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As we came home from running errands this afternoon, we saw this person in peaceful protest on Warren Street, waiving a rainbow flag that had a giant peace sign on it, smiling, and waiving at cars. We waived. My children waived.
And then I had to explain to my children what this person was doing.
This person’s flag was showing support for those who are gay and lost their life in Orlando. I explained to my children, while we were driving, that there was a man with so much hate in his heart, that he couldn’t understand why someone could be gay and therefore went into a nightclub where a bunch of gay people were dancing, relaxing and having a party, and decided that because he hated them so much he should kill them. And that one very bad man killed 50 innocent people, and injured a whole lot more. People who did nothing wrong, and just wanted to be themselves and love who they wanted to love.
David asked me what did it mean to be gay. I explained simply its when a man loves a man or a woman loves a woman, the same way that I love their daddy. David asked if Grandpa Ritchie & Grandpa Don are gay? I said yes. He asked if they were ok because they are in Florida and Orlando is in Florida. He and Emily began to cry thinking they lost another grandparent. I explained to them that Grandpa Ritchie and Grandpa Don were ok. That our other friends and family are ok, but a lot of families that we don’t know are very sad right now because this bad man decided to kill people that they cared about and loved.
We are not religious people. We don’t go to church. The only time my children really talked about God with any regularity was in preschool, which is now about 3 years ago, yet without hesitation, they both agreed that God made everything and he wants us to be happy, and if that means you love someone that is a good thing no matter what. Emily then commented that you should always treat other people how you want to be treated. Michael (my almost 3 year old) wanted to know if he could play with the rainbow flag man because he looked like fun. All valid responses from children.
It was a hard conversation to have because I had to explain that there are bad people in the world to my young children, but it was so easy to explain to them that love is love is love.