We haven’t seen Toy Story 4. The idea of expecting my twin three-year-olds to quietly sit still in a public theater for an hour and a half is an order so tall that even the magic of Disney and Pixar aren’t up to the task. I have, however, been told that there is a scene that takes place at a school in which a couple consisting of two mothers are picking up their child in the background.
As is the case with this sort of thing, there inevitably comes a portion of the population that takes to clutching their pearls. There are calls for boycotts to show that this type of representation will not tolerated.
I must confess, at times, I am a glutton for punishment. When I catch wind of such a dramatic and irrational reaction to such an innocuous catalyst, I find myself drawn to articles in support of this kind of response. I find myself striving to know how something so seemingly innocent can drive people to react with such visceral emotion. When I’m feeling particularly masochistic, I read the comments under the article. One of the most common questions that comes up in the comments section is: “how am I going to explain this to my children?”
I’m not 100% sure why people would have a hard time explaining love. Love is easy to explain.
There are many more things that as a modern parent, I’m much more concerned about explaining to my children as they start to question the world around them.
I worry about how I am going to explain to my children what an active shooter drill is and why they have to take part in one. I worry about explaining why stores sell bullet proof backpacks.
I worry about explaining concepts like racism. As a kid, when I learned about things like the Civil Rights Movement, I remember thinking how ridiculous it sounded. Not that people were fighting for equal rights, but that they would have had to in the first place. I worry about explaining concepts like white privilege and cultural appropriation while I struggle to fully understand those concepts myself.
I worry about the internet and social media. My children will grow up with access to all the information of the world, both good and bad, available at their fingertips 24/7 from the moment that they learn how to read. While I will do my best to filter, there is only so much that I can do.
I’m concerned about explaining the cruelty that exists out there. I’m worried about bringing my sons up in a world that demands black and white polarization despite the shades of grey that exist.
I’m concerned about projecting my insecurities on to my children. I worry about my anger and my prejudices shaping my kids actions and opinions. I worry that I won’t know how to handle situations as they arise. I worry that at times I’ve put my career ahead of my family. I worry that I’m too addicted to my phone. I worry about not being enough for my children.
With all of the things to worry about out there, explaining a loving family picking their child up from school seems to be the least of my concerns.
Love is always easy to explain. Everything else is another story.
Dale was born in Pittsburgh, PA but currently lives outside of Reading, PA. He graduated with a BA in photojournalism from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA in 2007. He has worked as a Marketing Brand Representative in the optical industry for five years. Dale lives in a quiet suburb with his beautiful wife and twin three-year-old boys. He enjoys Pittsburgh sports, comic books and bad action movies from the 80’s and 90’s. Dale also runs a comedic twitter account under the handle @TwinzerDad.