Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Help

I've been seeing a lot of cute babies lately. And it makes me want to be a parent.

I have been reading the book, The Help, in my quest to constantly be filling my life with too many books. I love books like I love post-it notes.

In the book, a black maid named Aibileen talks about raising white children. She stays with families until the child is about 9 years old, and then moves on to another family. In the book, she discusses why she does this. Aibileen learned early on that she could have a positive effect on how children saw themselves. She could make them feel good about themselves.

In one section of the book, she discusses raising a boy who was effeminate. His father used to beat him with the metal hose tip until he had welts on his back. She couldn't defend him, but Aibileen would wait to then put medicine on him. She loved this child, gayness and all. And this was back in the 1950's! Way ahead of her time.

Aibileen told Mae Mobley, a not very cute little girl (at least according to the girl's mother) "You is Smart, you is Kind, you is Important" in order for the Mae Mobley to remember this as an adult.

All of this got me thinking: I want to make children feel good about themselves. I want children to be happy and healthy. Any child who comes to me will grow up feeling positive about themselves. That child will not be told he or she is not good enough. He or she will never go a day without getting a hug and a kiss from me, and told "I love you" everyday. Even if my child came and was ugly by world's standards. Had chubby legs. Walked funny. Was effeminate... That child would know he or she was loved.

And yet, I live in a world where a gay man isn't an appropriate father for a child. In fact, some believe the child would be better raised in foster care than by a gay person.

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