

Athena: Where's that?

Me: It's in Massachusetts.

Athena: Masschusetts! Are you going to divorce mommy and marry a boy?

Me: What? No.

Athena: Why not?

Me: Well, for one, I don't want to divorce your mother. For two, I don't really want to marry a boy. I don't like boys that way.

Athena: You don't?

Me: Really, no.

Athena: But then you would have something special.

Me: I already have something special with your mother.

Athena: Well, okay.

Bear in mind I'm pretty sure that Athena wasn't really expecting me to divorce Krissy and marry a boy. But I do find it interesting that same-sex marriage was the thing that popped into her mind when I said "Massachusetts." Yes, I did tell her about it once (once! I think more than a year ago, in the larger context of talking about marriage in general), but I'm sure I've told her other things about the Massachusetts as well. It's funny what sticks in kids' heads.

Posted by john at February 16, 2006 03:22 PM

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Tracked on February 17, 2006 11:56 PM


Gabe | February 16, 2006 03:33 PM

Wow. Can't wait for the 'Why aren't you gay?' discussion from my kids.

Devin L. Ganger | February 16, 2006 03:57 PM

We're lucky to have several gay couples as friends, so our kids (9 and 7) have pretty much grown up accepting that sometimes, girls like girls and boys like boys without us ever having to explicitly talk about it. We *have* had varyings stages of the "this really bothers some people" conversation, though.

My kids are more worried about sex in general (they both think it's yucky) than they are about who is doing it with whom. I wonder how long that stage will last.

Paul | February 16, 2006 04:00 PM

I've been reading The Whatever, and By The Way for, what, almost two years, now, and I must say that this is the first time I've ever thought, "gee, I'm glad I wasn't drinking a Coke right now."

alkali | February 16, 2006 05:17 PM

Athena: Masschusetts! Are you going to divorce mommy and marry a boy?

Me: What? No.

Note to Boskone organizers: cancel Scalzi-related "surprise event." Call Stephenson back and see if he is still available to do his spinning-plate thing.

Martin Wagner | February 16, 2006 08:04 PM

Man, if the American Family Assholiation gets hold of this post, you just know they're going to run with it. ("Massachusetts Gay Agenda Poisons Children's Minds in Other States, Spreads Like Cancer!")

Smurf | February 16, 2006 08:24 PM

I smell a contrived kid story.

Don't worry... when business calls me to Ohio, the kids insist upon counting my teeth when I return- even after a short visit.

Thomas Nixon | February 16, 2006 10:25 PM

As it happens, our church here in Fresno has many, many gay people, so our children have all grown up in an environment where that is the norm.

Patrick | February 16, 2006 10:34 PM

John, I'm considering attending Boskone this year. And you know, we did have that thing at JournalCon I.

Athena Has Two Daddies has a nice ring to it.

Chris Lehmann | February 16, 2006 11:06 PM

Attached, please find one bill for the cleaning of a monitor. Tea plays hell with laptops.

Too freaking funny.

Derryl Murphy | February 16, 2006 11:13 PM

Whatever will she say if you ever come to Canada?


skylion | February 16, 2006 11:46 PM

Keen obseravtional mind there. I also wonder why it is on her mind a year later; could it be the school she attends, a teacher with something on her mind? Who knows? It is fantastic that she is accepting of the whole shegang. Notice, she didn't demand that you not go to Mass. and get married to a boy.

Tym | February 17, 2006 04:30 AM

A particularly interesting anecodote, in the light of this. It's also in Massachusetts that at least one parent doesn't want sex education providing information on same-sex couples.

sylvia | February 17, 2006 07:49 AM

It is funny what they come up with. Mine at the same age, when faced with his first real-live lesbian couple as opposed to theoretical discussions.

"Mom, are you going to have another baby?"

"No, honey, I'm not."

"Then why are you with Cliff?"


"If you don't want a baby, why do you have a boyfriend?"

"Can't I have a boyfriend just for fun?"

"No, that's what girlfriends are for."

Once I got my friends to stop shouting "Right on, kid!" we had another discussion. :)

Mark | February 17, 2006 09:47 AM

Accepting it as the norm and having to live with homosexual people, as a non-gay person, is two very different things, by the way. Yah, I don't mind gay people hanging around and I have Gay friends but I really don’t want to be with them day in and day out like most of my friends anyway. but in sexual situations I would rather be around a bunch of hot girls then guys :) Kids are forced to live with grown ups, or whatever, so that should be considered.

Something like 5% of Americans consider themselves homosexual. Men and Women. More women are gay to me though as I see allot more lesbian activity around me but that's another story ;) So it could be like 40 percent overall : 9

I guess anything can be considered exhibitionism or grandstanding if it is not the mainstream so people seem to have accepted Civil Unions more. Also I think that allows for more monitoring of the situation if the child is uncomfortable because most people are not gay of course. Of course there is the public school to consider and thank goodness you don’t have T.V. I don’t think so you can control your content.

Anyway I am not a big fan of the government so if you want to be gay forget about marriage contracts anyway in my opinion as it is to restrictive. All the legal crap. And if you are a gay hot female call me at...

Steve Brady | February 17, 2006 10:07 AM

John, you're going to have to bring her back some chowder now. I'm proud as hell that my state was the first to let gay people be people, but we have other special things too B)

DPWally | February 17, 2006 12:15 PM

Though the Massachusetts-same sex marriage connection is clearly in her head, that doesn't mean it got there from your conversation a year ago. Strange cultural interpretations run through elementary schools.

Perhaps, in her class, if Joey is wearing the wrong pants the children say "Joey's wearing doof pants, he's gay, he's going to go to Massachusetts and marry a boy". I'm sure my 3rd grade classmates would have come up with something like that.

barrett | February 17, 2006 12:28 PM

Boys are icky. Or so my wife tells me...

alkali | February 17, 2006 04:27 PM

I'm proud as hell that my state was the first to let gay people be people, but we have other special things too ...

Massachusetts: Come for the gay marriage. Stay for the fried clams.

Luke | February 18, 2006 06:19 PM

Fried clam chowder? Gack! Chowder is a soup.

For all that I support Mass. and its having other cultural items, I'd always heard it called New England. Well, Mass. is IN New England...

Bruce Arthurs | February 19, 2006 11:24 AM

You know, if you're afraid that alternative lifestyles might freak out your young children, there's a obvious solution:

Marry a puppy.

rohan | February 20, 2006 04:31 AM

What... you mean is that a Pre req... to having kids! Bugger... err no.
I mean not there is anything "wrong" with Man/Man love..! its the 06's dog and cats can get along, and men can love each other. I thought San Fran was the man+man place to be. Sigh just goes to show from under its a wonder we get things wrong.

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