Ever since they were teeny tiny little things my kids seem to know everything. I don’t mean advanced mathematics and reading War and Peace at age three, I mean they know everything that is going on around them. No matter how big or small they know the scoop what is going on at school and everywhere else they go. They’re telling me secrets about school administrators. They seem to know every kid and the story of every kid. They know all about the teachers in details that would shock.
Of course they’re predisposed of this sort of knowledge (being Vampires) but they’re good. They know the right moment to wait at the door before entering. Their ears (the same ones that don’t hear their parents) hear everything around them. And, like their parents, people tell them things. It is as if the filters go off on everyone at school when my kids are around.
This morning I dropped my daughter off in front of the school. There are almost 2,500 students, she has been there since August, yet she knows everything about everyone. A kid got out of a car in front of us (in the NO STOPPING ANYTIME zone that ALL the parents stop in) and I asked her if she knew him. No she didn’t know him personally but she knew this well dressed kid was in the special education program, but he was in regular classes and doing well. She said he was nice. Some boys made fun of him last year because he looks a little different but that was put to a stop. I said he had beautiful hair (he had amazing hair). My child said “He has better hair than 90% of the stupid boys in the school.”
Picking on other kids generally isn’t tolerated (bullying) at this school. Not just by the teachers but by the kids. They seem to self regulate the school culture and try not to put up with bullies. Of course it happens, but not as much as other schools. The main problem seems to be sexism, general teenage confusion, drugs and teenage angst.
Then she proceeded to tell me about a girl who is really short but can throw an 8 pound shot put about 25 feet across the field. All of the kids watch in awe and wonder.
Yes, the topic of conversation is always changing. Young brains are taking it in and processing everything. That is a good thing.
Last night my brother was over. Max has a house in San Francisco near our parents but when he isn’t on a job he tends to migrate to my house. He also happens to be my husband’s best friend.
My brother Max and husband Teddy sat together watching the game, never running out of things to talk about. They were born within months of each other. Their mothers were the best of friends who despite their differences and pregnancies embarked on a great adventure together. 164 years later the two baby boys, born in the midst of the California Gold Rush, are still best friends.
They learn back and stretch their long legs together and laugh about something. It is like they can read each other’s mind. Actually they can. Sometimes I wonder who is the married couple – Teddy and me, or Teddy and Max. But when you marry your brother’s best friend your brother is always going to be around. But that’s ok. Max might be a little serious and brooding sometimes but the fact that I can drive him nuts is worth it. And I love him dearly.
So it will be with my daughter and her friend Warren. They have known each other since they were toddlers. Who knows why they attached themselves to each other, but I know they’ll always be friends.
When we were told this week that Warren put out something on Twitter stating that he liked girls AND boys nobody was shocked or surprised. It was news. It wasn’t unexpected.
I asked my teens if anyone at their school cared. The answer I got was that most LBGT kids were cool and well liked. I can give a lot of reasons for that. We live in Northern California where it is OK to be gay. It is normal. Nobody cares. Luckily they have a school culture where all the kids hang out together with male, female, straight, gay, bi friends.
I hear more about how the Geeks LOVE Tater Tots and how the “Men’s Fashion Club” is mostly straight Asian boys who have great clothes and hair, and how my kids are tired of dealing with stoners. We hear about who is selling drugs and getting suspended (always the same kids.) We hear about how many bicycles and skateboards are in the gated area everyday (no busses in our school district) and about the crazy parking in the student parking lot. We hear about who is or isn’t going off to college and the fact that nobody knows where they have been accepted yet. We hear a lot about music. Some days it is ALL about the music. We hear about a lot of things – most of it good, or at least just interesting.
My kids are different. Yes, read the masthead…this is Musings of a Modern Vampire Mom. We’re at the top of the food chain so it makes being different easy. They’ve grown up keeping it to themselves like just another odd genetic difference. It is how they roll. When they were younger they’d ask things like “Why can’t we tell anyone?” or “Do you like being different mom?”
Now they don’t ask, they just accept. They see the same characters and situation in their families as most kids.
So Warren came out. We’ve talked to the kids about the old days when someone could be arrested, tortured or even killed for loving someone of the same sex. It still goes on in some parts of the world. Living in Northern California I try to think we’re more progressive, but unfortunately that isn’t always the case. But things are changing and it won’t be stopped.
Max never talks much about his past relationships with men, or women for that matter. Right now he has a woman on his mind and can’t figure it all out. Another Vampire of course. But we never questioned his choices (OK I DO question his choices because he has made some really foolish ones, but it has nothing to do with the person being male or female). He is who he is. But for most of his life, at least to the non Vampire world his choices have been kept secret.
At one time it seemed off to my husband who was raised to be a somewhat proper Victorian man but his attitude changed as soon as he changed (into a Vampire). It wasn’t easy at first but a lot of attitudes have changed over the years for him but that is a good thing (he freely admits).
My kids are amazed when I tell them about the old days when people with physical difficulties were put away in institutions or kept at home (not school for those kids). They don’t understand that there were laws keeping people of different colors from marrying. They don’t understand the reasons behind fear of people who are just a little bit different. And maybe one day that difference won’t be different or at least won’t matter.
So will anything change for Warren? We doubt much. Maybe a few people will make comments, but nobody was surprised. Everybody still loves Warren. They’re still his friend. They’re all saying “We already knew that Warren. Tell us something we don’t know.”
Have a good weekend everyone,
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
A few somewhat related posts on Max, secrets, teens and other things:
- My kids don’t care if you hate their music for no reason. The do care if you hate people for no reason.
- Love her for who she is, not what you want her to be.
- The Child
- The Company We Keep
- All Starry Eyed Over Vampires
- The Wall of Beautiful Men
- Musings on the curious child and keeping secrets.