From the first moment I held my son in my arms, I secretly feared that I would somehow fail him as a parent, or that somehow he might fail me. In a split second, the perfect moment turned into my worst nightmare– What if my son was ‘different’?
I harbored and internalized my fear, not sharing it with my wife or parents. Given that my father-in-law is ‘different’ (for the last 60 years); I did not dare divulge my trepidations with him, lest I might offend.
Suddenly, my worst fears were realized– I discovered my son was ‘different’, too.
I tried not to care and brushed of my son’s coming out as perfectly normal and thought he would somehow grow out of it. Sadly, he did not.
Each day as I came home from work, it was all he talked about. He wanted to act on his urges and knew all of the terminology associated with being ‘different’. Surprisingly, he even knew the names of many ‘different’ people. I was shocked! Where was he learning about this? Certainly not from me!
My wife did not seem to care about our son being ‘different’ either. Her only concern was that every waking moment was spent discussing it. He even found a television show that openly discussed being ‘different’ that he watched instead of cartoons.
Caring ward members chided me and admonished me that it was not normal for my son to be ‘different’. Their rebuke strengthened my resolve to love my son no matter what and let him choose his own path…even if it meant being ‘different’.
Just last week, I told my son that I was against being ‘different’ myself, but told him that I supported his decision to be ‘different’. I told him I would not be ‘rooting’ for his side to win and probably never would be. We spent several nights on the couch, talking about being ‘different’ and my son defiantly telling me that he was ‘cheering’ for his side to win. *sigh*
When I woke up this morning, I realized that I would get a short reprieve from my ‘different’ son. His favorite show would no longer be on television in the morning and I would not have to listen to my son confess to others about his being ‘different’, at least not until the spring.
Yes, I’ll admit it; my son is a Yankees fan. I’m not especially proud of it, but I love my son. No matter what.