First a quick line about “why” I have Jacob posting on my blog. There really isn’t a “why”. I asked him a question and he had an interesting answer that I liked and wanted to hear more of his thoughts. I thought I would share them with others. That’s pretty much it. I think that a lot of times it is easy to discuss issues and forget that what we are really talking about are human beings with thoughts, feelings, lives and dignity. We say that we respect the dignity of others and then talk about “issues” disregarding what those others are living. I hope that makes sense.
It leads to what I’m gong to write about today. I know that in this day and age everyone is offended by every single thing ever said. The “but what about me”s are annoying and anyone who spends a lot of time online knows what I’m talking about. There is no one person who speak for their entire group on one thing. Not one. No one Catholic can speak for all Catholics, not even the Pope (I’m not talking about doctrine here, I’m talking about him just speaking as a man) because everyone has different points of views and life experiences. This isn’t a “what about me” post, but it is one that I want to write from the perspective of someone who was in an invalid marriage and is now married in the Church. I have 4 children by two different men and neither of them are my husband. I’m a real person with real issues and I’m Catholic. When I hear people say that gay couples and their children can’t be families because marriage is between one man and one woman and children have the right to be raised by their parents, I start to itch. My family has more in common with families with gay parents than it does with traditional families. That isn’t an emotional statement, it’s a statement of fact. My children are only biologically connected to one parent in this house.
My oldest son considers my first husband his dad and my now husband his dad. And his “real” dad, is just Homer. None of that fits into the mold of a traditional family. When people say they don’t know how to talk to their kids about same sex couples and their kids, I wonder what they say to them about my family. Because if you tell little Susie that the child that has two mommies doesn’t have two mommies because that is impossible then what would you tell my son? That he doesn’t have two dads and a father? Because that is what he had grown up with.
It’s not that I am hurt or offended, because I am not, I could care less what anyone thinks of my family. We have been through hell and back and the fact that we survived says something about us. We are all working on ourselves and taking care of our affairs and forgiving when it is needed. We are good. My point in this post is that maybe as parents what we need to do is teach our kids right from wrong but also that not everyone looks and thinks like us and how to accept them anyway. Not in condoning the crazy, but because they are made in the image of God. And because we aren’t always perfect either.
Instead of teaching kids how to judge others as the right kind of family we can teach them to be kind to others no matter what we believe and what others live. My kids have a very clear understanding of why me and their dad were not in a valid marriage and Stacey and I are. They get that doesn’t change that they were created out of love and that they can love their dad and my husband. And that Homer is Homer. (It’s just the place that he has in our family, he’s Homer, my baby daddy.) They know what marriage is and what it isn’t and they also know that not everyone else does know so we have to be kind to everyone no matter what. My children also understand the damage that can be done when we try to force our beliefs on others because I did that to my oldest son and he no longer goes to Mass.
My oldest son and his girlfriend are not married and have a child together. They live together and are not Catholic. My oldest step son is so anti-religion that it’s not even funny. There is no way for me to shelter my youngest children from the “evils of the world” the way some may be able to because their families are normal. For my family we have no concept of normal and if we ever had the chance to be “normal” we would die of boredom, because we would have NO IDEA what to do with ourselves.
I just wonder what people say about my family? And if we get a pass from the “you’re not a real family” thing, why? Because we are now Catholic? That doesn’t make sense logically. I’m not even for gay couples adopting, IVF, or anything but once it has happened then things are different. Telling a child that her parents aren’t her parents and their family isn’t a “real family” isn’t going to bring them to Christ. If that’s the goal, then that should be taken into consideration. I’m not even saying that we can’t speak out against things, but I do think that we should take into consideration what we are saying and what people will read when we say it. The way that I’m now considering what people will think when reading this as if I’m saying I’m down with gay adoption and IVF.
I really don’t have any point other than some families don’t look like the “normal” mom and dad, siblings, cat and dog family. In mine there is an ex-wife and her husband, three sons of my husband, my husband, me, my four kids, my son’s girlfriend, a grandchild, my ex-husband and a baby daddy. There is nothing about one man, one woman and children in that at all so if that is what a real family is, then what are we?