Parents do a lot of teaching, reiterating, clarifying and reinforcing. About manners, about how things work, about life in general...
I would say most days are filled with approximately 323 "Why mom?" 's or "How?" 's.
One day I asked Noah if we could take a break from asking questions, he said:
"Yeah, we could do that. But I just ask lots of questions cause my brain doesn't know a lot. And I want to know a lot so I know every-fing."
He's so sweet and innocent and curious and has the entire world at his fingertips with so much to learn.
Recently, we spent some time with some people that are near and dear to our hearts. Those people also happen to be gay. We spent a few consecutive days with these people and I watched Noah give hugs and kisses unknowing of what our nation has been fighting the last handful of years in regards to unions between gay couples. Unknowing of some of the extremely hateful things people say about gay couples. Unknowing of how some choose to blatantly/publicly hurt/belittle/ostracize gay people.
I watched my son, who once told me,
"...my brain doesn't know a lot..."
teach me one of the most important lessons in life:
U N C O N D I T I O N A L L O V E
This all might sound cliché to some, but it really opened my eyes. I'm not perfect and there have been times that I have judged others for their choices and lifestyles, gay or not. But to see Noah show and vocalize love and appreciation to these people without a second thought made me think about a few things.
We are all flawed human beings. You can sit and argue the rest of your life about whether or not being gay is a choice. You can sit and argue about which is the true church. You can sit and argue about political parties, parenting, social issues... etc. Some people may hear and consider your perspective/opinion/statistics and others may tell you to go pound sand.
(Which I assume people may do with this journal entry - the beauty of the First Amendment)
The point I'm trying to make is, my sweet little boy taught me more about love, in a matter of three days, than I've learned over 31.8 years of my life.
What if we all saw each other, only the best parts of each other, all the time? What if we STOPPED LOOKING for reasons to dislike people and looked for reasons to like instead?
Obviously the world would be different. Obviously this will never happen. Obviously there is opposition in all things.
I don't want this to turn into an entry about why you should or shouldn't support gay couples. What I want to say is: look closely at the people in your life - your friends, your family. Do you love them? I'm sure your answer was yes. But think about that question again:
DO YOU LOVE THEM?
Do you love them the same amount regardless of whether or not they went to church on Sunday?
Do you love them whether or not they are gay?
Do you love them even if your political views don't align?
Do you love them even though they disagree with your stance on any given social issue(s)?
Do you love them even though they fill their mug with coffee instead of cocoa?
Now, go beyond that.
Do you still treat that friend/family member the same as you treat other friends/family members that you may not have these issues with?
Do you say to yourself-
"Our relationship could/would be better if so-and-so would just (fill in the blank with underlining issue here)."
Because that, my friends, is EXACTLY what I'm talking about.
That is what Noah DIDN'T do. Noah loved, played, conversed and showed affection without that thought even entering his mind.
Noah TRULY showed unconditional love.
So, let's come back down to planet earth for a second. Life happens. People say/do hurtful things, people disagree, people do things you find offensive...
THAT IS REAL LIFE.
But, that doesn't mean we can't try. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try. That doesn't mean true unconditional love isn't possible.
All I am sure of is that I walked away from watching my son and decided I need to make some changes.
I want to know and show that I am capable of expressing unconditional love in its truest form to people in my life.
I've already lightly touched on this subject in THIS post, but I want to be the person who's able to:
"...keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away."