A Mother’s Wish

By Meg Abhau (also posted to their family blog http://theabhaus.blogspot.ca/)

megjonDo you remember your first stake dance? You are now 14 years old and you can go to your first stake dance. FINALLY! I remember mine. I could not wait to dance with as many boys as I possible could. I remember seeing one particular boy across the room. He was a year older than I, and dreamy in every way with his blonde hair and blue eyes.

I have been thinking about this in the context of my son, who is now 14. He has yet to attend a stake dance. I know it seems trivial, but it’s the little things that are starting to make me saddest. It’s the little things that so many take for granted, that he misses out on. Sure, he could go to a stake dance. Sure, he would have fun. But, would he be able to dance with who he really wanted to? Would he even be able to blab to all his friends about his new found crush, as I did. This is normal developing behavior. We all went through it. I find myself thinking of these small things as I watch the straight world around us through my son’s eyes.

I wish he could go to dances and dance with that cute boy across the gym that has a secret crush on him too. I wish he could have those nervous sweaty palms as they head to the dance floor, terrified he might step on his dance partner’s feet. I wish he could feel those butterflies, knowing you get to dance with THAT boy. That very boy who smiled and made your knees go weak. I wish that he could worry that the boy could hear his heart pounding, fearing it might literally pound right out of his chest.

I know this seems small. But, it’s not so small if you think about it. These are normal things that we straight folks never have to worry about, or feel ashamed of. We get to throw caution to the wind, dance the night away and then go home satisfied that he remembered our name and yelled out a goodbye to us as we got in the car. The sound of his voice echoing in our dreams as we fall asleep that night. It’s one of those treasured moments of childhood that you’ll never forget. Your first crush.

I wish it stopped there. What is next? Stake Youth Conference, EFY, High Adventure, Girl’s Camp, dating (FINALLY), college, marriage, children, family.

For my son, this will all come with extra challenges. Will he be bullied or teased when he goes on his first date. Do you remember your first date when you turned 16? I do. It was with that same boy that asked me to dance at that first stake dance. I was so nervous and then the waitress spilled a tray full of Sprite over my head. I ended up looking like a drowned, sticky cat and I now had the most memorable first date ever. I wish this for my child. I wish for him to get so excited for that first date and something equally memorable happens. I wish for him to treasure that memory and laugh about it later in life. I wish for him to stumble awkwardly through dating experiences to prepare him for his first love.

Do you remember your first love? I do. I was sitting in seminary and I had just moved to a new school. This deep voice comes from the back of the room and I looked to see who had answered the question and my chest fell to the floor. I knew I had to meet him, get married in the temple, and have 20 babies with him! (Of course none of that happened, but I was 16 and just knew what my future would be!) I wish this for him. I wish for him to fall in love hard and fast and then have his heart broken. This heart break will prepare him for the real love of his life. It will prepare him for a man that will give him his full heart and love for the rest of their lives. He will treasure this pure love and know that it is true and real. Yes, he will always remember that first boy that broke his heart, but he will know that the love he felt for that first boy paled in comparison.

Do you remember when that true love asked you to marry him? I do. I will never forget that day for as long as I live. Here was the love of my dreams, on his knee, asking me if I will be with him forever. That our love will mean something real and lasting. That we will start a life and family together. I wish this for my boy. I wish for him to love someone so much that he wants to be with him forever. That he will know that no one can take up the space in his heart like this man does. I wish for him to cry with happiness, knowing he found his soul mate.

Do you remember when you found out you were going to become a parent? Oh, the thrill! The FEAR! “Are we ready? We’re so young! This is too much. I am not sure I am ready for this much responsibility!” Then they place that beautiful boy in your arms and you fall in love again. You never knew you could love someone as much as you love your husband. You never knew your heart could grow so big. You feel as though it might explode from the pressure. I wish this for you, my boy. I wish for you and your husband to hold a child together and know the love that I have for you. I wish for you to be so terrified that you will never be good enough. I wish for you to know of this pure love that a parent has for their child. I wish for you to kiss their perfect head as they fall asleep. Or kiss their scrapes and wipe away their tears when they fall off their bike the first time. I wish all this and more for you, because I know you are worthy. I know you are worthy of love, of life, of family.

There is a quote from a children’s book that says exactly what I want to say to Jon:

“I wanted you more that you’ll ever know, so I sent love to follow wherever you go.

It never gets lost, never fades, never ends…if you’re working…or playing…or sitting with friends. You can dance til you’re dizzy or paint til you’re blue…there’s no place, not one, that my love can’t find you.

So climb any mountain…climb up to the sky!
My love can find you.
My love can fly!

And if someday you’re lonely, or someday you’re sad, or you strike out at baseball, or think you’ve been bad…just lift up your face, feel the wind in your hair. That’s me, my sweet baby, my love is right there.

You are my angel, my darling, my star…And my love will find you, wherever you are.” Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You
                                                         –Nancy Tillman

7 comments for “A Mother’s Wish

  1. Wendy Montgomery
    November 15, 2013 at 9:24 am

    BAWLING MY EYES OUT! So glad I haven’t done my make-up yet today. 😉 This article was heartbreakingly beautiful. Spot on. Poignant, articulate, and brings to light what we moms of gay sons know and think about ALL THE TIME, but other moms never have to think about. Love you, my sweet friend. You heart is truly an amazing place. Jon is so lucky in who is mother is. Thank you for sharing a piece of your pain with us. I can relate so well. I hope it gives others a glimpse into what life is like for our tender kids, and how even the everyday little things hurt deeply.

  2. Jill Rowe
    November 15, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Meg how beautiful. I have written so many thoughts and feelings in my head but am never able to express how I really feel on paper. Thank you for sharing this. It is so pure and raw and I truly relate to all of it. I can feel the love you have for Jon. These are the kinds of feelings we carry with us in the next life. Love is the answer to everything that matters in life. I am proud to call you “friend”.

  3. Carla Hoffman
    November 15, 2013 at 10:45 am

    I do not have a gay child myself; however I sing your praises and applaud your mother’s heart in mine. I will continue speaking up to any who dare to say that the most enduring and eternal principles of love and family belong to ALL of our children–now and forever.

  4. Carla Hoffman
    November 15, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Oops! Two little words change the whole meaning! re-do: I do not have a gay child myself; however I sing your praises and applaud your mother’s heart in mine. I will continue speaking up to any who dare to say that the most enduring and eternal principles of love and family DO NOT belong to ALL of our children–now and forever.

  5. Gina
    November 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Oh, Meg! Beautiful! The photo of you and Jon as a baby just warms my heart. As you held him for that photo, I bet you never dreamed that photo would be here in this context. Or that when you held him he’d be this light to others with his kind, sharing heart that wishes to help others. I have this Christmas song in my head (yes, I’m already listening to Christmas music), “Mary, Did You Know?” — Meg, did you know that your baby boy would someday… ?

    He is a blessing!

  6. Candice
    November 16, 2013 at 4:40 am

    I want to give you a little hope, if I could. I noticed I was different from my friends when I was young. I didn’t understand why some of them cared so much about boys, when I cared so little about them. I went on dates with boys when I was old enough (mostly to have fun at the dances with my friends) and I got nervous every time one got ready to drop me off at the door step. How was I going to avoid a kiss? I’d nearly dart inside to save myself.

    Through all those adventures, I didn’t realize I was gay until college, but teenage angst was still fun.

    The first time I recognized I had a crush on a girl it was such an eye opening, world shifting moment. It was terrifying and exciting and special. A unique feeling, one I could never describe.

    On that day I would have never guessed where I’d be today- that one day my mother and I would have cried watching the Mormons march in the Utah Pride parade together, or that I would have been able to marry the girl I fell in love with, with this wonderful, Relief-Society-President mother proudly by my side. Both of our LDS families flew out to New York City to watch us get married in Central Park. What an accomplishment! Not only for us all to be there physically, but even greater, emotionally.
    My brother and sister’s weddings were special, but nothing connected us as a family like our wedding. Everyone felt it. I held my mother’s hand through the whole thing.
    Feeling her love for me in that moment, for everything we had gone through together, was powerful. We both knew that it was her who had kept me alive, when I almost couldn’t bear it and who had faith that a girl with good morals existed for me. She helped me see the dream of a future that I couldn’t see. A dream of hers that the church I held on to couldn’t provide for me. She helped me find this amazing girl who shared my values, whom I could love with my whole heart. Watching my wife, in her white dress come take my other hand… I felt so full of love, so did my mother. She existed! Tears of joy.
    I was married two years ago.
    Three months ago, my wife and I welcomed a baby girl into our family. She is beautiful. It is my mother’s first grand baby.
    They are already bonded for life. No one snuggles like grandma.
    The experiences you and your son will have together won’t be the exact same as your childhood experiences, but they won’t be any less special.

  7. Rick
    November 16, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Thanks for this beautiful post. I also have a 14 year old son. I think he is straight. But some time in the future I’ll have to have THE conversation with him. The one where I share with him that I am gay. And he will likely be confused, wondering what that means for him, his Mom, our family. Meg and Wendy, if your sons are able to achieve the things you wish for them, they will have wonderful, fulfilled, congruent lives. Lives that those of us in the generation before them missed out on, because no one gave us any options. Ultimately, they won’t have to choose between their sexual orientation AND their family. So thanks for supporting your boys. I wish we could reach all of the the LGBT LDS youth to tell them that they too have a shot at happiness within a same-sex relationship, not in spite of it.

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