Monthly Archives: March 2013

First Crush

P1060201Tonight, I witnessed what I think was my son’s first crush.  I hesitate to use that word because people often associate it with lust or romantic love.  When I say ‘crush’, I mean he was really awed by someone.  This someone’s name is Lilah.  She has these huge green eyes and a stripe of freckles across her face.  She is seven.  M, being two, stood mesmerized as Lilah jumped from rock to rock, in a circle, over and over again.  He stared with his mouth agape with, perhaps, even a little drool in the corners, as she went round and round.  Then, when she slowed down and came to a rest, I encouraged M to say hello and to not just stare.  He waved and smiled and walked over to a big rock near her and sat down, alternating between petting the rock and smiling at the object of his affection.

I love the amazement my son derives from things as small as a child running in circles.  I love that he knows nothing of war or violence or hunger or injustice.  The other day at gymnastics M was using a piece of foam to try to get his teacher.  She was kind of rolling around pretending that he had stabbed her with a sword.  I explained to her that he had a tickle stick and was tickling her and that he knows nothing of violent play..not yet, anyway. I know I can’t always shelter him, nor do I think that would protect him.  What I want to do is feed his curiosities, encourage relationship building and allow him the opportunity to soak up the joy of other children running in circles.  I think that will help him grow into the kind of man who speaks out against injustice, of all kinds.  That would make this mama proud.



“No, you can’t ask me how ‘we’ (meaning lesbians) get pregnant,” is what I should have said.  I am so tired of people asking me that questions.  As if the intimate details of my child’s conception is public domain.  Have I EVER asked a straight woman how she got pregnant?

“Were you trying or not trying?”
“Did you use a condom? Did the condom break?”
“Where were you when you got pregnant? On the floor? In the bed?”
“Missionary position or were you on your knees?”
“Did it hurt or did you like it?”

Instead, I said, “No, I don’t mind if you ask.”  But I do.  I really, really do mind if you ask.  I don’t mind if you are queer and are doing research for your own process, but if you are straight and especially if you don’t know me very well, IT IS NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS how my son was conceived.  If you are so fucking curious about how two women could possibly get pregnant, Google it.

(Sorry I said fuck so much.  It is a great word that feels appropriate tonight.)

The Great Reduction

And by ‘great reduction,’ I mean this is really what we have been reduced to.  My son has decided that he prefers for Horse to floss/brush his teeth and for Monster to read him stories.  Horse and Monster are hand-puppets.  The first couple of nights it was cute (although a little disturbing because he seems to think the puppets are actually talking to him).  Now, however, S has this really nasally/ high-pitched voice that she uses with horse and it is driving me…I mean, Monster, crazy.  Nails on the chalkboard crazy.  Tonight, Horse got to read to M before bed…in Hebrew…in the voice.  It felt like I had slipped into the depths of hell as the story dragged on and on, with Horse stopping to make “funny” faces along the way.  By the end, I told S she needed to skip a few pages for the sake of humanity.  When she continued, Monster leaped at her face (of her own volition, of course) in effort to get the train rolling.  It worked!  (The lights were out and Horse was reading by headlamp, so M couldn’t see that Monster had a little projectile help from yours truly.)

My mom had her hip replaced two weeks ago.  What this means for me is that she was my childcare two days a week.  Right after she had her hip done, S, M and I were to leave for a week’s vacation at the beach.  This has been a vacation I have been counting on since the new year.  Dreaming of reading a book on the beach with a cocktail in hand and my co-parent at the ready to manage our boy while I got a break.  Ahhh…While we had a lovely time, it was a bit soured by the fact that S threw her back out two nights before we were to leave, rendering herself utterly useless to me for most of the trip and actually in need of being taken care of as she really couldn’t walk.  Why am I saying all of this?  Well, I think Monster needs a break.  Monster didn’t mean to fly at Ima’s face with such vigor.  Monster just needed the insanity to stop!

While Monster is glad that Horse found the whole incident humorous, Monster is also glad that Horse gets to put M to sleep tonight so she can sit in the dark, writing to mostly strangers, drinking a gin and tonic, and eating chocolate chips.


People Say the Most Stupidest Things (Seriously, Y’all*)

I think this may have to be a new weekly post on the blog.  Since it keeps happening, I am assuming the pattern will continue.

While at a local restaurant (yes, I am now realizing how many sentences I have started this way), we were chatting it up with one of the owners with whom we have been friendly for over a year.  We aren’t best friends forever, but she is kind of loud and sometimes funny and I like that in a person.  Back to family brunch- There we are, enjoying our grits and fruit and eggs and said owner comes and sits down.  After a few minutes of catching up about her children’s lives, the restaurant and about us, we started talking about M and his luscious surfer curls.

Owner lady looks at S and, trying to determine the origin of such enviable locks, says, “Well, he’s half yours, isn’t he?”

The other “half” she was referring to was not me.

S looked at her kind of stunned for what felt like 2 minutes, but was really about 4 seconds, “Uh…I gave birth to him, if that is what you mean.  He’s half Betsy’s, too.”

“Yeah.  I thought so,” she replies without blinking.

The shit that comes out of people’s mouths is astonishing sometimes, like their question is so important it doesn’t matter who may or may not be offended in the asking.  To be honest, I wasn’t totally offended.  Because this woman is brash, it came as no surprise that she said what she said.  If we were closer friends, I would have said something to her and I am sure her response would have been (after a playful punch to the arm), “Oh you know what I mean, loser!”  Yes, loser.  I know what you mean.


*For those of you not from the U.S., y’all is a very southern term referring to ‘you all’.  We like to speak with as few letters as possible down here.

Cupcakes and Cheese

P1060033Sometimes I am amazed that my son is mine and that I am his.  Sometimes, his joy is so pure and true, void of any ego, that it brings tears to my eyes.  His joy is the kind that some people will never know but will search their entire lives for with too much booze or sex or chocolate.  His joy teaches me.

Yesterday, we were digging in the sand at the beach and my boy was so content to make me a pretend cupcake with peppermint-cheese on top, his only job to create and destroy and create again.  I have spent many years searching for a way back to that kind of joy.  So much of life gets filled with the minutiae of the day-to-day that I find myself forgetting joy, caught up in my own ego; striving for success and sometimes not remembering what that means.  My child is the one who reminds me to slow down and breathe deeply.  He reminds me that my connection to him and other people is my success.  His wide eyes remind me that the world is open if one just lets it be so.

2013 has been quite the year so far: two sprained ankles, four weeks of illness, an injured tailbone after a fall, a hip replacement (not mine), and lots and LOTS of rain/ gray days.  I have felt the tension that lack of sunlight brings balling up in my gut.  “I can not take another fucking day without sun!”  I have heard myself say that most days that end in ‘y’.  But the truth is, each moment can be filled with the joy of a child, if we let it.  Each moment brings possibility, if we open ourselves to it.

So tonight, I am reframing: 2013 is full of possibility.  I learned this from my boy, who earlier tonight, made me a sand cupcake sprinkled with peppermint-cheese and ketchup.  Really, the possibilities are endless.


Weekend Visitors

This weekend our donor’s parents are coming over to meet our daughter for the first time.  I have no idea how it will go.  I trust our donor 150%, otherwise I would not be up for this meeting.  Before I could even say the words, he articulated what I was going to ask for: that they follow our lead after this meeting.  We’ll see how it goes and how we’re feeling and we’ll be in touch if we’d like to get together again.  This could be the start of our daughter having two additional people who become part of her web of loving support- which includes my parents, my spouse’s parents, my siblings, my spouse’s siblings, my auntie, a long line of cousins, and a few friends who are integrally involved in her life and have thus been named “Uncles.” Or, it could be one meeting.  I just don’t know.

It’s strange- I don’t feel trepidation about this meeting. I just feel like we’re walking into the unknown.  I was not necessarily ready to take this step before this time, thus our waiting for nearly three years.  I think it’s a culmination of the trust we’ve build up with our donor, my spouse and I working on strengthening our relationship and communicating with one another until we fully understood and respected each others’ concerns about meeting them.  I could be being naive, but I feel safe about this meeting.  A big part of me feels like my daughter can never have too much love.  It reminds me of when I did my first ten day silent meditation retreat.  It was hard- brutally hard.  My ass hurt, my brain was driving me crazy, my back ached, and I convinced myself that I was getting lock jaw because my jaw kept clicking every time I would eat during meal time.  In the silence of that mess hall I listened to that dull click in my head and I was sure I was walking out of that retreat center not talking even after silence was broken.

But I also had great epiphanies and moments of such ecstatic joy I am certain that I had tiny glimpses of what is referred to as nirvana.  In one of those moments I had such a clear, intense thought that it kept beating through me like a pulse coursing through my body: you have an infinite amount of love to offer. you have an infinite amount of love to offer.  you have an infinite amount of love to offer.  It wasn’t even words really.  As I sat there with tears streaming down my face, my eyes pressed tight, but my neck wet with tears, I had a knowing in my entire body.  There I was at that center because I had suffered a heartbreak I was convinced I would never heal from and I could see more clearly than I ever could before that one’s heart is never fully broken.  Our capacity for love is infinite.  So I take that into this weekend.  I could latch onto my insecurities around not having carried and birthed our daughter… around the fact that she doesn’t carry any of my genetic material or biology… that she doesn’t look a thing like me, even by a stretch.  And yet, I choose to not take that path.  I choose to be open to the possibility of even more love in my daughter’s life.  Or at the very least, exploring the option.

– Charlotte

See you later this week!

Hi lovely readers!

Due to technical difficulties we’re taking a hiatus for a short snap- see you in a week (if not a bit earlier)!

– Charlotte & Betsy


(P.S. By ‘technical difficulties’, we mean Betsy is at the BEACH!


Remember how the other day I said that no one has ever asked me about physical attributes of M’s “dad”?  Two days ago some one did.

M and I went on a tour of a pre-school (YIKES!). The room was tiny, like a walk-in freezer with windows and small people milling about and toys all over the floor.  After about fifteen minutes of awkward play, M was ready to go.  On the way out the door, one of the teachers asked how old he is.

“He turned two in December,” I told her.

“He’s really tall.  Is his dad tall?”

“He doesn’t have a dad,” I replied.

Before I could explain,

“Oh. How tall are you?”  She didn’t stop to breathe.

“I didn’t give birth to him.  His other mother gave birth to him and she is also 5’6.”

“Oh.  He’s tall,” she said like a closing paragraph summing up the thesis.

The topic of conversation did not feel awkward, but this woman sure was!  I think she must be used to talking to adults in really short spurts throughout the day, never being able to have an entire conversation at one time.  Her speech was rushed, quick like a bunny.  Before I could even formulate a thought in response, she was wiping a nose with one hand and holding a book she was reading aloud in the other while I was breathing deep for her.


Getting Real

Lately I’ve been especially paranoid that something bad is going to happen to my daughter.  Admittedly, I struggle with anxiety, but this is beyond it’s usual scope.  I feel a tad bit paranoid.  I didn’t want to say anything to anyone about it, because some even more paranoid part of me felt like giving it voice would make it happen.  Finally, I mentioned it to my dear colleague one day, because it was really weighing on me and she has kids ranging in ages from pre-teen to adult, so I thought she might have some sound advice.  Don’t parents usually go through this more during infancy (you know the scenario- checking the sleeping baby five times to make sure they’re breathing)?  My daughter is inching in on three years old.  She’s a tot, but she’s very capable; sturdy even.  My colleague is such a lovely, thoughtful person who is a also an incredibly good listener (I suppose those three things go hand-in-hand, right?).  She listened to me share what has been going on for me, paused, and said exactly what I needed to hear: “I bet you never thought you could love a child so much, huh?”  That was it exactly.  I love her so much, it scares me.  And honestly, you really can’t ever know how big and overwhelming and terrifying that love is until you are a parent.  It’s hard to wrap your heart around.  I hate to admit this, but maybe I didn’t fully see that coming as a non-gestational, non-biological parent, even though of course I hoped it would.  

I love her so big and I’m breathing through this experience called parenthood.

– Charlotte

Date Night

We had a DATE!  An actual kid-free, no errand running (save a quick little trip to Home Depot), a glass of wine, a movie – a DATE.  It was the first time we have been out on a real date in a long time.  I can’t even remember the last time to be honest.  Last night was great AND we were home by 9.  That was the best part.

I got a haircut today for the first time in about a year.  I found myself talking to my new stylist telling her she should go see this musician I really like.  I went on and on about what a great live performer she is and how much I have loved to see her in concert.  When my stylist asked me if I was going, I laughed out loud and said, “No way.  It starts at 9.”  Holy shit.  That is what I actually said so that someone else was able to hear me.  Does anyone remember when you couldn’t get to the club before 1o:30 or 11 because no one would be there?  Home by 3 a.m.?  If I am awake at 3 a.m. now I am pissed off because some pint-sized alarm clock woke me up.

Does the fact that we went to a 4:30 movie make us seem like  grannies?  Maybe.  But I am ok with that.  I am ok with us being two of four people in the otherwise empty theater.  I am ok with texting home during the movie to find out if my boy ate all his dinner.  I am ok with rushing back to the house after dinner to try to be asleep by 10.  I am ok with all of that.  It was still a date.