I’ll never forget the day my son turned to me and said, “Mom, did you know Joey has two moms?” Well, no, in fact (at that time) I did not. But let’s be real, lots of kids have two moms, so I asked a few questions.
And confirmed what I initially suspected, by two moms he wasn’t referencing a birth mom and a step mom; he wasn’t referencing a birth mom and an adoptive mom, both of Joey’s parents are moms!
And this mom loves it!
I’m no model citizen, but it amazes me (and not in a good way) that in 2018 anyone finds a conversation that includes any of the acronym LGBTQ to be an uncomfortable conversation.
Thankfully the world has become more accepting, but more accepting doesn’t necessarily mean easier. Despite all the progress we’ve made as a society, a same sex couple with kids may now be accepted but certainly isn’t “the norm,” likely won’t ever be. And for many of us, that creates an awkward conversation even though we don’t want it to.
I grew up in a Catholic family, a family where we were taught to love everyone. Everyone. We moved comfortably among people of all races, ages, and abilities, but it wasn’t until my retail days in college that I came face to face with my first gay coworker. He was an amazing guy, totally comfortable in his own skin, but more importantly to this story, he was totally comfortable in his same sex relationship – a pretty big deal in the early 90’s. Watching Royce and his partner was inspiring – they could have been an example to couples everywhere. And for me, an amazing introduction to the LGBTQ lifestyle and a “non-traditional” family.
It was those two that taught me love comes in many forms and I have no room to judge, but that was long before the days of motherhood, and while Royce and his husband equipped me to have many conversations, the “my classmate has two moms (or two dads)” wasn’t among them. Frankly it wasn’t something I had given much thought to at all… until I had to.
But even then, when that conversation did come up, it wasn’t awkward, not in this house. Not because I’m a great mom (far from it), but because two amazing, brave friends of mine are living their lives, living their story openly and honestly. And I’m lucky enough that our sons are the same age.
Do you know what that’s done? It has completely normalized their love for each other and their love for their kids for my youngest child. My 10-year-old has no qualms about Joey having two moms because Joey’s moms are just a part of the everyday fabric of our village.
When he mentions “Joey’s Mom,” it’s nothing weird when I ask which one. He just rolls his eyes and looks at me like I should already know who he’s talking about and then clarifies, the story rolling on without one second of awkwardness.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of awkward questions along the way, but every single one has been a teachable moment, an opportunity to talk about love, to talk about acceptance, to talk about diversity and individuality, bravery and pride. Teachable moments to talk about prejudice and hate, stereotypes and judgment. Teachable moments for both of us, and defining moments for this mom. Moments where I recognize the strength of my two friends. Moments where I recognize my own vulnerability. Moments where I recognize just how amazing this motherhood journey is – no matter what your family looks like.
How your family looks isn’t what matters, it’s how your family acts that matters. So Joey’s family has two moms. Two moms living their story openly and honestly, stumbling along the way just like the rest of us. What a lucky kid Joey is to have two parents who love him, two parents who support him, two parents who would go to the ends of the earth for him. Two parents that any child would be lucky to have, no matter what their love story looks like.
So join me in celebrating families, all families, from the “traditional” to the non- and everything in between. Join me in celebrating the two moms and two dads households out there. It’s those brave families who are changing the world, one classroom at a time.