Today is Halloween. We do celebrate. Though this year has been a little sparse because we moved and I started a business. But we did dress the boys as little lumberjacks and brought them to their daycare parade. My three year old niece joined us for the day with my parents. My sons are obsessed with their cousin. They want to know what she’s doing and they want to be doing it to. They also start referring to my wife by her first name after spending time with her because she calls my wife by her first name. She calls me by my first name too but the boys still call me Mama. Weird.
Anyway, today my niece and the boys in their lumberjack costumes were playing and laughing in this big hall before the daycare Halloween parade. My wife arrived and my niece and boys said Hi then resumed playing together. My niece kept looking at my wife and I, and then yelled, “I have two mom’s too!” She said it to the boys but of course the entire room heard.
I think it was the first time she put together that she is connected to my boys in more than just a “cousin” way. They actually all have two mom’s. She was beaming when she said it.
My wife and I just smiled and said yup, you do. Then they all kept playing.
There are a lot of factors at work here. My niece recently started a preschool and maybe she’s been seeing a lot of mom/dad families. She loves Disney Princesses and all those movies are super heterosexual. She’s at an age where she’s realizing she doesn’t have a dad, but instead has two kick ass Moms. To be able to be connected by blood to two boys who will have a shared experience with her in terms of having two Moms.
That moment stuck out for me so much because she literally yelled her proclamation and was smiling ear to ear. She is young and innocent and while she’s figuring out that having two mom’s is not necessarily the “norm” she’s still naive to discrimination. So she yells it. I loved it. But it also made me want to cry. Because will all three of them yell it in five years? In ten years? When they are twelve and facing peer pressure and in the digital age pressure on social media will they be so forthcoming about their Two Mom status? Will they be taught subconsciously or consciously to hide it? Or at least not advertise it?
My heart aches when I think of how much I love those three kids.
Would I have it any other way if I could? Probably not. I’m a firm believer in fate and karma. These kids are going to be stronger for knowing adversity. They will be more open minded and more tolerant because unfortunately they will witness discrimination. Having two mom’s will shape them in ways I can only imagine.
There are moments in life I wish could be freeze-framed. Every time one of my sons spontaneously gives me a hug. The first time I saw my niece in a NICU incubator, fighting to breathe, fighting to live. The ultrasound tech shoving the monitor toward me when I didn’t believe her when she told me there were two fetal sacs both with heartbeats, and seeing those two beautiful circles with a little flutter in the middle. The night I knew I would marry my wife even before gay marriage was legal because I tried imagining living without her and physically couldn’t. The day my sister had a major surgery and we were reassured that all the cancer was gone. Every time my son’s reach for my Mom or Dad. These are pit in my stomach moments that I remember viscerally. Add to the list that time my niece shouted out proudly that she has two moms too.
These are moments that made me feel something. That made me connect with the world around me and see the past and future aligned perfectly. That may sound silly or whimsical but it’s true. Some moments are meant to be enjoyed because pure joy and pure wonder can be instantly knocked out with the next hand life has to deal.