I am faced with a dilemma that has me worrying about the right thing to do. The way I see it is I can be the Adult or I can be the Mommy. Neither of which is bad in my books, both sides just have a different perspective. I am often heard saying…Be a Parent! This time around, being the parent may not be the right thing to do.
Here is the situation, and your honest and objective opinion is welcome. GeneticOffspring has received a juicy part in the High School Play. He is about to be 16 ( Holy Mother Mary and Joseph!) and is in grade 10 at a Catholic academic high school. The part was meant for a grade 12 student, but the teacher/director thinks that G.O. is mature enough and serious enough to portray this part with the require respect and emotion. The character is a gay student who is being emotionally abused. G.O. was told to go home and discuss this with his parents. The part can be rewritten so the gay aspect of the character is removed. The fact that the character is gay is not primary to the story line, but it adds an important element.
G.O. then says, So – what do you think? Hmmm What do I think, well that is EASY. As an adult I think it is a challenging role that will add an empathetic element. I think G.O. would be brilliant. I think he should decide if he wants to do it.
As the Mommy? ugggg I don’t want him doing it. Why? I am concerned about ramifications for the next 2 and a half years left at that school. I am concerned some emotionally immature goon would start bullying or teasing in a way that is NOT appropriate. I also think I am projecting my school experience onto him. The Mommy in me is slightly scared for my boy. The Mommy told G.O. she wanted to talk to the teacher.
I went to pick up G.O. after play practice today and he came sauntering out with his drama teacher. It is winter, and the guy comes out in a short sleeve button down shirt and sneakers. I offered to go inside and the teacher said, no it’s nice out. I had questions.
1 – is there a matinée that is open to the whole school to see?
2- does the teacher expect the same ramifications as I do?
3 – what if I say no?
What if I kidnap my son and keep him in a cage? What does G.O think will happen with his peers?
The Drama Teacher said he doesn’t think forcing students without the maturity to deal with the content should have to go to a matinée at the school. If students want to see the play, they will buy tickets and come in the evening. This was a HUGE relief for me! The arts community look at subject matter differently then people who are not interested in the arts. The Drama Teacher was also concerned about the possible ramifications, but was quick to say that his group (drama and improve) were extremely tolerant and supportive. This came as no surprise to me, I understand how the arts community works and what type of person is attracted to this group.
If I say NO – then the part would be rewritten and its no big deal. Then I asked G.O. what he thought. He isn’t sure, and is quite torn. His first reaction is “how would his peers in the gay community react?” He doesn’t want to offend them. He hadn’t really thought about peers who may bully him. He didn’t think this was the big issue.
Now THAT is interesting to me. This made me so proud of my boy. He is concerned he may offend a demographic that he is about to portray. He doesn’t see large, meaty overgrown boys with narrow attitudes as a problem. He deals with them with humor. He needed to in gym class and now they are friendly because G.O. is funny. Self depreciating humor helps apparently.
The drive home from school yielded conversation about choices. I said to him, what do you want to do about this? He said, I am not sure. Then I replied, what if I said no. His response was the one I expected – I would be furious! There’s my guy! I raised an independent thinker who is capable of making smart choices for himself. I have given him all the possible scenarios I could think of, and some from my friends who think the answer should ABSOLUTELY NOT. I have shared thoughts of friends who think it is a great idea. Then I said I see it in two lights. The Adult in me says DO IT, the Mommy says NO WAY! He asked from what point of view am I going to judge this situation.
I replied with, I am confident enough in your abilities to make the right decision for you. His dad and I did all we could do to provide him with values that would help him make the right choice. It is important for me to have an independent thinker for a son. He is capable. This is where the mommy shuts her mouth and trusts in her son. Therefore the adult must be supportive of what ever decision he makes.
Knowing him the way I do, he will discuss this with his friends and then choose to do the part. I am sure his mind is already made up. I am pretty proud of
my boy the man my boy is becoming.
What would YOU do?