One of the moms in our Facebook support group posted this interaction with her neighbors. I have to say, this is amazing. This is what it means to love others, to treat others as you want to be treated, to be a peacemaker.
Bless you all, as you work through your differences, as you work to be peacemakers.
Here you go…
A few weeks ago, my son Benny asked to put on makeup and paint his nails. I snapped a few pics from my bed because Daddy was helping him, and the bonding time was sweet.
Today Benny was playing outside and started crying. He ran inside and told us the neighbor boys were throwing the ball over the fence and told him boys aren’t supposed to wear nail polish!
My heart sank because our boys and the neighbor boys have gotten along so well since we moved here, we’ve exchanged phone numbers and conversations with the parents, and we even exchanged Christmas cards, cookies, and gifts between families last week. Their boys have been in our home many times.
We know these neighbors are very conservative, evangelical Christians and they go to church 4 times a week–but we have never allowed those choices to discourage our friendship, and we hoped our differences would never lead to Bible-thumping over anything from nail polish to homosexuals.
My husband, William, and I took deep breaths, asked Benny to breathe in God with us, and went outside to approach the neighbors. The youngest son had already gotten his dad, and William and he met across the fence. This is what was said:
William: I see your son noticed my son’s fingernail polish.
Neighbor Dad: Yes
William: We allow our sons to explore their interests, and right now Benjamin is interested in spiders, weather, My Little Pony, Nerf Guns, math, and makeup.
Neighbor Dad: Cool.
William to Neighbor Boys: There are lots of makeup artists, dancers, actors, news anchors, and even athletes who wear makeup and are boys! Did you know that?
Neighbor Boys: Yes!Neighbor Dad: When my son came inside and told me your boy had on nail polish I told him while that isn’t something WE do, other families might, so keep any negative comments to yourself.
William: Thank you. I agree. We have lots of friends who do things differently than us. We teach our kids to appreciate the differences without saying anything negative.
Neighbor Dad: Yes!
Neighbor Boy: We got drones for Christmas. Want to try them?
Benny: Yes! Thank you!
Boys resume playing together over the fence.
THIS, my friends, is how to coexist.
THIS, my friends, is how NOT to be assholes. 🙂
What a great story. How nice a resolution. No need for arguing or ending friendships or threats. Just real people treating each other like human beings.
I love that they didn’t even have to agree. The Neighbor Dad came a very far way in that interaction! He didn’t have to tell William how much he disagreed or how wrong he was or any of the stuff that he might have felt compelled to say. He didn’t have to “protect” his sons. He just had to love his neighbor. <3
I love you all.
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