Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Kid Stuff: The New Normal

The scene:  I am watching the end of "The Kids Are All Right."  The seven year-old walks in, wanting me to play the second half of "The Voice" that he didn't get to see the night before, because it was bedtime.  I tell him, "Okay, but let me finish watching my movie first."  I decide that it's okay to finish watching said film in his presence, because we are well past the (enthusiastic) sex scenes between Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo and, to my recollection based on prior viewings, also past all of the F-bombing, so what's left is a sweet scene where a college-aged daughter asks to be left alone in her very first dorm room, and then panics when she thinks that her family has taken her at her word and truly left her, and then is relieved to discover that they just went to move the car.  There is hugging, and then, on the car ride home, a son tells his parents who are going through a rough patch that they should soldier on, because in his estimation they are too old to start over.  And this makes the parents laugh, and also has some resonance with them, and one assumes that the healing process is beginning as the credits roll.

All family-values stuff - except that the parents in question happen to both be female.  Which, in my opinion and the opinion of Spouse, doesn't make it any LESS family-values.  So I let Little Kid watch with me, and, as predicted, he has questions:

Wait - are they leaving her there?

Yes, because she's in college now.  And that's what you do when you start college:  you go off and live on your own.  [Are you processing this, kid?  Because you will be expected to remember this information 11 years from now.] 

Do you get to come back home?

Absolutely.   For Christmas, to do laundry - whatever.




Um, sure, if you want.  [I decide not to explain the concept of exactly how fun a college Halloween party can be.  Plenty of time to discover this on our own, at a more age-appropriate time.]

So that's her family?


Is that her younger brother?

Yes, and now he will have the house to himself, but he will also miss her and be happy when she comes home.

So who's the other woman hugging her?

Which one?

Duh, the one who isn't her mom?

Well, they are both her moms.  She was raised by two moms, instead of a mom and a dad.

Oh.  [Long pause.]  The new girl at school has three moms.


THE NEW GIRL.  We were playing "Two Truths and a Dream" today -

Wait, what?  Is that like "Two Truths and a Lie"?

I guess.  It's called an icebreaker, Mom.

Yes, I know what it is, but last I checked, an acceptable icebreaker within your peer group was, "Do you like velociraptors?" and also last I checked, organizational communications was NOT on the second-grade curriculum, and you were NOT a member of Junior League, or Woman's Club, or Toast Masters, so I'm trying to process why you were participating in an icebreaker.  Is this what the cool kids do on the playground nowadays, instead of tetherball?

Mom, are you done?  We were doing this in our G/T enrichment class.   

Ohhh, okay.  Back to the girl with three moms?

Yeah, when it was her turn, she said that she had an iPod, an iPad and three moms.

And which one was the dream?


Of course.  Because if you have an iPad, your parents might not spring for an iPod, because you could just stream music through the pad.

And that, my friends, is life as the Little Kid knows it:  some families have a mom and a dad, some have one or the other, some have two of one, and a few even have three.  It's all good in the 'hood. 

And the thing that makes his mom blink is, "Seriously?  Icebreakers for seven year-olds?  They're too young to have any ice to break.  They're frost-free."

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