So, I’m reading Mombian‘s post on the start of the new season of The L Word this evening, while Pkin sits next to me watching TV and noshing on 6-hour old popcorn, when she looks over and sees the image at the top of Mombian’s site.
“What’s that?” Pkin asks as she points at the icon for the little boy.
“A little boy,” I say. I decide I’m not going to get into notions of gendering and gender identity (as represented by visual iconography) with her right now. We talk about that a good bit already — maybe too much for a 4-year old.
A pause as she ponders and examines. “With two mommies?”
A quizzical look crosses her face, including a full-on tilt of her head to the side.
I explain, “Some families have two mommies and some have one mommy and some have two daddies and some of one daddy and some have several mommies and daddies” (while my mind is spinning through the various familial options to see if I am including all of them, etc.)
“Oh. And some families have no mommies?”
“And some grown ups don’t have any kids? And some do?”
“OK!” and back she goes to watching her TV show.
Thinking about how heated conversations can get around what a “normal” family is and who is capable of parenting and all the other related junk adults feel they need to fight about, I’m struck by how children can take issues adults choose to make complicated and boil them down to simplest concepts (and I say this with admiration). Families come in a lot of flavors — and that’s that. No flavor is good or bad or better or worse — they just are. Grown ups have a lot to learn.