As parents, we know that we are going to get hit with tough questions from our kids from time to time. It goes without saying that one day we are going to have to discuss the birds and the bees.
My daughter was conceived under unconventional conditions with the help of a village because she has two moms. One, the birth mom, and one, the other real mom. To get pregnant we enlisted the services of a special bank where we found anonymous donor, BGM-2888 ( >>Yes, we saw pictures ).
Add to that village a FedEx delivery person and an OB-Gyn with a pipette and two weeks later, we saw a pink plus sign on a home pregnancy test.
I knew, really knew that the questions were coming and I had better have an arsenal of age-appropriate answers in my back pocket about how to explain the birds and the bees without any bees.
I packaged my answers into neat little boxes labeled biology and family . Biology, I explained is science; it is math and cells. To make a baby you need some cells from the body of a man and some cells from the body of a woman. BGM-2888 gave his cells to the bank, we bought them, and the doctor added them to my cells. Biology.
Family is family.
Lucky for us, our child was born in a progressive little town in the mountains of Western North Carolina where >>my daughter is one of several children in our circle of friends who have two moms .
She was able to witness other families that looked like ours from the very beginning. When my partner and I split up, I gravitated toward friendships with other single moms, again giving her a view of a family like ours. I thought I had a firm handle on the whole family questions thing. And I was going to avoid her future resentment of me/us. I had dodged that bullet.
So, imagine my surprise when one day on the way to preschool my daughter drops the bomb “Mama, who do we know that has a dad?”. Crickets…
Whoa, I had to think and then I had to think some more. I mentioned my brothers, her cousin’s dads… “No mama, who do we really know that has a dad?”
BAM! There it was like a fly on my windshield. An epic parent fail. In an effort to help my little nugget (who was hatched by two chicks, one chick who crossed the road all the way out west) feel normal, I had inadvertently alienated the original normal .
My daughter quickly moved on to something else, a slug bug or city bus catching her attention. I, however, remained fixated on her question all day. I thought of the ways I internalized society’s view of family as two parents, not just one. My club of steel magnolia single moms modeled hard work and resourcefulness. In trying to show my daughter that she didn’t need a man, could I be inadvertently creating a curiosity for men and boys that would backfire on me in the form of a promiscuous teenager?
Maybe. Or maybe not. I decided to stop obsessing and just starting adding men to the mix. It’s not like I didn’t know any, I has just gotten into some social “habits” of doing the same things with the same people.
Now, my daughter is in elementary school where she is one of several kids who have two moms and where she has several friends who have really amazing dads.