Her – “Is Miley Cyrus bad? My friend at school said she is.”
Me – “I’d say she is controversial.”
Her – “What is controversial?”
Me – “Remember, we just discussed the meaning of that word yesterday. It’s when there are many strong, differing opinions on a subject and often that subject makes people uncomfortable. It shocks some people.”
Her – “What does she look like?”
Me – “Hmm… medium height. Very short hair, I think.”
Her – “My friend said she does bad things and that she escaped jail.”
Me – “No, I don’t think so. She may have spent a night or two in jail for something, but she didn’t escape jail.”
Her – “Do you like Miley Cyrus’ songs?”
Me – “Well, I don’t really know them. There’s that song ‘Party in the USA’ which I think is sorta cool. ‘Wrecking Ball’ is good, but I can’t listen to it a lot because it’s all about drama and her feeling hurt over the loss of a relationship, and I don’t want to listen to that repeatedly.”
Her – “Why is she hurt?”
Me – “Well, the song is expressing hurt over the way she was treated in a relationship by a boyfriend or maybe it’s a girlfriend, I’m not sure, I think she dates both…”
Her – “That’s weird.”
Her – “I wouldn’t date a girl. Would you date another man?”
Me – “Well, I like women…”
Her – “If it was the last person on Earth…”
Me – “I suppose it would come down to if I felt attraction.”
Her – “Yeah.”
Me – “I don’t have judgment about people who are homosexual (or bisexual) as I know people are born that way.”
She listened intently-
Me – “People are different. Most people in the world if they’re a boy, like girls or girls like boys. But then, a small percentage of boys like boys and some girls like other girls. Then there are those who like both boys and girls?”
Her – “What, what? That’s confusing (the third part).”
Me – “Well, there is heterosexual. That’s where people like the opposite sex, like a woman liking a man. That is most people. But some people are homosexual meaning they like the same sex. Men who like men are called Gay and women who like women are called Lesbian. Then there are some who are attracted to both sexes. That’s Bi-sexual, bi means two, like bicycle, two wheels. A lot of people have a lot of judgment about people who are attracted to people of the same sex. In some countries, people are stoned or even killed if they are found out to be homosexual.”
Her – “How about in this country?”
Me – “Well, it’s gotten better. There is still a lot of discrimination, meaning negative treatment, of people who are homosexual. Sometimes they are bullied or even disowned by parents. But it’s getting better. Movies, TV and brave people over the decades have helped. Acceptance is improving. Just last year, the Supreme Court of the United States approved homosexuals having the right to marry. There is the Executive branch, the Legislative Branch and the Judicial Branch…”
I realized quickly that I was starting to get off topic and we had neared our destination
Me – “You know, even just having a discussion like this between a parent and a child is progress. My Dad would have never had a discussion like this with me. It just wasn’t talked about in society back then.”
We pulled into the driveway of my parent’s house. It was time to transition to subjects of a more innocent nature like singing in the Winter Performance at her school.
Me – “I’m really glad you and I can have such open discussions. Aren’t you glad that we can be so open and honest?”
Her – “Yeah.”
Personally, I’ve never in my mind had a pre-formed opinion of what my daughter will be attracted to when she is grown up. It sounds like she’ll be interested in boys, but you never know.
Is she happy?
Is she living a life that is authentic to her?
Does she love her life and the people around her?
Does she care about honesty, compassion, and kindness?
Is she respectful to herself and others?
Is she an independent thinker?
Can she stand on her own feet?
Is she challenging herself to grow and live fully?
Is she a positive force in the world on some level?
The rest doesn’t matter to me.
But she’s eight now, fortunately. It’s just conversations in a car. Guess Miley can’t be all that bad. She opened up a discussion for a little girl on keeping the non-judgmental mind she was born with. It’s a parent’s job to protect that.