When I first started dating my lovely partner Karol, we had to keep everything a secret. First of all, she was still in the military and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was alive and well. Plus I had just gotten divorced and was unwilling to let my children know I was in a relationship with her. They knew we were best friends, and I decided to leave it at that.
Then we bought a house together and we decided it was best for each of us to have our own bedroom. She was about to retire, but I had not yet “told” my kids and she had not told hers. We did sleep together most nights, but actually lived in our own bedrooms for the most part. It was an interesting time. Neither of us was “out” professionally but we were to our close friends. Looking back on it I think we were crazy, but it worked at the time, and I suppose it made things easier for the children to get used to living with new people.
We decided after living together for a year we would tell the children that we were actually a couple. Of course they all said, “Um, we have known forever Mom.” They were okay with me being in a relationship with a woman, and that made me happy. We had actually prepared ourselves for the worst and realized we may need to sell our house and live apart if our kids freaked out. Our number one priority was the children and how they would feel about our relationship.
Because I had been in a “traditional” marriage when my children were young I never forced the issue about them saying anything to any adults or their friends. I always introduced Bluebell as my “friend”, and they did the same. They called her “my mom’s friend” if talking about her to others.
At some point my oldest son (age 15 now) began telling people his mom was “bi”. Apparently people his age thought that was cool and I scored him some “cool points”. I suppose technically I am “bi” in his mind since I was married to his dad and am now with a woman. I don’t consider myself bisexual. I consider myself a lesbian, but I never pushed that issue with my son. Whatever he was comfortable with worked for me.
My son is now in 10th grade and is very comfortable with Bluebell and with our relationship.
However, I was still surprised when she came to me a few weeks ago and brought me a paper that I saw had my son’s handwriting on it. “Uh oh”, I said. “Is this going to be bad?” She said, “Just read it.” She had seen this paper lying on the dining room table near my son’s book bag and picked it up and read it. I held it in my hand and braced myself.
He had an assignment to write about himself and his family for his English class. In his own handwriting I read, “I found out a few years ago my mom is in a same gendered relationship. I think that is cool. My mom is cool.”
I cried tears of joy. My son thinks I am cool! That is a pretty amazing thing for a mom of a teenager to be considered cool by her kid!
My son thinks I am cool!!!