Parenting awards

Photograph: Gary Hershorn/Reuters

Photograph: Gary Hershorn/Reuters

Why aren’t there parenting achievement awards for extraordinary performances, just as there are in the entertainment business?

I’m not throwing this question out there because I think I should be getting a nomination. If I put aside my humility for a moment, I can admit that I’m a darn good mom, but I also have to admit that I’m not anything special. I know a legion of great parents.

I’m talking about an award for those amazing parents I sometimes stumble across during my travels in The Interweb. The people who are superhero parents in some seriously difficult situations.

Today, I need to share one of these parents with you.

I’ve been following Lori Duron’s blog, Raising My Rainbow, for a long time. This is a mom who is raising a gender nonconforming child in the most wonderfully accepting way possible and she has become a parenting touchstone of LGBTQ equality.

Perhaps I am drawn to her story because I strive to promote equality and be a model of compassion for my own children. Maybe it’s because her boy is a “CJ” like mine… this is how she describes hers.

C.J. (Age 6) – The most captivating child you will ever meet with an insane knack for art and color, interior design and dance. His passions include Barbie, Disney Princesses, Monster High and women’s hair and shoes. When he grows up he wants to be a make-up artist or Doc McStuffins. Former aspirations include hair stylist and mommy.

You may already know about Lori, because she has a book that has just been released and she’s been caught in a media blitz in the US.

Just reading yesterday’s post about the start of the school year for her two boys, brought tears to my eyes, knowing what struggles continually lay before her and her family. This what happened on the first day with CJ’s pink, heart-covered lunchbox — the lunch box he had been so excited to use on the first day of school.

“Did the boys say anything about your lunchbox?” I asked.  He’d been not so patiently waiting to use it for weeks.

“I didn’t carry it to the lunch tables.  I took all of my food out and carried it in my hands to the tables so that nobody would see my lunchbox.”

My heart broke as I envisioned him trying to carry a sandwich, juice box, chips, granola bar and sliced fruit to the lunch tables on the other side of campus.

We role-played that night during bath time.

“What if someone said ‘why do you have a girls lunchbox?’” I asked.

“I’d say because that’s my style and everyone can have their own style,” he replied not missing a beat and sounding like he really believed his own words.

“See!  You’re great!  That’s what you would say!” I encouraged him.

“It’s harder when it’s really happening,” he said looking down.  I couldn’t argue with that.

I offered to go get him a new lunchbox. He didn’t want to. He likes his pink lunchbox. But, the next day he took his lunch in a brown paper bag. And, he has everyday since.

While this was going on, her older son (grade 5) was being teased and told that he “wasn’t a good Christian” and that his “family was bad” because his uncle is gay and his little brother is gender nonconforming. Heartbreaking, no?

In my opinion, Lori Duron and her husband deserve a golden statuette on their mantle.

Do you know any truly amazing parents? Let me know, I’m always looking for inspiration!

6 responses to “Parenting awards

  1. Of course, My mom. She has a homosexual son and love him just the same. And I admire parents who support their children’s sexuality.

    • Her name goes on the ballot! Kudos to her.

      I will never understand parents who “disown” their kids when they admit their sexuality (but would probably stand by them if they commit murder).

      My kids will be my kids no matter who they love… How wonderful to think that they will someday fall in love. :)

  2. Thanks so much for introducing me to this inspiring parent and her special family.

  3. I followed that blog a long time ago but sort of got away from it for personal reasons. That CJ is a pretty special kid. I hate to see the boys getting teased about something they have no control over like that. It’s infuriating, but they handle it with aplomb always.

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