Family / Parenting

Open Letter to the Mom I Met on the Train

We chatted just a little, all on our way home. My wife and child and I from Pride, you and your son from the Nats game. He was adorable (and yet his fit over not getting to play a game on your phone was reassuring in that way where all parents want to know they’re not alone).

I know you knew we were a two-mom family; our daughter’s Pride shirt and the way she bounced back and forth between us would’ve been clear as day, even if she hadn’t been super loud in her whining about disowning me, and the fact that J was her only mom now.

I’m not sure whether you meant for us to know that you were one, too, but I overheard your son calling you “mama,” and you telling him that mommy was home with his sisters, and that it might take her a while to come pick you up.

I also heard what you said to him when he asked you something about our daughter.

“There was a party today, and we should’ve gone, but we didn’t.”

Tracy+Cheryl@SFPride05

Now, I know you don’t need me to tell you it’s okay that you didn’t go to Pride.

I mean, hell, even if you didn’t have tickets to a baseball game, it would’ve been fine.

I’ll let you in on a secret. Even though you saw us with our daughter all decked out in rainbow and with glitter facepaint, looking our best Queer Family – it was the first time we’d been to Pride together (and we’ve been together for nine years). I’d only been to two Prides previously, and all of my wife’s Priding occurred long before we knew each other.

And we probably won’t go again for a good, long while.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m glad that Pride exists. It’s just not my thing.

I’m also a fan of changing people in the small ways. Your co-workers, who know your wife and three kids. Your son’s teachers, getting to know his two moms. Even if, every now and then, you correct somebody who refers to your partner as your friend, or your sister. (Not even all the time! God knows I didn’t, shortly after you saw me, when our daughter was past the point of no return and a gentleman at the restaurant told me my friend had picked up a to-go box.)

All of these little things – just being you – helps change the world for the better. Certainly as much as, if not more than, a great big Pride festival.

While I’m glad for Pride, and to have a place where we can go and let loose; where our relationship is the norm and our daughter gets to see other kids with two moms (or two dads, or any combination under the sun), I’ve found that it’s the little day-to-day things that make me proud to be only ONE of my daughter’s moms.

But don’t ever think that you “should” have gone to the “party.” In taking your son to a baseball game, in going home and loving him and his sisters, and living your lives, you’re living your own pride festival.

.

[PHOTO: POLLY PAGENHART]

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  1. What a great letter to that mom, I hope she sees it and that she realizes just how true it is. I’ll confess I’ve never been to Pride, I’d like to go just once to see what its like but as my girlfriend is about as into crowds and parties as I am (meaning not at all), I’m not sure we’ll ever go. I sometimes find myself feeling like we “should” go, but like you told that mom I am starting to realize that just living our lives and being proud of who we are and our little family really is enough.

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