Cathy Renna

Ode to a toddler

Filed By Cathy Renna | June 02, 2008 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: lesbian Moms, LGBT families

I admit it - I have learned more about Dorothy.jpgpatience, kindness, fun and sheer joy from the "almost three" year old my wife and I share our life with, our daughter Rosemary. If you know me or have had the unfortunate luck of meeting me at an event or conference, you know that I am the kind of parent that pulls out a picture before you can even ask. But it is worth the imposition, since she is such a beautiful, joyful child. You can see it in her face - the "killer smile" my own mom gushes about. Dressing up like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz helps too, as you can see. And I swear, she picked that one up on her own, it was not queer culture thrust upon her.....

But there is more to this kid than meets the eye. Rosemary, and millions of kids like her, being raised by LGBT parents, couples and singles, all ages, races, economic status etc etc, will teach the world a huge lesson as they get older. That lesson will be that when you are raised with love and respect, you treat others with love and respect. When children are brought into this world - however that happens, when a person or persons create a family with the only intent being to create a safe space to love and be loved, then we know we cannot lose the battle against those who think we are not fit to be recognized as full citizens.

Every day, in every way, we are structuring our lives to make sure Rosemary has everything she needs to achieve her dreams (this week that includes a pony, something NOT happening). She - and we - are lucky enough to have supportive families, loving grandparents and great-grandparents and a circle of friends of all kinds with children. Pictures from dinner with our friends in Brooklyn look like a toddler meeting at the U.N., ands the same is happening in our new home in Washington.

As we celebrate and recognize the great diversity of LGBT families today - thank you Dana!! - I want to take this opportunity to personally say thank you to all those who came before me, brave LGBT people raising families, some from heterosexual marriages, some the pioneers of using technology to create their families and most of all, those who have taken in children from foster and adoption situations (often the least wanted children) and given them a new chance at life.

I am lucky. I have an amazing wife, extraordinary child and wonderful family. I get to work with the folks at the Family Equality Council, Center Kids and others whose mission it is to make our lives better. I believe there is no going back, and as we move ever forward in our struggle for full equality, it is the little ones who are going to pick up the baton - LGBT and straight - and carry us through. I know Rosemary will be leading the pack. She is just like her Mother. Both of them.

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Thank you for sharing your story, Cathy. Your daughter's beautiful spirit and the love of her moms truly shines through in her smile.


If you know me or have had the unfortunate luck of meeting me at an event or conference, you know that I am the kind of parent that pulls out a picture before you can even ask.

She's not lying. I saw the pictures. :)

But with such a beautiful family, how can you not show off? You're a people magnet, Cathy - not just a toddler magnet.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 3, 2008 1:17 AM

She is beautiful. I guess I have had my question in someone else's posting answered. It must be very rewarding to be a LGBT parent.