right now, i’m sat at a little coffeeshop in south austin with a steaming cup and a bagel, laptop fired up and ready to be productive. this delicious scene is a whole lot like my life pre-kids, with one exception: it’s all happening at 7am. i have an 8 am appointment with my therapist, which will serve as a check-in as to how i’m managing the fragile balance between being a mother of two and winning the proverbial bread. (how am i doing? pretty ok: it’s hard it’s fine it’s hard it’s necessary it’s hard.)
so yes, my life is decidedly different now that i am a working mother. you couldn’t pick me out of a lineup with all the straight working moms, either, except maybe if you had access to the back-and-forth emails with my lawyer as i secure a hearing for my partner to adopt her own son. because that is the only difference. otherwise, i am tired and wistful and committed and hardworking. just like any other mom. but: i’ve already written about all of this, here.
fyi, it is now 12:15pm. i’m typing in between bites of a quick lunch. at this rate, i will finish my post by friday…
for the past few years, i’ve written both about the uniqueness and the universality of my family. this year, i want to write about something else: my own mom.
here is my intended audience: average conservative christians, who (at best) believe that my family is not necessarily God’s ideal, or (at worst) are pretty sure that i am living a life in active rebellion toward God altogether. they wonder how to be in relationship with someone like me. is this you? great, you’ve come to the right place, because i have an answer for you: be like my mother.
quick stats on my mom:
is 73 years old.
was married for 35 years to my dad before he passed away.
lives in the rustbelt.
leads worship at her pentecostal church.
is a long time trekker.
recently got into dr who, and is totally obsessed.
it took me a long time to come out to my mother. i didn’t do it until i was 25, and when i did–over the phone–i was full of clammy-handed shaky fear that i would be judged. rejected. instead, after the requisite “how did this happen? what did i do wrong?” sorts of questions, she simply told me she loved me. she did not understand, but she loved me.
when i said to her, “what would you have said if so many people you loved told you that the love you and dad had was wrong, sinful, an abomination?”
her reply? “i wouldn’t have cared.”
over the years, i’ve approached her with trepidation with news of a partner, of relocation to live with said partner, of pregnancy–grandchildren! and the dad? not so much a dad as a donor. a donor who is a friend of ours. and no, i’m not involved with him like that. h and i would be moms. how? well, she would adopt our children.
i even said the word “insemination” to my mom, which was awkwardest of all.
i know that my mom does not know exactly what to make of how i’ve gone about creating a family. but her faith in her God is bigger than the constraints of her theology. she trusts that i am being wise with my own soul, and she does not feel responsible for saving it. her God loves unconditionally. she loves me. she loves h. she loves uncle g. and she fiercely loves her grandbabies. any disagreements are kept to herself, because, as she has told me earnestly, many times, “it shouldn’t matter what i think”.
most recently, i called my mom to tell her that h and i are getting married–after eight years together–this summer. in boston. at city hall. before i even let her respond, i said, “i know that you probably have a lot of conflicted feelings about this news, but at the end of the day, i hope you are simply happy for me.” she paused for a moment, presumably looking for the right words to say, and replied, “city hall. how exciting.”
thank you, mom.
[ahem, finished post at 7:15pm.]