I have two young sons. When I think about what I want for them in life, love is on top of the list.

I want them to feel the love of their family – the unconditional love of both their parents and the love that comes from the special bond of being brothers.

I want them to know what it’s like to have the love of true, life long friends who will celebrate their strengths and look past their weaknesses.

I want them to understand what it means to love themselves and everything special and unique that only their spirits bring to the world. Through this, they can reciprocate all the love that they receive.

I want them to feel love for the natural world around them.

And I want them to experience romantic love, hopefully with more positive than negative outcomes (because let’s be honest….heartbreak is part of the deal).

It’s this last part that prompts me to write today. The awakening of romantic love and sexual attraction is a confusing and difficult (albeit exciting) time in life, and there will be so much to sort through, which my sons may or may not be willing to talk to me about.

So when they develop those butterflies in their stomachs that only come from developing one’s first true crush,  I want my kids to focus on feeling what they feel, sorting out each step of the awkward social process and making safe, healthy decisions. But I do not want them to feel ashamed to tell me if that special person happens to be another boy.

If my sons work up the courage to ask someone to the prom, and they choose Stan over Sue, I want them to know I won’t hassle them over their date. I will hassle them over my getting ample photo shoot time in front of some crazy home made backdrop that I will throw together in my living room prior to them leaving for the big event.

If they come to me to tell me they found “the one” and are engaged, I want them to know my issue will never be with whether that special someone is a man or woman. My issue will be whether or not that special someone loves and respects them unconditionally, will stand by and lift them up throughout life,  will nurture them spiritually, and will be their best friend. Those are the things I want for my sons in marriage, and I will happily welcome a future daughter-in-law OR son-in-law who can deliver.

I am saying “I want” a lot in this post, and of course, none of this is really about what I want. And that’s the whole point. I love my sons, and they will have my support with what they want. In romantic love, that could ending up looking like the traditional, heterosexual, chosen-for-love marriages they come from (Both sets of grandparents are growing old together, still married after decades. And my husband and I celebrate our 10th anniversary later this year). Or it could look like something else entirely.  Either way, our home will always be a safe, supportive place for them to be who they are, feel what they feel, and find their way. And while there is still a ways to go, I live in a country with increasing support for the LGBT community. I hope by the time my kids reach puberty, there will be even greater equality and acceptance of all sexual orientations.

How does your culture address the pursuit of romantic love and various sexual orientations, and how will you support (or have already supported) your children through that process? 

This has been an original post to World Moms Blog by Tara B. of Washington (State) USA.

Photo credit to the author.

Tara Bergman (USA)

Tara is a native Pennsylvanian who moved to the Seattle area in 1998 (sight unseen) with her husband to start their grand life adventure together. Despite the difficult fact that their family is a plane ride away, the couple fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and have put down roots. They have 2 super charged little boys and recently moved out of the Seattle suburbs further east into the country, trading in a Starbucks on every corner for coyotes in the backyard. Tara loves the outdoors (hiking, biking, camping). And, when her family isn't out in nature, they are hunkered down at home with friends, sharing a meal, playing games, and generally having fun. She loves being a stay-at-home mom and sharing her experiences on World Moms Network!

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