By Mary Potts AKA Queen of the Capes <queenofthecapes:gmail.com>
Submitted June 2013
Summary: Parenting isn’t easy, and Clark must have another one of those long talks with his ever-exasperating young son. Set in the Martha & Lara series.
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It had been a fairly quiet afternoon — a rarity ever since Clark had first put on the famous blue tights. He was relaxing at the kitchen table with his lovely wife, idly discussing the day’s headlines over coffee, when suddenly, the back door opened and the trouble began.
“Dad? Is Wonder Woman a girl?”
It was all Clark could do not to choke on his coffee. David, for his part, stood staring up at his father with an expression of seriousness and deep concern.
“Lois?!” Clark asked, helplessly, but his wife was already gone. He thought he heard a mumbled “All yours” from the living room. He sighed.
“Well, Dad? Is she?”
Clark pinched the bridge of his nose. “David, I know you’re young, but I thought we were already past this. Yes, Wonder Woman is a girl. So is your mother, your sisters, and Mrs. Hathaway next door. Do I actually need to explain this?”
The concern still hadn’t left David’s face. “Well, Justin Oberman said that Wonder Woman isn’t a girl because she’s from Themyscara. But Dad, I like football!”
Clark paused. A dull, throbbing pain settled somewhere behind his left eye. “David, you lost me. Can you sit down and explain? Try to start from the beginning.”
David obligingly pulled a chair out from the table and sat down. “Me and Justin and Keith were talking, and Justin wanted to talk about girls. Girls, Dad! So me and Keith said that girls are dumb, and Justin said that if you don’t like girls, you’re gay. So I said I like Wonder Woman, ‘cause she’s kind of cool and beats up bad guys and stuff like you do. But Justin said that Wonder Woman isn’t a real girl, because she’s from an island where there’s nothing but girls so the girls are girlfriend-and-boyfriend with other girls, and some of the girls are girls and some of the girls are boys and the girls who are boys are the boyfriends of the girls who are girls, even though they’re both girls, and so none of them count as regular girls!”
The throbbing intensified. “Son, why can’t you ever just ask me a normal question, like why is the sky blue?”
David considered this. “Okay, why is the sky blue?”
“I don’t know,” Clark admitted.
“Then why did you want me to ask?” David responded, indignantly. “Please, Dad? This is important! I need to know if I’m gay!”
“Son…” Clark sighed and rubbed his temples, trying to clear his head. His irritation subsided when he saw how distressed David actually seemed to be about the matter. “Okay, okay. First of all, you are way too young to be anything: gay or straight. Don’t even start thinking about those kinds of things until you’re around twelve and your voice starts cracking.”
“Why would my voice crack?” David asked.
“One long discussion at a time, Son,” said Clark. “Second of all, being gay isn’t just not liking girls. It’s when you like boys instead of girls.”
A look of alarm passed over David’s face. Almost immediately, Clark realized he’d said the wrong thing.
“I don’t mean ‘like’ as in the way you like your friends,” Clark corrected. “That’s normal for kids your age. What I mean by ‘like’ is like…um…kissing, hugging, getting married. Like me and your mother.”
Enlightenment dawned. “Oh!” said David. “Like the guys from that comic book Lara has in her room?”
Clark nodded. “Ye——WHAT?!”
“I was looking for my comic book the other day,” David explained, “and I found a comic in Lara’s room. There was a picture of guys kissing each other on the cover. Then before I could open it, Lara came in and took it and asked me how much I saw and threw me out and told me not to ever tell you or Mom about it.” He paused. “Oops.”
“It’s okay, Son.” Clark patted David on the head and made a mental note to speak with his daughter. Or better yet, have Lois speak with her. Yes, that was definitely the better plan. “But yes, that’s pretty much what it is. And third, Diana is a real woman. I don’t, um, actually know if she does any of those things your friend suggested; it’s none of my business. But none of that affects whether she ‘counts’ as a woman. She is one.”
David smiled in relief. “So I can still watch football with you on Sunday?”
“David, of course you can!” Clark tussled his son’s hair. “You don’t even need to worry about that.”
The concern returned. “But what about when I’m twelve? If I grow up and I’m gay, does that mean we won’t watch football together anymore?”
Silence dropped like a rock.
“…David…David, come here.”
The boy left his chair, and Clark lifted his son onto his lap.
“David…Son…I really don’t know everything about these kinds of things, and I don’t know what you’ll like and what you won’t in the future, but I know this: you’re my son. You always will be my son, and I always will be your father. No matter what happens, I’ll always love you. And if, someday, you decide that you don’t want to watch the football game anymore, I promise you that we’ll find something else to do together.”
Clark hugged his son, and the boy ran outside to play.
Some time later, Lois returned to the kitchen. “Everything all right?” she asked.
Clark snorted and reheated his coffee. “Yeah, I think so. But so help me, Lois, you are fielding the next one!”
As if on cue, the back door opened again. “I’m just gonna get my ball—oh! Mom! Do you know why the sky is blue?”
“Water droplets, Sweetie. The air is full of them, and they make it look blue.”
“Oh. Thanks, Mom!”
“That was easy,” said Lois, as their son ran off.
Clark only sighed.