i made a vow to myself that i would find the energy to post today. it felt very important to do so. but i slept the day away after a fitful night previous, and woke up in the evening feeling antsy and weepy, and generally hormonal. so i grabbed the car keys and decided to make what is likely a final trip to a favorite coffee shop by myself before sparky is born. i simply needed some time to be a solitary me before everything changes. and i wanted to spend that solitary time considering what it means to be a mother, a partner–a fambly.
last year, i wrote this in my first contribution to the blogging for lgbt families day:
i am beginning my own family now, which is more than just another branch on a well-established tree. h and i are planting our own tree, firmly rooted in hope and love and an insane bravery to bring a child into such an unstable world. i am eternally grateful for my sister, e, who will be the most intimate connection to my side of the family. h’s mum is already calling herself grandmother.
the coach’s family is waiting in the wings to love our child and support us as parents. what more do we need?
this year, we are living the insane bravery in so much more of a right-in-front-of-us way. i have a fully-formed baby, utterly squashed now in my belly, waiting for the perfect moment to make her grand appearance. and i know that our family has already begun, but the clock is still ticking until i feel like a full-fledged mother, beginning this journey of parenthood with h. i’m growing sparky now, but in hours? days? weeks? we will begin raising her.
last year, beginning our family was a choice and a dream; this year it is an inevitability. the weight of that reality, coupled with the dramatic threshold between now and the not-yet, is clearly contributing to my weepy, antsy disposition. obviously, i am unspeakably grateful for the blessing of getting to be sparky’s family, and as i trace the outline of a familiar nose from her ultrasound photo, i long to pull my little girl close to my chest and never let her go. simultaneously, i am scared shitless of this mantle i have so willingly taken on.
but this is the stuff of every new mother, every new family–not an lgbt issue. and this is the point that has rung so true today, as i’ve read the beautiful essays of other lgbt families. save the extra penis or vagina of one of the parents, our families are remarkably the same as any other. the biggest difference i can point out today is that my already keenly developed mamabear sense is already on high alert to protect my daughter from those who hate my family–who would gladly nullify our validity as family at all because h is not a biological parent.
outwardly, i am hoping that our existence as a freakishly normal family will educate the skeptics and the fearful. inwardly, i roar at every strange stare and curled lip that h and i encounter, walking hand in hand in public with my belly leading the way.
tonight, as i sit in a noisy coffee shop by myself, with a sleeping baby still inside me, i am grateful for the grace of community. thank you so much to dana at mombian for creating this space and opportunity to reflect. as we step into this new world of parenthood, i hope that our insane bravery will be a ripple in the pond of change. all of our sparkies deserve nothing less.