This is part of a series of letters to those who may feel lost. Sometimes when we are down, discovering something in the mailbox is just the thing.
It reminds us that we aren’t as alone as we think.
Today I write to parents who are in pain because their child is in pain. Dealing constructively with same-sex attraction is uncharted territory and everyone is stumbling their way through.
Let’s call them Charlie’s Mom and Dad.
Dear Charlie’s Mom and Dad,
You are tired.
Changing diapers and teaching Charlie to not touch a hot stove seem like a long forgotten paradise compared to what you are navigating right now.
I know that your knees are bruised and bloody, not only from stumbling and falling through this uncharted journey, but also from hours spent in pleading prayer.
You can’t kiss Charlie’s hurt and make it better this time.
But then, you may not be sure you want to.
Ah, perhaps this is the place to begin.
Continue reading To the parents of a teen attracted to the same sex
In the spring of 1989 I climbed in my car and made the trip alone to Grace, Idaho. I had made an appointment to meet with Ann’s parents to discuss my intention to marry their daughter.
Much to my chagrin, they asked me to dinner. I would have preferred a quick in-and-out kind of thing.
It seemed like all through dinner we talked about everything BUT a possible marriage to Ann. Who knew that we could spend so long talking about nothing?
At the time I really didn’t like to eat ice cream because it was so cold and made my teeth hurt. We laugh about it now, but you can imagine my discomfort when Ann’s dad came out with a bowl filled with what had to be a quart of ice cream.
I waited for him to divide it up between the three of us, only to be horrified to see him return with two identical bowls, each filled with the same amount.
The huge bowl was my responsibility to make disappear.
This was going to be worse than I thought.
Continue reading I SEE you
We’ve talked before about our family’s little practice of “communication complete.” In a nutshell, one of the four of us can usually recognize when what is being said is NOT what is being heard.
We know by sad experience that this is definitely not a time when ignorance is bliss.
Anyway, we’ve come to really appreciate the extra step to have the intended message make it all the way to the intended recipient.
That’s when we all laugh a little and act like that guy (or girl of course) who is guiding in the airplanes with the great flashing flares and put our hands down in a “communication complete” motion.
Silly, I know, but it has made all the difference.
Especially now that our kids aren’t kids anymore.
But they are still OUR kids, and we are THEIR parents.
And we are still the children of our parents, and they of theirs.
It always will be, no matter how old we all get.
Ahhh. There’s the problem.
Continue reading Becoming a childlike adult