perfectly normal

Lily was recently telling me all about how one of the moms of her classmate is deaf and so they are learning some sign language from the boy and his other mother.  We were having a lovely conversation about language when she suddenly stopped me and said, "Wait a minute.  If K has two moms and no dad, how did they make him?  Don't you need a daddy?"  Luckily, I didn't totally flub an answer, though I was much less concise than the answer I'm about to type for you.  I said something along the lines of, "All you really need to make a baby is a sperm and an egg.  How you get those two things together, well, there's LOTS of different ways to do that."  Luckily, she totally accepted that as sufficient, although we did talk a little about adoption and I skirted around in-vitro. 

Which reminds me of one of my most favorite moments regarding in-vitro EVER.  We ran into some friends out at dinner the other night and while the two mama's and I chatted, their beautiful three-year-old sat and watched us speak.  Suddenly she turned on the most brilliant smile she had and said (in a voice that I reminded me of Ralphie from the Simpsons), "I have a donor daddy!"

I flashed her a big smile of my own and replied, "Yes you do! Aren't you a lucky girl with all that love!" and then carried on talking to her moms.

The thing that I adore about both of these conversations is that by the time our kids are teens, the creative family arrangements seen all around us will be the norm, which is already evidenced around me.  At the theatre the other day a coworker's teenagers came to see the show and brought with them a couple 14-year-old gay friends, who were holding hands and clearly enamored with each other.  Another co-worker told me how shocking it was for him to see that, only because in his day, he would have been killed for it and instead had to hide his true self until later in his life. 

Of course, when I was telling another friend about this, I made a comment about how lovely it is to be able to show Lily how not all families are like ours.  "Like yours?" He replied, "You mean with four adults living in one house, two kids, three dogs, eight fish, four chickens and other families or people often living in your yard or sleeping on the deck?" 

He may have a point there.

But really, what is "normal" anymore, anyway?  And what does your "perfectly normal" family look like?