The best parts of my day are the mommy moments. I collect them, holding the treasures close. Hearing "I love you" out of my daughter’s tiny, high-pitched voice for the first time. The time my oldest daughter told me, during a late night chat when the house was heavy with sleep, that she will probably grow up to be just like me. The good-night routine I share with my son that only has meaning for us—he is a tightly-bound ball of giggles as we both recite I love you to the stars and back, I love you to the dinosaurs and back, I love you to the moon and back and I love you to the buggers and back—I say “Ewww!” and jump off the bed to his delight. He waits for it and falls for it every time.
When Mother’s Day comes around each year, it means so much more to me than a Hallmark holiday. It reminds me that I conquered my biggest fear by living my truth. I honor my mother for empowering me and fostering the freedom I needed to be my authentic self. I treasure my mother-in-law for embracing me as a daughter after conquering what we all thought was impossible; accepting her own daughter being gay. But the most beautiful part of motherhood is sharing it with my wife, knowing that together she and I fought against all odds to create this sweet life that we have—despite the societal- and self-imposed pressure and limitations.
I never thought I could have kids. I yearned for them, but after coming out as a lesbian I didn’t imagine I could be brave enough to tackle the hurdles between me and the family I wanted. Then my mom, who only cared that I had found love, encouraged me to get married to my love and to have the children that I was calling impossible. She helped me realize that my life could be just as I pictured it when I was young. Today, my home is a cacophony of the madness of three impossibly sweet children and a ridiculously cute white dog.
My wife trudged the road to parenthood alongside me, making my dream hers, despite her own reservations and fears. To her surprise (not mine) she is an incredible mom. Like most partners the world over, we parent very differently; she has her own unique way of solving problems and finding calm in the chaos. Her way is not my way, and I realize more each day that there is no ‘right” way—only the right way for her. When I hear our kids call her “Mom,” my heart swells at knowing that we did it, we made it, we are a family. Even in those moments when I’m overwhelmed with our life, throwing a tantrum to rival one of my toddlers’, I know that she and I are in it together, filling the gaps for each other, creating balance for our clan.
Daily, I grow into my mother shoes and I learn about my old ideas of perfection and find the beauty in my daily imperfections. I use these lessons in parenting, teaching my kids that the person who appears perfect is actually beautifully flawed and that you can find the brightest treasures in the most unexpected places and tiniest moments. And once a year, my wife and I get to share a very special day with each other, both of us giving our kids a lesson in legacy and teaching them to honor our differences and our history.
Here is a video of our journey to becoming moms. Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Moms, Mamas, Mommies, Mas—we celebrate and honor Mothers by any name or walk of life!
Brandy Black lives in Los Angeles with her wife and three kids. She is Editor-in-Chief of The Next Family.
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