Jeremy had his LGBTQ youth group on Tuesday evening. It was quite warm during the day but it’s getting dark before he gets home so I warned him he’d need to wear pants. He ran into his room then ran back out seconds later; too soon to have taken his shorts off and put pants on.
“Jeremy,” I sighed. “Go back and pull your shorts off. You can’t wear shorts under your pants.”
“But Mom, I wanted to show everyone my new shorts too,” he retorted. “They have to see my whole outfit.”
I blinked in surprise. That was not the answer I’d expected… which in itself is pretty common so I’m not sure why I keep getting surprised.
“What exactly are you planning on doing? Stripping in group to show off your shorts?” I asked drily.
“Pretty much,” he agreed then he headed out to catch his bus.
As my friend Lenny pointed out, at least he’s not thinking every gay male in the group is automatically fancying him.
He called while he was waiting for the first bus home, happy that group went well but disappointed that no one immediately noticed he was wearing a brand new purple polo shirt. And yes, he did strip off his track pants in group so he could show off his new silky soccer shorts. Sometimes I wish I could be a fly on the wall.
“There was a transgender person on the bus,” Jeremy announced as he walked through the front door.
I packed the last item into my lunch bag. “Was the person someone from your group?” I asked as I shut the fridge. He shook his head. “So how did you know?”
“Well, he had boobs but his voice sounded low like a mans and half his hair was long and half was short.”
My mental image flashed between someone with a mullet and someone with long hair on one side of their head and short on the other. Before I could ask him to clarify, Jeremy continued.
“He was taking the bus then hitch hiking and he thinks my plan of having a purple bus with purple headlights is cool.”
All that information meant Jeremy just walked over and started a conversation. Although, to be fair, I do this on a regular basis too. The kids grew up thinking I knew everyone. And Jeremy, despite being a bit over 6ft tall, is not threatening.
I’m discovering there’s two reactions to Jeremy. One is extremely positive and mainly from children. I was joking with him a few days ago that if I ever need to find him in a store, all I need to do is follow the children’s voices yelling, “Wow! Mommy look, he has blue hair!”
I get a similar reaction on a forum I frequent. I shared a picture yesterday that I took of Jeremy on our spring walk, all decked out in his new clothes, and got a bunch of replies such as…
“Wow, that’s a colourful son. Keep feeding him rainbow cake so he stays that way!”
“He is clearly an original; creative and artistic. Keep on keepin’ on!!”
And one I really needed to hear…
“May I just say “Thank you!” for not stifling his creative expression. Seriously, that is an amazing thing in a mother.”
The flip side is the negative comments, usually screamed from car windows, and The Look. The Look is given by older men. It’s a deep level glare from an almost expressionless face.
We walked over to the elevators downstairs this evening and an older man was already there waiting. He had The Look perfected and glared at Jeremy our whole way down the hall. Jeremy was oblivious.
“Remember the woods near where we used to live?” Jeremy asked. “With the trees that had all the knotty roots.” I nodded and his mouth widened into a grin. “I’d go skipping through those woods with a whole basket of potato chips on one arm and a whole basket of iced tea on the other. Oh, I hope I wouldn’t lose them all.”
Skipping with baskets. Right. Any other time I’d have asked if he was planning on being Little Red Riding Hood but not while the old man was boring holes into the back of Jeremy’s head.
Jeremy chattered the whole way up and the man had almost cracked a smile by the time we got off.
I started making dinner and Jeremy wandered back into the kitchen.
“Maybe, someday I’ll write a love story,” he mused. “It’ll be between the molecules of a Wal-Mart, except they move so quickly, they never get to know exactly who’s who…”
“Right, so a love story between random, unidentified molecules,” I retorted and Jeremy grinned.
“Right,” he agreed. “Except maybe they’d be used to moving that quickly so they would know each other. But someone wanted to bomb that Wal-Mart and the molecules have to convince the molecules of the bomb not to go off so they can stay together. Do you think anyone’s written a story like this before Mom?”
“I can pretty much guarantee that one hasn’t been written,” I assured him. “That story’s unique.”
Just like Jeremy.