You Were Always Enough
I have now known you for a quarter of a century. You have nurtured me, allowed me space and security to grow and change, and helped me become the person I am today. I often describe you to others as the sort of person who was born to be a parent. You just have the knack for it, heck, even in high school my friends were saying you should write a book on parenting because they all respected you and your approach to raising kids. What I’m trying to say is, you are really, really good at being a parent.
That’s why it broke my heart the first time you told me that you struggled with your decision to start a family back in the 1980s. You were concerned not about your own ability to care for and love a child, but about how society would treat the child of an unmarried lesbian woman. Job security, safety, social pressures, discrimination, alienation, all of these things plagued you. You worried that your incredible capacity for love would not be sufficient to combat a lifetime of hurtful speech, intrusive questions, and harassment for your child.
Please know, that you were enough. You were always enough.
As I get older and closer to starting my own family, I know my concerns will not be the same as yours. In part because of who I am and who my partner is, and partly because society is slowly, but visibly, changing for the better. I wish I could go back in time and tell you back in 1988 that these fears, forced onto you by a hostile and ignorant society, would be irrelevant. Our family was based on love, respect and support. So when people did inevitably say hurtful things, I was ready and had backup.
So, to you back in 1988, ignore any nagging fears of how other will treat us. You don’t know it yet, but our family will be stronger than them. And eventually, we will pull apart their assumptions and ignorance, brick by brick. Together.
I love you always.