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Thursday, January 30th, 2014
Joe DeProspero has two sons, a wife, and is complimentary birth control for anyone who sits near him in a restaurant. His writing has been described as “outrageous,” “painfully real,” and “downright humiliating.” He talks about the highs and unsettling lows of parenthood while always being entertaining and engaging in the process. Author of the dark comedy fiction novel “The Boy in the Wrinkled Shirt,” Joe is working on releasing a parenting humor book. He currently lives in New Jersey and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter @JoeDeProspero.
It’s become a hot-button issue in America. But Disney has introduced its very first same-sex couple on their program “Good Luck Charlie.” My initial reaction was that they likely did it as a publicity stunt, as a means to attract attention and a slew of new viewers whose interest would be piqued by such a daring move. But now I think it’s something much more than that (or at least will ultimately be). I think it’s the beginning of a gradual paradigm shift in our culture, where gays and lesbians will not only be accepted in the workplace and in the public eye, but in the innocent, naïve eyes of children.
Now, I know at least some of you are gasping at such a thought. Especially if you grew up in a staunchly religious household, you might perceive homosexuality as “wrong” or “sinful” and you defiantly wouldn’t want your child to be exposed to it. And if that’s the case, I have some unfortunate news for you: Your children are going to be aware of homosexuality whether you like it or not.
The sad fact is that there will be parents who discourage or even forbid their children from watching “Good Luck Charlie,” hoping that by shielding their kids’ eyes from a gay couple that they’ll grow up to be “normal” and “straight.” Well, I have another piece of news for them. Seeing gay couples is normal in our society (unlike Sochi, which apparently has no gay couples at all). Whether you “agree” with the lifestyle or not, it is happening and your child is going to see it sooner or later. So, the better solution, from my perspective, would be to prepare yourself for that inevitable question. In fact, here’s something you can tell them…
“Honey, not all families are the same. Some have only one parent, some have two daddies, some have two mommies. You’re lucky you have two parents who love and take care of you. And SO ARE THEY.”
Leaving aside the point that being gay is a victimless lifestyle, children who have intolerant, close-minded parents will grow to be intolerant, close-minded people themselves. And the greatest disservice we can do to our kids is by instilling in them the very same blind hatred that we harbor.
Put another way, averting our child’s eyes from something we perceive as “offensive” or “inappropriate” only serves to intensify their curiosity about it. When I was 10, I was caught red-handed paging through my father’s Playboy magazine (Vanna White edition). I’d been curious about naked women for some time and was thrilled to have evidence of it right there in my very home! Unfortunately, once I got caught, those magazines were moved high up on a shelf where I couldn’t reach them. And the only thing my father told me afterwards was, “I don’t want to see you doing that again.” Surely, he was trying to do the right thing. But without so much as an explanation of why seeing a woman without clothes was “bad,” all I wanted to do was seek out more of the same. Which I did. I had a friend with a much older brother who was able to supply me with as many Playboys as I wanted. It was absolutely no big deal to him, since he was constantly surrounded by it. Eventually, it became no big deal to me, too. I still enjoyed it, mind you, but once exposed to that, nothing was unusual about it. The ironic thing about this is that same friend of mine ended up being gay. I’m sure someone will find a way to blame this on the Playboys.
Unfortunately, our country treats sexuality as obscene but violence is sensationalized on the news every night. Happy gay couples are seen as offensive yet miserable straight couples are not. It’s a sad fact we all have to navigate as parents. But if you’re asking me how I feel about my sons seeing same-sex couples on television? As long as that couple doesn’t teach my sons that hitting their father in the groin is funny, I’m completely and wholly fine with it. Besides, I’m much more offended by terrible script-writing.
Please join the conversation by adding a comment below, or by tweeting me @JoeDeProspero. If you disagree with my stance, at least have the courtesy to think before posting. Thanks for reading!
* Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com
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Sunday, September 25th, 2011
I’m officially pregnant. I mean, really officially pregnant. How did I come to this conclusion after 5 months of watching my stomach balloon, my feet ache and my cherished wine off limits? Because today Ladies and Gentlemen, someone finally gave their seat up on the subway for me!
I was heading into Manhattan on a packed car. Standing room only. A seat opened up and the woman standing next to me turned and without hesitation, asked if I wanted it. She was much older than I, so I knew she was offering because she thought I needed it more than she did. Hallelujah. I don’t just look randomly thick and puffy anymore. Now my appearance has a purpose. And I will use it to my full advantage. Time to get out the tighter fitting tops and get this baby bump to work for me.
Baby boy, you didn’t think you were getting off scott free did you? No sir, mama is putting you to work.
By the way, Little Leroy is the length of a squash now. Grow boy, grow. We’re halfway there!
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Baby Boy Squash Length
Thursday, August 25th, 2011
BOY. Working titles: Little Leroy. Wayne Sanchez Junior. Baby Oops. Found out at 11 weeks when we got the CVS results back.
Fia Gets a Brother
I knew from the moment I got pregnant that it was an XY. I am usually not one of those people with a second sense for this sort of thing. But somehow I just knew.
When the genetic counselor called to tell us that the chromosomes looked normal (whew), she asked if we wanted to know the sex. Yes! I had rehearsed this moment for the past 2 days. I know she is going to say boy, but maybe just maybe, she’ll say girl.
Nope. My instincts were right. Boy. Oh boy.
If I’m being honest, there was a moment of disappointment, of mourning. Maybe it’s because I think we have a better chance of another great baby if it’s the same sex as Fia. Maybe it’s because I wanted her to have a sister. And maybe it’s because I am already so familiar with her. Change is scary.
There’s also a nagging fear with a boy: the most modern of medicine still can’t test for Autism and the rates are so much higher with boys. My husband’s nephew is severely autistic, which I know adds to my worry. But I know there is nothing I can do about it, so just like this “unexpected” pregnancy, I am going with it. I have to. I’m grateful for the tests we could do. And if something is wrong, we’ll deal.
In the weeks since the CVS I have wrapped my head around “boy” much more. Boys love their mammas. They are big snugglers. And puberty will probably be easier to deal with.
But in the meantime, do I really have to look forward to a penis peeing on me when I change his diapers? That doesn’t sound like very much fun.
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autism, baby, baby brother, baby sister, boy, brother, chromosomes, cvs, diapers, genes, genetic disorders, genetic testing, girl, pee, penis, pregnancy, same sex, sex, sister, testing, tests, Wayne Sanchez | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations
Friday, August 12th, 2011
I don’t want any surprises with my pregnancy. Didn’t with Fia either. I want to know the sex, I want genetic defects ruled out, I want to know how and when I will labor (and that includes drugs). For Fia I didn’t have a crystal ball for this one. But for baby #2, I know how it’s going to happen. Or at least what we’re planning for. Will save that for another blog.
For those who don’t find out the sex because “it is one of life’s few surprises” I say a) you’re much braver than, b) much more patient than I, and c) it’s still a surprise when you find out! I just get to find out 30 weeks earlier and get my plan in place.
When it comes to genetic testing, all I can say is thank god for modern medicine. If I had lived in any other time period I would have worn a chastity belt to make sure I never got pregnant. Or joined the convent, though I’m not sure I would have been a very good nun….
For the above reasons, at 10 weeks, 5 days I had a CVS. Also had one with Fia. It’s as accurate as an amnio but you do it much earlier and the results come much faster—within 48 hours. It tests for the major genetic disorders, like Down Syndrome. The specialist (and you should go to a highly trained specialist if you have this done. I went to the dude who basically invented the technique) takes a needle and aspirates some cells in your placenta. Apparently when you get pregnant, half your cells go to form the baby, the other half go into the placenta. It is 99.99% accurate. It doesn’t test for neural tube defects, but a blood test at 18 weeks does that.
Yes, there is a small risk of miscarriage involved. 1-2%. But it’s almost always operator error. That’s why I feel very strongly about going to a specialist for something as important as this. You don’t want to mess around.
At any rate, I am now relieved to know that based on what they can genetically test for, Baby Oops is a-okay. What am I having? Did I say what I want to have? Stay tuned!
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boy, cvs, Down's, drugs, genes, genetic, genetic disorders, girl, medicine, miscarriage, placenta, pregnancy, pregnant, risk, sex | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama