Curious Kiddos

Over the past week, a few interesting things that I just have to post about have occurred:

1. A woman who went to college with Lauren and I (and has a partner and a 7 year old daughter), posted on her social media feed that her daughter was taunted at school for the first time for having two moms;

2. A little girl in a restaurant saw me tell Lillian to get her mommy (Lauren) and then asked me who I was, to which I replied, “I’m Lillian’s mama.” A look of complete befuddlement crashed across her face and as Lillian and I walked away, she started asking her mom how that little girl could have two mommies (I would have loved to stay for that conversation).

3. A friend of our’s son (who is in the same daycare as Lillian) told his mom that he wanted two mommies too.

So it’s got me all thinking. A lot. Add to that, the whole conversation on my local mommies board about sperm donation, gestational surrogacy, etc. and you get a mashup of a lot of emotions, some chuckles and quite a few tears.

Certainly, I know that Lillian will always be different. She will have two mommies and in today’s society, in the world we live in, that makes her a bit of an outsider. It is definitely more common than when my mother was a child, but it is still different. And to kids, different is weird. And coming from someone who was a bit of a loner and outsider in elementary school, I know how much it can hurt to be different. I can’t count the number of tears I shed being picked on as a kid, and we can somehow instill in Lillian the correct verbal tools and confidence to handle a situation in school well and with bravery. It will not be easy at all, and I am sure I will go into mama-bear mode many times, but we have a few years to prepare and talk to Lillian about what may happen. We will not tell her that it won’t happen, because it will and kids are already starting to see her as different, even if she is oblivious now.

It also got me thinking about the pure innocence of kids. The little boy who said he wanted two mommies is the sweetest, kindest little boy. He comes from a family that is different from what some may see as mainstream (bi-racial and with a fantastic single mom), and the lack of concern or strangeness that he expressed surrounding Lillian having two mommies warmed my heart. I wish kids could stay. Most kids.

The little girl in the restaurant is a kid I don’t know at all. I had never seen her. I don’t know her family situation, but her tone and her expression was not as warm. It wasn’t mean, and it wasn’t malicious. It was pure curiosity, but it was a true reaction that I can see happening. Her face said “That’s strange” but I didn’t stick around long enough to see if it was a good strange or a bad strange. I think I may have missed a teachable moment, and if I could go back in life, I would have stayed and told her that Lillian has two mommies. I would have explained it to her in kid terms as much as her mother would have let me. Because she has the potential to be that kid, in 5 years, that approaches Lillian on the playground and is faced with the decision to kick dirt in her face or give her a hug.

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2 thoughts on “Curious Kiddos

  1. We talk about every family being unique, different, and special with our boys — they have friend at school/babysitters who has two moms. I am curious, how would you have explained it to the girl at the restaurant? I’m always looking for tips!

  2. I believe that EVERY moment is a teachable moment. I think that letting Lillian understand that her family is different (not “bad”) will make a big difference for her in the future! We have been honest with our daughters teachers, friends, and extended family and they have been there (most of the time) to support us as a family.

    When the incident occured at school, our daughters teachers were aware of the sensitivity of the subject and they jumped in immediately upon receiving an email from me. Since then we’ve had plenty of opportunity to talk about the different kinds of families (one parent, same sex parent, no parents, bi-racial families, and she’s even met a young man with a father who was once his mother). In this day and age it is essential to teach diversity of EVERY kind!

    I would love for you to meet our daughter and for her to tell you her experiences so far. I think she would like to meet Lillian and to feel like she’s not alone in this journey.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and thoughts so far!
    Best of Luck!

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