Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Glee and Parenting...

Ok. Now, listen. Before I write this and you all gasp in horror at the fact that I let my kids watch Glee, let's just take into consideration that it's a MUSICAL show about MUSIC and it comes on directly after American Idol which I watch with my kids. And let's not forget the fact that it's about MUSIC which is a GOOD THING, especially in this crazy, messed-up world our kids are growing up today. I mean, there's Global Warming and Sexting! There are people who think it's ok to shout into their cell phones in check-out lines! THESE are the things we need to be worrying over, folks. Am I right or am I right?

Plus? I LOVE GLEE. It's everything I loved about the musicals from the 1940's - 60's but with better acting and more revealing costumes.

Scene: My family room. Popcorn is strewn over my checkboard carpet and a bowl of sherbet is melting at my feet. We have just voted 10 times in a row for Lee Dewyze and Glee flickers onto our set. At this point, I am caught in the eternal parenting struggle: Do I enforce what is "right" and turn off the slightly racy show or do I continue to recline on my comfy mouse-free sofa* and call this a "life learning experience?"

I chose the latter. And I was so glad. I am SO ecstatic about the lesson that my kids and I got to discuss again. I want to send out a loving shout to the writers of Glee and the actors who so beautifully executed the scene between Finn, Curt and his father on 5/24. (If you missed it, check out Hulu and watch Episode 20. )

To paraphrase the scene, Finn is embarrassed to be sharing a room with his mom's new boyfriend's son, Curt, who is openly gay. Finn slings out some very prejudiced remarks and is overheard by Curt's father, who lays into him and defends his son. My heart broke as I thought of all of the teenagers who don't have someone like Curt's father to stand up for them and beside them in the face of discrimination and hatred. (The very thought that someone might look at one of my children and hate them for a lifestyle, religion, or choice they may make in the future absolutely burns me up inside.) And so, in the middle of Glee, we paused the show and continued our ongoing discussion about equal rights, discrimination, homosexuality, and how everyone is different in some way. We discussed the ignorant hatred that some people hold against anyone who is "different" from what they consider "normal."

Evan wanted a better description of exactly what homosexuality is and why someone might hate you for being gay.

Justin had some insightful views about how everyone has something different about them and that maybe people who hate are just trying to hide their own differences.

Corinne made a point of saying that you shouldn't make fun of people, no matter what, "Even if they have purple hair, Mommy. You shouldn't tease someone who has purple hair. And you shouldn't tease someone with blue eyes, either. Like, I shouldn't say 'Blue eyes, blue eyes, you have blue eyes.' Right Mommy?" (She may have missed the point, just a tad...)

But the MAIN point was understood by them: Love people. Accept that the world is full of vastly varied people from incredibly different walks of life. We are all deserving of love and friendship. And no one deserves to live in fear for simply being who they are. I hope that I can instill in my kids the knowledge to not give into the disease that is prejudice and the courage to fight against it, as well...

* IhopeIhopeIhopeIhope...

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