I wish I had a dollar for every time someone asks my husband and I how we plan to explain to our son that he has lesbian grandmas. This always makes us laugh. Our 3 year old is well aware that his Grandma and Granny are both women. He does not care. I repeat, he absolutely positively couldn’t care less. He wakes up daily begging to go to their house. He constantly wants to FaceTime them to talk about different species of Owls, or show them what he’s eating for a snack. If their candy jar is empty or if he doesn’t get to pick which cartoon they are going to watch, then yes, there will be a BIG problem. The fact that they’re lesbians? Old and boring news to our toddler.
Before we started trying for a baby, my husband and I would have long talks over coffee and daydream about our future children. Do you think they will take after us and love to dance? Where should we send them to school? Who will they marry? One thing we agreed on for certain was the values we would instill. We promised to focus our attention on shaping a kind and compassionate little human, whose heart would be big enough to love all types of people on our planet. Should be easy, right?
In a time when our country is more divisive than ever, we are doing our best to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk. And I mean literally WALK. We have taken to the streets with our son and increased our participation in fundraisers, rallies, protests, and (our favorite) parades.
June was National Gay Pride Month and Detroit puts on one heck of a celebration. This year we even got a babysitter so we could drink fruity beverages and dance the night away under the stars. It was the best date night we’ve had in a long time, even though we certainly felt our age the next morning. (HELLO ibuprofen)
The festival always concludes with a parade and this year we had the opportunity to march alongside our LGBTQ friends and allies. Our group was sandwiched between a giant rainbow balloon float, and an enthusiastic young candidate running for Governor. We pushed our son along in his rainbow clad stroller while he alternated between happy waves and angry growls when his snack bowl was empty. As we marched toward Hart Plaza my eyes filled with tears as hundreds of people lined the streets shouting, “THANK YOU! THANK YOU! WE LOVE YOU!” as we walked past them. The energy was palpable and just about everyone I saw was bursting at the seams with joy.
I am not going to lie to you. Advocacy with a toddler isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Going anywhere in public with my son right now is risky. He’s a tiny ticking time bomb and he’s ready to blow at any minute. I never know if he’s tired, hangry, constipated or just hates me. Taking him to a parade downtown, in the rain, in the middle of nap time? I was asking for it. A lot of moms probably feel like they just can’t do it and I absolutely don’t blame them. I definitely needed some deep yoga breathing to get me through it. Marching with our toddler is a challenge that I often feel tempted to skip, but I know we can’t afford to.
I mentioned before that my son is more focused on his quality time with his grandmas and less concerned about what the world thinks of their relationship. I would be a fool to think it will always be this way. As the daughter of a lesbian, I know all too well how cruel both children and adults can be. It seems to me that a lot of today’s problems are the result of a lack of empathy. I hope that by surrounding my son with a diverse community and continuing to foster his relationship with his grandmas, that he will become a more compassionate and kind adult.
I have no idea what the future holds for my son or who he will be attracted to. I don’t know what kinds of clothes he will be comfortable in or what activities he will enjoy. I can tell you that none of these will ever change my overwhelming love and devotion to him. As mothers, we have endless worries that keep us up at night. One thing I’m checking off my list is the fear that my son will ever have to be terrified to tell me who he really is. No matter what the future holds for him, when he’s ready to get married, he can march right up and tell me, his dad, and his lesbian grandmas and we will all beam with PRIDE together.
How do you help your little ones embrace diversity and inclusion? Comment below and let me know what has worked well for you.
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Pride: Helping Our Toddler Celebrate His Lesbian Grandmas