and we have lived to tell the tale.
Seriously, I’m NOT going to tell that tale because my depressed heart would code and I’d be dead in three seconds flat. Yes, it was THAT bad. On the plus side, there were brief periods of merriment when I was lucid enough to envision intensely excruciating and original ways to end the absentee Vikings life. These were narrated to him in great detail each time he called. He tells me today that the furious North Sea has nothing on me, when I am exhausted, sleep-deprived and raging.
Last Tuesday our GP finally condescended to see us. Our GP is a sprightly and vivacious lady from Sri Lanka – not that these qualities are necessarily what I look for in a GP, but it most definitely makes her easy to talk to. I walk in and she cuddles Armaan a second before saying, ” Oh well, looks like we’ll be family soon!”
I am baffled by this statement and try to respond by raising just the one questioning brow as smart and sophisticated people would do. This was bound to fail since I am none of the the above. Instead my eyebrows shoot into my hairline to give the overall effect of surprised and stupid. She laughs gaily and continues.
“Steph(anie) has decided that she is going to marry Arvind. She told me today that he is the best kisser amongst the boys. So welcome the family and all!” Haha.
I laugh merrily while I try and wrap my head around the fact that a four year old girl has a test sample of boys she has kissed. They have been qualified, graded and ranked in her four year old mind. It took me 18 freakin’ years (in our admittedly repressed youth in Kerala) to work up a respectable and somewhat random sample. Wow. Clearly, this was a girl well ahead of her time, clear and resolute, knowing what she wants and going after it.
Either that or a total Ho.
And my son is kissing? Willingly? Or is he being chased and violated? Having lips forced upon him by hormonal kindergarten girls? And here I was, thinking I had at least a good ten years before any such worries came my way.
The protective mother that I am, I hasten to pick him up and get to the bottom of things. I’m all Hey! dude! and casual as he runs over to hug me somewhat diffidently. This is a recent development. Kindergarten law has decreed that only real wussies hug their mothers in public. PDA is so not on. Locking lips and making out, however, has clearly wrangled legal sanction.
We pile into the car, argue a bit over our playlist and then settle down for the ride home.
“Hey, so I heard today that you and Steph have been kissing.”
Arvind pretend vomits in the backseat.”I HATE girls!” he spews vehemently, “They keep chasing us and trying to kiss on the lips. Girls suck!”
“C’mon, there must be some nice girls?” I venture hopefully.
“NO! Girls are poop with a fart on top”. Ok then.
Its all peaceful for a while as Boney M belts out Rasputin’s sinful but wildly exciting life.
“Mamma?” comes a small voice from the backseat? “Can boys love boys? And marry boys?”
Woah. Was not ready. And should definitely not be driving or swerving when that question pops. Its the kind of question and answer that requires eye contact. Or is it? Does it mean anything? Or is this just my son, completely disgusted and disgruntled by aggressive overtures and wanting to know his options? Wondering if he is doomed to a life with pink-and-barbie-loving-bimbettes? Either way, I decide that this not the time to sweat it.
“And play Star Wars forever and live happily till you’re old? Sure you can, babe.” I laugh.
He emits a huge sigh of relief. “Good,” he breathes. And he looks at me levelly in the rear view mirror, “because I will never EVER marry a girl. I only love Henrik.” And then he does something which just blows me away. He raises his palm and I see that he has written his beloved friends name in a heart. And he smiles.
I know that I am far too much of a libertarian to be rocked by this. And I am going to type fast before the hit-men that my parents will have authorised get here.
He is five and the kind of child who feels everything intensely. He loves his friend. Should it be the case that he loves men in his adult life, I would still be happy for him. Because more than anything, I will pray for my children to find real friendship and love. Not some shabby, convenient excuse, but the real thing. The person who really gets him and stands by him weathering it all. The person who loves his quirky, bright mind and his expansive heart. “Must have vagina” really has not made it to this checklist.
This is not the post about my son being gay. He can barely wipe his own arse in a competent manner, let alone label his feelings and slot them in a category. He wants to do maths, know what happened to the dinosaurs and figure out where EXACTLY in the solar system we are. Can we see it on the GPS? Everything else, unless it is Hanuman or Ben 10, is an inconvenient interruption.
And we can grant him his innocence for this short while. Avoid the unnecessary digging, shovelling and general over-examination of every bloody feeling/conversation that seems to pass for caring parenting these days. I am eternally grateful to my parents for being just repressed enough to leave us the hell alone, never forcing “sensitive conversations” on us or mining for our deepest feelings. They accepted us, got on with their lives and let us get on with ours. I plan to do my sons the same favour. Que sera sera.