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QUOTATION: People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. - Walter H. Judd

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2004-08-18 - 4:43 p.m.

No Better Day

I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry or applaud when I read an e-mail today from our friend Heidi – entitled “No Better Day”. She wrote that there is no better day than one spent with her seven-year-old grandson. Heidi often relates these kinds of conversations with her grandchildren. She thinks it is because her grandchildren are so special (and I’m sure that’s true), but I think it more probably is true that it is because they have such a special grandmother, who converses with them so easily.

As they were driving in her car, the boy solemnly told his grandmother: “I’ve made a decision.”

“What is that?” Heidi asked.

“I’ve decided that when I grow up I want to have kids. I really like kids, and I want to be a father.”

“That sounds like a good decision,” Heidi said.

From the back seat, he asked, ”What do you think is better when a person has kids, two men together, a man and a woman, or two women?”

I said, “Probably the most common thing is a man and a woman. Why are you asking?”

“I am not sure when I marry if I want to marry a man or a woman. I don’t like girls very much. They aren’t any fun.”

Heidi answered, “I don’t think you have to decide that now. I think when you’re a teenager you’ll know more what you want.”

“I’d rather sleep in bed with my friend, Zack, than some stupid girl. He at least likes to play Game-boy with me. We take the flashlight under the covers.”

“Honey, I don’t think you should worry about this. You’re seven, and that’s just right for seven.”

He was quiet a minute. “Grandma, I think I might be gay.”

This took her totally by surprise. “Why do you think that?”

“Because to be gay means a man loves another man, and I love Daddy the most of all. Does that mean I’m gay?” Her grandson had just come back from a camping trip with his dad where they water skied and fished. He worships his dad.

Heidi answered, “No honey, the way you feel is the way every little boy should feel. You have a very wonderful dad. You’re very lucky to love each other so much. You just keep loving all the people that you love.”

He made an abrupt detour in the conversation, and asked, “Do you like to eat bluegill or bass better?”

“I don’t know,” Heidi said, and their conversation continued….

* * * * * * * *

As I said, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh, cry or just applaud Heidi for her brilliant responses. We should all be able to think on our feet so well. Her answers seem perfect to me. “You’re seven…and that’s just right for seven.”

It seems to me, this used to be an adolescent concern. Is this boy precocious in his wondering…or are children worrying about all kinds of things at earlier ages. He lives in the Bay Area where the gay marriage issue has been on the news on a daily basis for the last several weeks. Let’s hope that adolescents questioning their sexual orientation have as much self-confidence as this young boy does to enable them to expose their vulnerabilities and talk with some one with answers (and more importantly, questions)as good as Heidi’s.

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