April 20, 2009
I will interrupt my tale of the brunch at the mommies’ house with my two favorite volunteers with two other tales, and then return to the story in a little while.
First, I will tell you about RG’s Easter.
On Easter night, we received a phone call from the mommies. “Happy Easter!” they both said.
Then we heard the voice of Random Granddaughter on the phone. Her phone skills have evolved to a considerable degree. She often answers the phone when it rings at her house in a very adult way.
She began to tell us about coloring Easter eggs, and aboug participating in an Easter egg hunt at a friend’s house.
However, she seemed a bit distracted, and got off the phone fairly quickly.
My daughter said, “RG has a lap full of chocolate Easter egg candy and her mouth is full.”
As they do with Halloween, the mommies tell RG that she can eat as much candy of the candy as whe wants on the night of the holiday and then it will disappear.
We wonder, will this encourage her to become a binge junk food consumer as she gets older, or will it teach her to control such impulses as she gets older?
Then Random Daughter said, “She kept a secret from us for a week. It’s the longest time she’s kept a secret.”
The latest grandma had flown out to visit. If one’s child is in an unusual relationship–in our case, living with another woman–our society doesn’t really have words to describe the various relationships that result.
To some extent this is also true of “conventional” relationships as well. For example, I am not sure why we say mother and father in law but never uncle or aunt in law.
In our case, where my daughter and her partner have never tried to engage in “gay marriage” or even civil union (though they generally treat each other quite well) I have taken to calling her partner “Mommy” because that is what her birth daughter calls her and my daughter “Mama” because that is what her partner’s birth daughter calls her. I have taken to calling Mommy “Mama’s out of law partner.”
Mama, who has legally adopted her partner’s daughter might also be called a “co-mom,” I suppose.
RG knows her sperm donor by his first name and regards him as a sort of uncle, though she figured out that he is her “dad” by the time she was three years old. (She is a very bright little girl. As I have mentioned, her IQ has been measured at the age of four and it is almost off the charts. However, my wife and I don’t believe in wearing bumper stickers on our truck, so our truck’s bumper doesn’t say, “Our grandchild is smarter than your grandchild.” Also, RG is very tall for her age, so our non-existent bumper sticker doesn’t say, “Our grandchild can beat up your grandchild.” After all, we have been training her not to hit other children, at least not without plenty of provocation. I don’t know what she will do if other children say to her, “Your mamas wear army boots.”
Anyway, her sperm/donor/uncle/dad has a regular partner–what shall we call him–“co-dad?” This new grandpa lives in Connecticut and is a minister, so he was pretty busy on Easter. However, his wife, the newest grandma, flew out to visit her granddaughter (after all, wouldn’t you fly across the country to visit if you had such a splendid grandaughter)? And when she arrived, she told RG, “I have a surprise for your mommies. It’s an Easter basket. Don’t tell them, so we can make it a surprise.”
So RG kept it a surprise for a week.
Like the candy splurge, is this a good thing for RG to learn? Secrets may be fine for a five-year-old to keep, but what about when she turns 15?
I guess we will cross that bridge–or ride that ferry–when we get to it. Stay tuned.