There was a long wait for dinner tonight. We went to out to our usual place, but were 30 minutes later than we would have liked. The price: a 30 minute wait for a table. They have a cool bench by the door which is often good for people watching or conversing with strangers.
I struck up a conversation with a very nice woman with a young daughter. Turns out, we have both lived log stretches of our lives in New England and know people in common. It really is a small town.
We talked about a lot of things, but what stands out to me is the part of the conversation where I was trying to explain this blog, the book Charlotte and I are working on (details to come), and what exactly ‘non-gestational mother’ means.
I said, “I think non-gestational mothers have a lot in common with fathers in regards to how they are treated by the public at large.”
The conversation continued a little with me explaining that a non-gestational parent is someone who did not give birth to their child.
“Is he adopted?” she asked referencing my son.
“No. S gave birth to him.”
“OHHHHHH,” she gasped after she finally got what I meant.
“So, you play the father role?” she asked very sincerely trying to understand.
“Um. No. I am his mother, too.”
Sometimes people amaze me at their lack of common sense. A relative of mine once asked my mom who plays the man, S or me. She said, “Neither. There is no man. That’s kind of the point.”
S and I were talking yesterday about how when someone is different from you, they often take that difference as license to ask really personal and often insulting questions. While she was obviously well intentioned, this woman’s confusion over how exactly we make it all work made it seem like she has been living under a rock for the last twenty years.
Two women. One kid. No father. That is how it works.