I love babies. Dear Lord, do I love babies. I can’t worship, eat, or shop without seeing a small child and trying desperately to keep myself from running across the room and asking if I can hold the little one. I follow more than four Instagram accounts solely because they have beautiful children who are so incredibly photogenic that their mothers post an Instagram of them at least once a day. The cute clothes, the impish smiles, the chubby cheeks, and the little feet get me every time. I love babies and some day, Lord willing, I’m fully aware that I will be that annoying mother who insists on taking a photo of her child every time she changes her clothes.
I will love that child. I will likely post incessant Instagrams of that child. But damn it, I will not use the hashtag “gayby” when I do it.
Really? What in the world are you people thinking?
I’ve spent my whole life feeling trapped by the “box” that society put me in. That young, confused, 16 year old that I used to be wanted nothing more than to be able to break out of that box and find out who I was for myself. We reject the notion that our parents can pick our paths for us. We break free from the stereotypes and the painful prejudices and attempt to build a home instead of a box. Shall we then turn around and force our own “enlightened” box upon those we’re supposed to care about most?
My daughter may be straight. She may be gay. She may even go through a rebellious phase where she mistakenly thinks she’s a democrat. But she’s still my daughter. He’s still my son. That trusting child is still my baby. She’s not a gayby. She’s not a straiby (because that weirdly sounds like rabies). She’s my baby. She always will be. Neither my sexual orientation, nor hers, will ever change that.
Throw those boxes away and give your children the ability to build their own stories, their own homes, their own lives. Give them the freedom to be who they are. Promise them a love without borders or walls. And when your baby isn’t quite a baby anymore, you’ll be glad you did.