Love Thy Neighbour

We live next to a couple who are friendly, lovely people. One is a retired principal, and the other still works as a teacher. They are wonderful to live next to. They genuinely care about us and our kids. They give them chocolates, birthday and Christmas presents, and most importantly, attention. They always have kind words and show genuine interest about how and what my kids are doing. They don’t mind giving me a cup of sugar (or wine) when I’m well into a recipe and realize that I’m missing a key ingredient.

On a snowy walk home from school recently, I could see that one of them was shoveling snow so I said to my kids, “Hey look! Is that Gary or Paul shoveling the snow?”

My son who is seven-and-a-half said, “Yes it is! It’s Gary! Gary and Paul live in the house next door. They live together right?”

Me: “Yes they do.”

Son: “Are they brothers or something?”

Me: “No. They are a couple. They love each other and they are married, just like mommy and daddy.”

Son: “Oh! They are gay!”

Me: “Yes they are gay.”

Son: “Cool!”

And that was the end of it. Our neighbours are gay. They love each other, seem very happy, and they are great people. That is where the conversation ends, because isn’t that all that matters? It never occurred to me that I should tell my kids that our neighbours are gay.

I do wonder why it took my son so long to ask me about them. I’m thinking that if they had kids, the question may have come up sooner. I’m doing my best to teach my kids to love good people in our lives based on who they are and how they treat us, not on their sexual orientation. We welcome them into our home and to our parties because they are good people and we enjoy their company. Whether our friends are gay or straight really has nothing to do with it.

I love how simple and accepting kids are and how there is no judgment, just genuine curiosity.

Have your kids asked you about homosexuality? If so, how did you answer them?

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