My 16-Year-Old Son Received A Love Poem – From Another Boy

shutterstock_36022756It’s always sort of adorable and sad when your kid starts attracting attention from would-be suitors. Your little baby is growing up and as a parent, you have to accept the fact that one day they will find someone and fall in love and move away from you and you will no longer get to boss them about what shirt to wear with what sweater. My eldest son came home from school to inform me that he thought one of his schoolmates liked him, because they slipped a self-authored poem to him in the hallway. And even though it’s not really surprising, his admirer was also a boy.

Awwww. I would have found this act touching and sweet from a kid of any gender, but there is something to be said for a kid who has the bravery and gumption to express his feelings in poetry form, because even though the world has gotten somewhat gentler towards homosexuals, we are talking about a teenage boy here. Who wrote a poem. And gay kids are still bullied in school, in horrible, heart-wrenching ways, in ways that make me lose sleep at night.

My son asked if I wanted to read the poem and I declined, because it’s personal, and it wasn’t meant for me. He did say that he wouldn’t share it with anyone else and I agree with him, love letters are not to be passed around and shared with people they aren’t meant for. He was very flattered and touched by the poem and the footnote at the bottom, where the boy expressed his feelings for my son, and even though my son likes this boy and values his friendship, my son is not gay.

I panicked, of course, because this is how I would react when my kid had to reject the feelings of any other kid, but this is somehow more fraught, because teenage boys are assholes, and even though my son is not an asshole, I wanted to make sure he had declined the offer of romance in the right way. I shouldn’t have worried. I have raised a good kid.

What did you say?

 

I told him that I’m not gay.

 

But you didn’t make him feel bad, you weren’t a jerk about it, you didn’t make a big deal out of it right?

 

God Mom, do you think I’m a moron? I don’t care if he is gay. If I were gay I would date him, I like the guy he is my friend. I’m not going to hurt his feelings. I’m not a jerk mom.

 

My son has had girlfriends. I’m sure he will continue to date people throughout his high school career, and I will continue to worry about a million things, breakups and hookups and the delicate and not-so-delicate ways these relationships begin and end. He will reject people, and they will reject him. I just hope all of these rejections end as graciously as they did with his friend, and that his friend meets another boys to compose poems for. Because any teenager who pulls a cool move like that, they deserve to meet someone pretty special.

(photo: Daniel Taeger/shutterstock)

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    • buddyboy

      Oopsy, made the mistake of scrolling down and reading some of the comments. I should have left this page with the wonderful feeling I had after reading the gentle and touching article. Well, I shared it with several friends and one, a college instructor, is going to share it in his lifespan class. You made my day!

    • Tinyfaeri

      I should have stopped looking when this had 11 comments and the trolls hadn’t found this yet. Ugh, some people are awful.
      Kudos to your son – he sounds like a very nice, thoughtful, open-minded young man – and kudos to his friend for a great amount of confidence! Though that also says something nice about your son – his friend felt comfortable and safe enough to take a chance and risk rejection with no fear. Best of luck to all involved, and for the trolls… at least it’s page views, right?

    • http://www.facebook.com/larry.augustyn Larry Augustyn

      You have raised a stellar young man …….. not an easy accomplishment in this day and age.. Congratulations to you and to him.

    • Marc_Hutton

      Great story, I know I wouldn’t had been so kind when I was that age but that was a long time ago in a different era and obviously as an Adult I have grown a lot. Today I am nether homophobic or tolerant of homophobia. I am trying to raise my daughter to be the same way, I think she will but her mother remains homophobic to some degree. Not in an overt way publicly but she doesn’t ever have a positive to say about “the gays” as she puts it. Regardless my little girl is all about peace, love, acceptance and I hope it stays that way.

    • Jennie

      Thank you for raising such an amazing child! People like you (and him) give me hope for the future. He treated this boy with the respect he deserves rather than being so concerned that by responding kindly, people might assume he was gay and he might be picked on. That takes a lot of courage as well as empathy, and it is incredible that you have instilled that in him at such a young age. Kudos to both of you for making the world a better place a little bit at a time.

    • meg

      Wow. What a heartening story. Thank you for raising a GOOD man.

    • Emily

      I’m glad your son is so lovely, but I’m curious. Did the other boy give you permission to write this? Have you disguised him here so that people who know you won’t figure out who he is? I’m really wondering, because if you dealt with his privacy respectfully, then this is a wonderful post.

    • http://www.facebook.com/damoneugene Damon-Eugene Rich

      What a brilliant young man your son is. You’ve done a good job. If your son was brave enough, if you and he would go with or rendezvous at a PFFLAG meeting could be great for him. Ad perhaps he’d get a standing ovation for being just a stand up guy!!

    • http://threeloudkids.com/ Stephanie R.

      It sounds like you have raised a very wise and caring boy. If only everyone could be as sensitive to other peoples lifestyles.

    • NoH8

      You’ve certaninly done your job as a mother, by raising such a wonderful human being who treats others equally as beautifully. Great story!

    • Reagan

      Way to go Mom, and son. The world will slowly become a better place because of people like you!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=537402772 Malcolm McPherson

      What a great mom – and a great son! I would like to think my son would have behaved as graciously. I am sure he would have.
      Thank you for sharing this story! It has made my day.

    • cthulhu

      Your son sounds wise beyond his years. You’ve done an excellent job raising him, and I truly wish all people at his age were so thoughtful. To have known more people like him in school would have made life more me at that time exponentially easier. Thanks for sharing!

    • Rachel

      this is one of the most fantastic stories I have read to date. You have raised an amazing son and I admire both of you. I hope when I have children they are as considerate as your son is

    • Heidi

      From what I can tell all “intolerant” comments get deleted , which seems very intolerant ;)

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Yes, because deleting hate speech is so horrible and intolerant… *rolleyes*

        Moron.

      • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

        To be honest, they weren’t comments, they were macros spelling out the N word and a lot of copy pasta, but I may do a follow up explaining this.

      • CMJ

        Nice emoticon.

    • Erik

      You raised a good kid, mom!

    • nzchicago

      Wow, that really gave me hope for the future!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ashlie-Milano/100001442035422 Ashlie Milano

      that’s adorable. I’m nosey so I would have loved to have read the poem; of course devoid of identifiying characteristics if possible.

      • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

        awwww, it’s private! He did say MOM ONE PART COMPLIMENTS MY HAIR AND EYES SO YOU CAN’T TELL ME MY HAIR LOOKS GOOFY ANYMORE.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Go give your kid a hug, man.

    • http://www.facebook.com/angie.daniels Angie Luci Daniels

      sounds like you’re raising a good kid. Period. End of story.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      All these comments made me so teary and the emails too. I love how so many parents are raising their kids the same way.

    • http://www.facebook.com/zamion Zamion Crystal Loveland

      Glad to see that you raised such a sweet and polite son :)

    • Shreyasi

      Thank you and your son for being such wonderful human beings and sharing your experience with the world. :)

    • kimbelly

      this is the sweetest thing i’ve heard all day! i’d love to date a guy like that!

    • Mike

      Your son is sensitive, kind, and awesome — and so is his friend who likes him. And for the record, I think most teen boys are not assholes (though some are). I hope his friend finds a nice boy to date.

    • Ethos

      FJKSLJFKAJFDLKJADLFK DSA THAT’S SO CUTE Dx kUDOS TO THE POEM WRITER

    • http://www.facebook.com/bill.demma.3 Bill Demma

      I don’t know who I respect more, Mom or son.

    • Aisha

      Hi five to you and your wicked cool son :o)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1425614914 Jackson Euler

      wow! great kid. great mom. got tears in my eyes.

    • http://twitter.com/MusingAtheist MusingAtheist

      You have a great kid who will grow up to be a compassionate and caring adult. Thanks for allowing him to be himself while ensuring that he is also respectful and compassionate towards his young friend.

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    • Jude

      It’s wonderful to see kindness and tolerance in people so young. The rest of the world could learn a thing or to about courage, kindness, and understanding from both of these young men. Gay or straight, I’ve seen men cruelly reject a suitor. I have a friend who was once rejected horribly by a guy she adored. It has stuck with her for the last 7 years. Since that day she can’t bring herself to get the courage to ask anyone out.

    • Zoe

      What a wonderful story. Your son handled the situation with tact and kindness, and it certainly sounds like they will remain friends. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    • http://www.facebook.com/derpradameinhof Dust In

      I just love this story. Thank you for the smile. :)

    • jazznjavasf

      As a gay man, I reached this article via a link on another site. have now posted the link on a few facebook pages for others to read. My teenage years were in a time when it was necessary to hide such emotions and fear rejection and retaliation (physical, mental and emotional) from nearly everyone –isolated with no safe harbor at all. It is heartwarming to read of a gay teenager expressing his feelings to his friend, and the understanding his straight friend demonstrated.

      Unfortunately,comments this article has elicited show us just how much further we have to go to gain understanding, acceptance and to create an environment where such hateful thoughts are no longer part of the equation.

    • Amy

      My son is just in the beginning stages of having boy crushes–it’s such a confusing time for him. His success in getting through the teen years will depend heavily on those around him, and I pray he has friends who will be as compassionate as your son. What a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing it.
      Our story is at http://www.pinkisforboys.com

    • ModestGuardian

      The words in the picture are of another language maybe… german?

    • Alex

      Seems like a rare occurrence. Most if not all teenage boys dislike homosexual peers. It’s a fact.

      • alex

        Weird, couldn’t edit. I forgot to add that it’s nice that your son is different than all of them. You raised a good boy!

    • http://www.facebook.com/patrick.salyard Patrick Salyard

      Kudos’ to the mother for sure. I only hope this is the norm for teenage boys as opposed to the exception.

    • http://twitter.com/jordangray Jordan Gray

      Thank you for this story, Eve; I’m glad that there are people like you and your son in the world.

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    • Adam

      Awesome. I teach English and work at a boys’ school. I’m also a teacher who happens to be gay. You have raised a good son, who will become a good man. Parents like you are my heroes.