Happy blogging for LGBT Families day!
It took me a long time to figure out what to write about. I mean, I could go on and on about my partner. I could opine about being a non-biological mother trying to get pregnant for the first time. I could write a book about the talent and wit of my 21-month-old toddler, “Cakie.” How he’s obsessed with his new ukelele, or how we sang “I Will Survive” to him as a lullaby when he was a newborn. I kept thinking, what does LGBT family mean? I feel like anything I could say would pretty much be about most families. Not just a “we-are-fa-mi-ly rainbow flag” kind of family.
[Warning: This gets sappy.]
Then I remembered. The moms. Not my partner and myself. The women who bore us. Our moms are a huge part of our LGBT family. When I first got together with A, I was nervous about meeting her mother. Cakie’s Nana grew up in the Pentacostal church in the south. I wasn’t sure how she’d react to meeting her daughter’s lesbian lover for the first time. She took us out for Chinese food. She made funny faces and told funny stories. When it was time to say goodbye, she leaned in to me and said, “I am so glad you are here, I was always worried that she would be alone. I always worried that she would fall in the bathtub or something, and nobody would be there to get help. I’m glad my daughter has you.” On the fact that I was a white lady dating her black daughter, she said, “It gives me hope for peace in the world that the two of you are together.” Well, bless you too, Nana.
Once our son was born, Nana proceeded to champion our little LGBT family by posting a revolving gallery of photographs of our family at the bank where she works as a teller in a very small town near the northern South Carolina border. We were not entirely aware of this when the young man bagging our gorceries at the Piggly Wiggly on a recent visit declared, “Weeeeell, you must be Miss A’s grandbaby!” Her bragging about us (and mostly Cakie) is a small revolution of lesbian visibility powered by love.
My own mother has been grandchild-crazy for years. When we first got pregnant with Cakie, she pulled me aside and said, “I know that having this baby makes you happy. It makes me happy to see you like this.” (Or something like that.) In a recent email, she gave me some hints for conception, which I’d like to share with all the other lesbians trying to get pregnant. Perhaps it will work for you. “Here’s a good visualization for the next insemination, or whatever it is called. Imagine that one sperm is(an Olympian swimmer who won five gold metals, if you don’t remember). So you have this Olympia swimmer sperm wanting to win the race to unite with your egg– a strong swimmer with endurance, that’s what you need. ” When I asked her if I could post it, she followed up with something else I want to share, because I know some of you do not have as much involvement from your parents, I’d like to share my mom’s words with you. I hope she doesn’t mind that I’m sharing this part, too. “I know how difficult this whole process must be for you. To want something so much and then each month such disappointment. Then you have to submit your body to indignities and your psyche to such worry. Me, I’m rooting for the sperm.”
For my LGBT family, the soul of what makes us a family, what keeps us bound in love is the place from which we came, our moms.