Jake comes in for snuggle time this morning.
Mom, he says, you and Walter are the same and Momma Jeani and Allan are the same.
Why is that?
Well… Momma Jeani and Allan are the brains….
He pauses to poke my nose with his finger- this observation came easy.
And Walter and I?
You are the garden people.
Jake finds this quite amusing. Yesterday, his teacher pulled me aside after school and with a big smile, shared a Jake-ism.
We were working on number groups, she said, and Jake came up with four… he has two moms, two dads and I said, so you have four… begins with a p…
Pets! Jake announced.
No, parents, she corrected.
I am so grateful my kids are all held and celebrated at a school where everyone knows them. Another parent who is new to the school, also a lesbian, and I were chatting after school let out asked me while I was being said hello to or waved at by almost everyone passing- teachers, parents, kids- do you know everyone?
We’ve been the only ones, I responded, referring to our celebrity status as the only gay parents in the school.
But that’s a cop out. It’s not true. The reason why we know everyone, the reason why I have a connection with teachers my kids haven’t’ even had, is because I’ve worked at it. I knew how important it was to be active, welcoming, available. A friend and political activist said to me before my oldest went to kindergarten, you will be, like it or not, representing gays and lesbians. You will be a role model. So many people think they have never met a gay person. Be thoughtful about how you are, how you act.
And I was.
I am incredibly fortunate to have a small, public school- only 250 kids from grade K-5- and a group of parents I genuinely like. Sure, there are a few nut cases- I wonder, do nut cases, like narcissists, see themselves in their description- but I have also found some new friends, people with who I’ll have a lifelong connection.
Jake has his four pets. His teacher’s delight in his miscue. A community we have worked hard to build around them, holding their family as unique and normal, all at once.