Sunday, November 14, 2004

What This Blog is All About

Consider the planning necessary for two women to have a baby. . . How can you ever really know if you are "ready"? (I have always been perversely jealous of what I call the "oops!" factor.) And because I had never been in a successful relationship, this seemed like an even more enormous barrier to entry into parenthood. If pressed, I remember saying something like: maybe I'll meet someone who already has a kid! In fact, during my last year or so in graduate school, I remember perusing the blade and finding an ad to which i seriously considered responding for a woman-with-child, written by her friends.

I suppose life does this sort of thing purposefully to us, somehow giving us glimpses of insight into the next chapter.

I met Biomom when our now eldest was 16 months old and started this blog in November of 2004. Here is a clip from the introduction that I wrote then:

"While I have been actively parenting a precocious four-and-one-half-year-old-boy-crazy-only-pink-wearing-cinderella-watching-girlie-girl for the past three years, and writing intermittently about the experience, i only felt the need to 'go public' after the New York Times' piece "Growing up with mom and mom" (10/24/04) missed the point (and, well, the whole [2004] election/moral values thing)."

Since then, Biomom and I took our own fertility journey with the hopes of adding a sibling to the family. After one miscarriage and too many months of trying, she got pregnant in the spring of 2005 and she gave birth to a generous 9lb, 3oz baby boy that December.

This blog is about opening up dialogue and hopefully creating a better world for our two kids: future adult children of lesbian parents (ALCP). And the hope that they won't need too much therapy.

My posts will focus on my perspective of parenting: the non-biological mom--or, as coined by other bloggers like me: the "lesbian dad" or the "other mother" just to name a few. In his memoir Paris to the Moon, Adam Gopnik justifies his subject (the personal experience of parenting as an expatriate) by saying "yet since raising a kid is the one nearly universal thing people do, and since doing it in foreign parts is the one time when you get to see most clearly all the bits of doing it that aren't universal--that are inflected and shaped by the local geography and mood and playground equipment--it is in its way, I hope, still a not entirely interior subject."

This topic is similar in that my "project" of parenting is not unlike anyone else's except that our 'foreign parts' aren't geographical in nature. We're not in Paris, but sometimes I feel like I'm on the moon.

The "lesbian baby boom" (coined by Arnup (1998) and later expanded upon by Tulchinsky (1999) and Patterson (1995)) is a legitimate phenomenon and worth careful consideration. I want to think about possible differences between adult children of lesbian and gay parents and their heterosexual counterparts: their experience and the results of this relatively new type of family. I will also focus on differences that we face as parents who are members of a minority group that faces some degree of degradation in our society. My personal perspective is even more unique because i am not the biological parent, which brings on its own set of quirks and idiosyncrasies. What may be surprising is the degree to which the whole thing isn't any different than a 'leave it to beaver' episode sans the clean home with the dinner-on-the-table (oh, and the bepearled-skirted wife serving the meal. Alas.).

I will also digress. You will see blogs on the humdrums of my life; writing papers, rewriting papers, re-rewriting papers, grading student papers, feeding my cats, reacting to popular culture, political rants, and whatever else comes to mind. Again, quoting Gopnik "what then, the journalist and scholar ask tetchily, what then is exactly the vice of the comic-sentimental essayist? It is of course to believe that all experience and history can be reduced to him, or his near relations, and the only apology i can make is that for him in this case experience and history and life were not so much reduced as all mixed up, and, scrambled together, they at least become a subject. The essayist dreams of being a prism, through which other light passes, and fears ending up merely as a mirror, showing the same old face. He has only his self to show and only himself to blame if it doesn't show up well" (p. 15).

Where to start?

The very beginning.

Arnup, k. 1999 "does the word lesbian mean anything to you?" lesbians raising daughters. In s. Abbey & a. O'reilly (eds.), redefining motherhood: changing identities and patterns (pp. 59-68). Toronto: second story press.
Gopnik, adam. 2000. Paris to the moon. Random house trade paperbacks: new york.
Patterson, c. J. 1995. Lesbian mothers, gay fathers, and their children. In a. R. D'augelli & c. J. Patterson (eds.), lesbian, gay, and bisexual identities over the lifespan (pp. 262-292). New york: oxford university press.
Tulchinsky, k. X. (1999, may 8). Two moms, better than one? Staking claim to mother's day: once we decided which one of us would bear the child, our little family adventure was underway. Vancouver sun, pp. E5. Retrieved august 21, 2000 from the world wide web:

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