The Delights of Difference: 11-06-11

Pride To The Sky: Yesterday our son and his boyfriend joined day two of our daughter’s birthday celebration. The young men took the train from the city and we all drove to the Palace Theater in Waterbury, Connecticut to see In The Heights and catch up with their high school buddy who is in the orchestra playing bass in the Broadway show’s national tour. Prior to departing, a neighborhood acquaintance and electrician by trade stopped in to give us an estimate on work which included ordering and installing a generator to reduce the havoc of Mother Nature’s next visitation upon our home. This gentleman’s grown children went to school with our children years ago. I introduced him to our son and “his boyfriend.” I saw his eyes move between the handsome young men, taking in the meaning and adjusting his expectations. I felt proud. This is our son and his boyfriend, two of the finest young lads one can meet. This is our daughter, known to his wife who had subbed as her aide on occasion at the elementary school. These are our children and their friend and my pride in all of them reaches to the sky. Why?

Artful Hearts: I guess you had to be there. But I’ll do my best. Our son and his boyfriend visit our daughter’s apartment, love to hang out on the red couch, and in general exchange hilarious banter on a range of subjects. They are a big part of her life. Our daughter’s recent favorite topic is the love she witnesses between these two men. After the show we all went to dinner at one of those Asian fusion restaurants where sushi and sesame chicken happily coexist. While her father and I looked on, the three weaved together a tapestry of fondness that could hang on any museum wall. Our daughter, having purchased a drawing pad and some markers at a quick stop at the local Walgreens, began to draw a picture at the table. The finished work was of the two fellas’ heads, rather outsized to their small bodies, teeny hands and feet, wearing tee shirts each with the inscription “I love…” with the name of the other finishing the sentence. Our son’s boyfriend, an adept artist, responded with a drawing of our daughter next to her pooch Waggy with her froth of black waves surrounding a face punctuated by the requisite dangling pink tongue. The love was as thick as the peanut sauce smeared on the dumplings but with no artificial anything. Pure and plentiful.

Delightful Difference: We are a family of “difference.” These days I say to folks that my husband and I mixed quite a cocktail, one that made us join “clubs” in which we never thought to have a membership, walk through doorways and hallways that open only to the chosen few. But ultimately what a delight. The readjustments to the cards dealt have borne unexpected fruit. That of authenticity. Everyone is what he/she is. And each is accepted, celebrated and embraced with their intrinsic beauty, artful hearts, and unbridled empathy for others that “difference” often produces.

Growing Up Jewish: Growing up in the fifties and early sixties, raised on the tragedies of the Holocaust, imbued with the slogan “never again”, I figured that was the “difference” that marked my life. I never envisioned more down the pike. I’ve always liked being Jewish and now I can say that about my motherhood of difference. I like that too. Thanks, kids.

P.S. Please take a look at this link of an important article in today’s New York Times on state care. Check out the quote at the bottom of page 5.

©Jill Edelman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. 2011

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