Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Word travels fast

As many of you have read, Karen is visiting family in our hometown of Knoxville, TN. On Monday, she ran into an old lesbian friend of ours. This friend already knew we were pregnant! I guess word travels fast since we just found out ourselves over the weekend.

What was interesting about the conversation between Karen and this friend was that this person said, "I guess you and Wendy are trying to live the 'straight life' in Portland." She couldn't imagine why we wanted to have a baby when (and I quote), "Neither of you like children."


First of all, I found that incredibly rude (a simple "congratulations" would have sufficed). Second of all, Karen answered her in the witty, articulate, non-confrontational way that only Karen can do. Bravo Karen!

I don't feel the need to defend myself, but this conversation got me to thinking. What I concluded was that some people see others the way the see themselves. What I mean is that so many lesbians we knew in TN were older than us, somewhat set in their ways, and really didn't want children for themselves. And by being associated with this group, some of the characteristics were latched on to me as well.

But I've always enjoyed children. And for many, many years I've dreamed about what it would be like to carry a child of my own.

I started walking down memory lane by looking through my older photos. I found two that I wanted to share:
This is a picture of me in my 20's (check out the long locks and mascara!) cradling baby Issac. I remember beaming when others would say how happy I looked with a baby in my arms and how I looked like "a natural Mom".

This second photo is from a special scrapbook that I have of my favorite small pieces of art, postcards and photographs. The photo was given to me by Jeanne R. in 1997. It sat framed on my desk or nightstand for many years before it got added to the special scrapbook. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be Mary and Baby Jesus or simply a statue of mother and child, but I've treasured it for a long time.

Reviewing my photo album and thinking of the friends who've had children and who've let me joyfully babysit for an hour or two (or a day) over the years was a good reality check in answer to the accusation "You never liked children".

Lastly, I believe two lesbians having a baby together is a VERY gay proud thing to do and is a far departure from trying to live a "straight or closeted life". Already in this conception process, my partner and I have stood as proud lesbians before doctors, nurses, attorneys and others.

So there.


wenders said...

Okay, so I know I don't know either of you 'for real', BUT...

That is a shocking thing for someone to say. I admire your strength, bravery and courage in going after what you want, when you will have to defend yourself not only to total strangers but also 'friends'. I think part of the reason I wasn't sure if I could stay with my girlfriend for ever was for just those reason - I'm just not that strong, I fear.

Anyway. You go, girls!

Ethan Barry's Momma said...

So there indeed!! The nerve of some people is unbelievable. There are very few people that I know that want children any more than you do. You are so loving with Ethan and I know that you'll be wonderful parents.

Kathryn said...

I just got back into town and was so excited to hear your news. Congrats to you both; I wish you a healthy wonderful pregnancy! Let me know if you need names of good midwives or OB's in the area.

samwip said...

I have started reading your blog, I know many years after, but alas. My wife and I are in the early stages, and haven't technically started yet, aside from reading, losing weight, and starting pre natal vitamins. Alas, I would like to say, your blog is heart warming. I'm in a PMS day, and feel I can't keep reading, and tears keep filling my eyes, happy years, but on my moments at work, not a good thing. Thank you for writing, and I see it continues for many years and you have a daughter, congrats. I hope to keep reading in a few days.