One of my favorite things to do with my three-year-old is to take her out on adventures. Sometimes that means checking out new-to-us playgrounds, the local pet store, going for a hike or finding a new farm to visit. On this particular day we were at a playground that’s part of our local magnet school and she quickly tried to make friends with the older kids.
It was probably around 5:30 p.m. so the only school kids left were those who were in after care. Lately my girl has been much more outgoing in social situations where there are other kids and this day was no exception. She immediately went up to another girl (a 1st grader) and decided this girl was going to be her playground BFF that evening.
As they were playing I noticed two older girls who seemed really nice. The 1st grader lost interest in my daughter pretty quickly so she started playing with the older girls who did a wonderful job interacting with her. Then, all of the sudden, the 1st grader re-appeared just as I was asking the two girls what their names were. The 1st-grader then looked straight at me and said, “They have two moms.” And she didn’t say that like it was a good thing.
I experienced a moment right then that has stuck with me even though a few weeks have passed. Those two girls, sisters, looked right at me with these big brown eyes that looked worried – like they feared what my reaction to this information would be. So I said back to the 1st grader something like “Well there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.”
As soon as those words left my mouth the sisters look relieved and immediately went back to playing but that moment has really lingered for me. As someone married to a man I haven’t really had any personal experiences with homophobia. I look at everyone as equals. I’ve been teaching my own child for a while that families come in all different structures and that all that matters is that two people love each other (no matter what gender they are).
That day I left the playground sad. Sad that the fact that these sisters have two moms was noteworthy enough for this 1st grader to think it’s something that needed to be pointed out. Sad that those girls had to have even a moment of worry about how I might react. Sad that while so much progress has been made, being gay is still viewed by some as bad.
I literally cannot understand that view. Love is love. To me, it’s as simple as that.
I’m glad I had this experience, even though it deeply upset me. Because now I know just how important it is that I raise a child who believes in equality and appreciates that people just love who they love. I want to normalize that as much as possible for her in hopes that some day, if this happens when I’m not around, she can be the one to step in and say “so what?”