And… I have to get to bed by 9:30PM or I’ll never be able to get up with my kids.
As this is my first post on The Bilerico Project, I thought I’d introduce myself. I am a suburban lesbian housewife. I live in Auburndale, Massachusetts. I have three boys, Ben, Zachary and Jake who are 12, 10 and 7 years old.
My boys are incredibly fortunate to have not only two moms, but also two dads. And no divorce. At least not yet.* Pretty unusual in today’s world. The kids are at times horribly embarrassed by this fact, at times completely relaxed with it, and once or twice, I’ve even heard them brag about it- only to other friends with lesbian moms.
I always knew, even before I gave birth, that I would want to have men in my kids’ lives. It felt important. Whether I had sons or daughters, men were important. I like men. Have no desire to have sex with them but I like them anyway. Men are different. They have a different perspective on the world, in general. Perhaps it’s because a large part of their brain is actually found at the tip of their penis. I don’t know for sure but I do know that I love being around men. Maybe it’s because a large part of my brain is at the tip of my penis, so to speak, but that’s for another blog.
Straight men are fine but they usually end up staring at my chest the entire time I’m talking to them. Last I checked my breasts, while interesting conversation pieces, are not actually conversationalists. They don’t talk, guys. That’s why I’ve always tended towards gay men. They will look at my breasts and either turn their noses up because mine are better or will ask to borrow a bra for the next drag party. Serious room to stuff.
Walter came into our lives when Ben was not quite two and Zachary was a baby. A friend had recommended him as a great person to help us with a completely overgrown yard we had just purchased and could not begin to remove all the weeds, bushes and bramble that covered the quarter acre.
Hey, we’re in the suburbs here. A quarter acre of weeds is pure hell. Especially when you’re 7 months pregnant.
He came to meet with us the first time and I remember loving his stories. He told stories about trees, flowers, plants and how they could cover the land. He had energy, charm and before long, I simply opened the checkbook and said, do what you think you should. I was one of his favorite clients because I opened the checkbook and said do whatever you want.
He would always chat when he came to work on the yard. And I was one of those lonely, stay-at-home moms who had put the blocks into the can and taken them out fifteen-hundred times already by 10am and craved any adult contact. We talked and talked. And Ben was always be around, as was Zachary. One day, he said to Jeanine, I think I’m going to sign up to be a big brother. She told me this and I grabbed him the next time he came over.
Be Ben’s big brother. And Zachary’s.
He stopped and considered.
I said, this is a huge deal. I am asking for an enormous commitment. You’ll have to come over, weekly, you have to be consistent and you have to be sure you want this in your life. Don’t give me an answer now. Tell me in two weeks.
And then I had to scramble and discuss this with Jeanine. I do have a tendency to make huge parenting decisions and inform her later. This means understanding we will not be the only ones in his life. Walter may, at some point, want to take him for a sleepover. There will be events that Ben will want a guy to go with, not one of us.
She was not happy but agreed that a man in their lives was important. Basically, she had no idea what she was getting into. But I knew. I knew enough about Walter and had a strong gut feeling that this guy was a keeper.
And he is.
Eventually, as the boys grew, and we added Jake, Walter’s husband Allan started to enter the picture. Jake, as a toddler, gravitated to Allan. Jake is no fool - he knows when hands are full and sought out the available ones. Allan, openly afraid of small babies, could not resist. A family was being formed.
The adults all agreed on the kids. And, slowly, we started to socialize. Walter and I loved to cook. I brought him his first cheese from Formaggio’s and he fell in love with the flavors, the regions, the different smells, just the way I love wine. Allan and Jeanine are similar in their love of meatloaf and no nonsense, no frills approach. Walter and I cannot imagine things left in their containers on the table. They taught us how to drink martinis - I remember thinking, my goodness, these go down easy. And before you know it, I’m agreeing that anonymous sex with a truck driver sounded pretty damn good. We brought them into our lesbian moms group, where they were celebrated and embraced as equal parents to the boys.
I think the truck driver moment was probably a lot more fun… at least for me it was. I do remember Jeanine being a little annoyed with my enthusiasm.
When marriage became legal in this state for those of us already married years and years (don’t ever tell me I’ve been married two years - it’s been fifteen and I’ve earned every one), we decided to get married. All of us. Oh, you know us queers, we can’t help but push the limit.
A friend suggested we simply have a double wedding. I stopped and realized the biggest thing we had to celebrate was our family. I really wanted to have a ceremony for the kids. To acknowledge their mothers and their fathers.
Sounds beautiful? Walter and I wanted to go to the Justice of the Peace and have a lovely dinner at Arrows in Ogunquit for ten of our most favorite friends. Allan and Jeanine? Big church wedding. 200 people. Fights ensued. Caterers tried out. More arguments. Guest lists. At one point an ocarina version of Simple Gifts - my choice of music - was played in an attempt by my wife to steer the opinion of others. Below the belt, I said. I still can’t listen to that song without hearing the gales of laughter from the three of them.
So we have two moms. Two dads. Lots of love. Sometimes even for each other. Always for the kids.
*Full disclosure: I am not a perfect person. I do not have a perfect marriage. And my children are, at times, completely wild. Although, I am their mother and do believe they are the smartest, most beautiful and talented children in the world. As I said, I am not a perfect person.