You know those moments in your job when something great happened in front of your boss and your colleagues? I used to really love those moments– when I was the associate attorney who could help the partner put facts together during a legal team meeting or when I lured college sophomores into opening credit cards when I was an assistant manager at Express.
I loved that heady feeling of accomplishment, especially when I had an audience.
Frankly, I still do.
As a mother, I have those moments too, except without the audience and now my boss is 3.5 years old and asks me to carry her if we walk more than 2 blocks.
But, still, I felt the swish of a slam dunk moment the other day, but had I blinked I would have missed it.
Sadie and I were walking home from the bus stop, talking about our Thanksgiving plans to visit friends in Madison. Our Madison friends happen to be a lesbian couple with a young son. We have visited them before, and Sadie has not asked any questions about the differences in our families. But I’ve been ready. Ready to give her the loving, liberal, compassionate answer, which would prove (to myself) that I am open-minded and, even better, raising open-minded children who are learning to be tolerant and accepting of all people regardless of sexual-orientation. We are so urbane!
Sadie: Where are we going to be for Thanksgiving?
Me: We are going to see Gus and H. and K.
Sadie: Why does Gus have two mommies?
OHGOODLORDHERE’SMYMOMENT. I felt the winds shift. This is it! This is where I teach my daughter about how families come in all shapes and sizes, and then I will go home and order the book about the kid with two mommies off Amazon, and I will win the liberal race of tolerance and inclusiveness.
Me: Sadie, I am so glad you asked that question. Gus has two mommies because some families have two mommies, some have two daddies, and some have only one mommy or one daddy; some families have mommies and daddies and grandparents, and some families have daddies and step moms and mommies and step daddies. Some people are raised by their extended family members, like aunts and uncles, though no one we know fits that category. Or at least, not that I know of. Families can be any people who are brought together in love.
Sadie: Mom, why is that squirrel standing on that branch? I have to pee. Oh! And where’s my snack? I left it on the bus.
Me: So we are done talking about Gus and his two mommies and about the beauty of families brought together by love?
Sadie: Wait, here’s my snack! It was in my pocket.
Me: Ok, now that you have your snack, do you want to talk some more about Gus’ family situation?
Sadie: Who’s Gus again? I forgot.
And there you have it. My dissertation on modern family structure was so stimulating and educating for Sadie that she forgot who we were talking about.
Let me know if you want me to talk to your kids about any of the social issues of our time. My fees are very reasonable.