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.