Friday, March 29, 2013

People Can Marry Whoever They Want, Right, Mom?

When Bella was a year old and attended her first music class, she became friends with a set of twins who had two dads. In her preschool class, she had two classmates, each with two moms. And there was another classmate whose mom was a single parent by choice. My kids have grown up in an environment where families come in all shapes and sizes. Two moms, two dads, one mom--all of that is normal. So it was with complete wonder that Bella asked me not long ago why they were talking about gay marriage on the radio news. People can marry whoever they want, right, Mom? 

As parents, we all do our best to instill our values in our kids. Often we don't even have to try; they hear us talking, they follow our example, and they learn about the world through the communities that we bring them into.

One of the more unsettling things about raising kids is having to teach them about the truths of the world that look different from what they know. Gradually, they learn about racism, and they learn about war, and they learn that in many synagogues women are not allowed to wear a tallit or lead the prayers.

I cherish Bella's incredulity whenever these discussions arise. Inequality baffles her. And that is a beautiful thing. The young people of our nation already overwhelmingly support same-sex marriage rights. One day my daughters will grow up, and they will join in that majority.

I hope and pray that it won't take that long for gay couples to receive equal treatment under the national laws of our land. But no matter if it happens in weeks, days, or years, the waves of change are washing over our shores, starting from a toddler music class, and inching forward.

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