We were in the car talking about our plans for the weekend. We were talking about who we were going to see, something we do often since our girls have double the amount of people in their lives to keep track of. In talking about one place we were going, our 7-year-old asked me about a family, “And they have two mommies, right?”
I paused for a second, not because the girls don’t know people at our church and who are our friends who have same-sex parents, but because this family didn’t. It took me a minute before I put it together, “No. The last time we saw them they had their mommy with them and a babysitter.”
She didn’t reply and wasn’t phased by the conversation at all.
And I realized that the world she is living in, the world both our girls are living in, and the world our soon-to-arrive son will be raised in is very different than the world I knew growing up. It wasn’t that same-sex relationships didn’t exist and that those couples didn’t have families, it’s just that I didn’t know any. It wasn’t until college that I realized that there were people who were openly gay or lesbian and not until much later that I realized the spectrum of sexuality isn’t binary.
I couldn’t help but smile at our 7-year-old’s sense of understanding and openness. She has it figured out much earlier than I did. She understands that every family looks different and that as much as some of us would like to believe it, there is industry-standard when it comes to parents or families or relationships. We are all learning to live with each other.
It’s a good thing that she and her sister and her baby brother will be the ones to guide and lead us. Now, if only those of us who grew up in a world that doesn’t exist anymore, can step aside and let her generation teach us, we might actually have a chance to make the world a better place.