Dear Charlotte, Ruby and Milo,
I love you, more than I have ever told you. More than I ever could tell you. You are all bright shining stars in the sky of my life, twinkling with giggles and sighs. I love to call you silly nicknames and to roll around on the floor with you, and there’s not much better than snuggling with each of you. I assure you that my love for you is unconditional and complete. I hope that I do a decent job of making sure you feel that love all the time and that I never give you cause to doubt it.
You’ve probably figured out by now, since you can read and all, that our family doesn’t look like a lot of other families. Certainly no one on TV looks like us, and while we hang out with other families that look like ours, we don’t get a lot of external validation about who we are. I’m sorry for this.
I am sorry there are people in this world who see fit to judge our family, to tell us that we are somehow wrong or even evil. This is not the world I want to give you, and I hope that I am somehow able to make it at least a little better before I go.
We live our lives triumphantly in the face of disenfranchisement, marginalization and outright hatred from people who don’t even know us (if you need to learn what those words mean, take a break and go ask Melanie/Momma. This letter will still be here when you get back.). The “triumphant” part may seem like hyperbole, but it is not. In this world we live in, we are triumphant because we choose love, not hate. We choose happiness, not misery.
I mean it. I am happiest when I am surrounded by the three of you, and Melanie/Momma. I hope you are happy then too.
There will be times in your life when people make fun of you because all of your parents are women. There will be times in your life when people have a hard time because Melanie/Momma and I are masculine. There will be times in your life when people feel so awful about their own lives, they’ll want you to be miserable too.
I would say that I am sorry for that, but it isn’t my fault. I am sorry for any pain it causes you, though. What I need to tell you is that when people do those things, it’s not about you. Or me, or anyone else in your family. It’s about that person, the one who is teasing you or trying to hurt you. They have the problem, not you.
There is nothing wrong with you. Or me. Or Melanie/Momma. We are a family, just like other families. But we are also different from a lot of other families. We love being different, because we love each other, and loving each other is one of the things that makes us different.
There are people in this world who think that two women shouldn’t share a home, and a family. Those people are wrong. They spend a lot of time and money trying to get other people to think like them, but they are still wrong. They may quote the bible (if you don’t know what that is, it’s ok. I’ll wait while you go ask Melanie/Momma), trying to prove that they are right, but they are still wrong. They are as wrong as anyone has ever been.
One of my jobs as your parent is to teach you right from wrong. I take this job very seriously, so I made a chart. Charts usually mean something is very serious.
|Love||Telling people that their family is not natural|
|Respect||Using a book of allegories and mythology from thousands of years ago to tell people who they can/cannot love|
|Love||Denying 10-15% of the population of the US access to the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing equal protection under the law|
|Respect||Trying to make a kid feel like crap because their family is different than the ones on TV, or even in the house next door|
|Love||Passing judgment on the truth in someone else’s heart|
|Being kind (As you know, this is one of the two rules of our house. The other being that you can only say “poop” when you have to do it, or you have a mouth full of it.).||Hurting others because they disagree with you, or they don’t look like you, they don’t act the way you want them to, they don’t have a gender expression that makes sense to you, or any other reason. It’s wrong to hurt people.|
|Equality (I may be two dimes and a nickel, and you may be a quarter, but we have the same value).||Treating people like anything less than your equal.|
So in your life, when you encounter people doing the things on the right side of the chart, I hope it’s clear that they are wrong and feel free to tell them so (if it’s safe). Even if they tell you they are right. I am your Poppy, and I know better than they do. I don’t often pull rank like this, but I am smarter than they are. Trust me, not them.
I love you, big as life.