Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Love and Relativism

(slightly amended)

I just got back from an impromptu lunch date with my grandma, during which, among other things, I assured her that I think my 13-year-old sister will "turn out okay." And I do. Funny, though: I felt like I was lying. Because I suspect that, by Grandma's standards, my sister's approach to life will never quite be okay. But by Grandma's standards, I'm not really okay either. (There's a lot my grandma doesn't know about me, and at least one sin she can't ignore.)

But the judgmentalism implicit in my grandma's concerns doesn't bother me as much as might be expected. Because how can I scorn concerns - even close-minded ones - that are obvious extensions of love? We all worry about my sister, and we would even if she wore floral sundresses instead of black Nirvana t-shirts. Grandma's afraid she'll get into "the occult." Her dad's afraid she'll get into drugs. I hope she never has to be a victim - of a car accident, of an abusive relationship, of addiction, of prejudice. (She's probably already experienced the last, but who doesn't in junior high?)

We all want to protect her because we love her. The things we want to protect her from just happen to be tangled up with our own values. But what about her values? We can try to guide her, but she gets to make the final decisions. And here's the thought that scares me: when the results are all in, when my sister has "turned out" (as if she's a batch of pancakes), will all of our family still hold her as close as they do now?

(I know I will.)

1 Comments:

Anonymous Tereza said...

wow um ok I think I'm going to "turn out" fine if you were around more i think you would see that because I am smarter than every kid at my school and I'm sick of everyone in our family telling me that I'm a terrible kid oh ya and Amber I don't know if mom told you or not but by the way I'm gay and Elisha you know Elisha who was over on my birthday she's my girlfriend just a little fyi
ok I love you and this comment was'nt ment to be mean I was just saying what I needed to say about your post

your disfunctional sister,
Tereza

3/27/2006 3:28 PM  

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