Friday, May 13, 2011

Pride and Prejudice

A rant, if you will.

This past weekend was our local Pride. I've gone to it nearly every year since I've known S., and it was in fact the first Pride I ever attended - even before the big hoopla that is NYC Pride. I remember how happy I felt the first time I went--seeing others like me, seeing women with babies and dogs and being so happy together. It felt blissful there being with my (then) girlfriend, pondering the future when we would have kids of our own to shuttle to and show off at Pride (insert lesbian stereotype here).

Then I got old. And had kids. And quite frankly, Pride is not my thing anymore. I more often than not feel myself being annoyed by Pride instead of being "proud" at Pride, and I am usually left wondering why I bothered fighting the traffic to find a far-away parking space, only to sit for a short parade and go walking around a glorified parking lot looking at people selling gay crap I will never buy. I will also add that we honestly do not have many gay friends. We have a couple we hang out with sometimes who I work with and who have similarly aged children, and we often see their gay friends at their house, but that is it. We love when we do hang out with them, because it's important for us to have our children see families like ours.

But I often feel like a minority at Pride. I feel like I have no big gay rights agenda, that I don't own a single item of rainbow or HRC clothing, that I have somehow assimilated into straight culture and feel like an outsider amongst the many wonderful gays and lesbians who live in my neck of the woods. Part of this is my own doing--lesbians love drama, and I do not, so I guess unconsciously I tend to stay clear. The other part is--I guess I just feel like a woman who happened to fall in love with another woman. Is it part of my identity? Sure. I knew as a teenager I was partial to women. But, is gay even a top-five adjective I would use to describe myself? Nope. S. feels the same way. She once told me she'd say she was a "gardener" or a "flea market junkie" over a lesbian.

I'm sure next year I will be at Pride again-for my kids. It is important we let them know how many other gay families and gay people live amongst us. I feel lame sometimes, knowing that people elsewhere don't have the option of being so blase about their gayness, or their "alternative" family, and that I probably take for granted that our families and friends and state are for the most part so supportive of us that we never have to feel like outsiders. And I guess in the end, I am grateful for that.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Parenting Musings and Asparagus Appreciation

I think we reached our five-year blogiversary. Wow--lots and lots has changed, including the initial goal of this blog, which was to get a baby. Then, to get another baby. And so here we are, not just a couple of married lesbos ttcing, but parenting.

Speaking of parenting, S.'s book club read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua this month. Holy crap--has anyone read this book? If not, it's a quick and fascinating read. For those of you haven't heard about it, it is basically an autobiography of how a woman of Chinese descent parented (and still parents) her two daughters--in the Chinese way. It's not so much a criticism of Western parenting, but some of the struggles, pitfalls, and successes she encounters as she raises her two daughters to be musical prodigies and straight A students -- all the while hovering, demanding, pushing them. We're talking forcing them to practice their music 5+ hours a day, screaming at them when they play things wrong, not accepting a hand-drawn card from her four-year-old that she deemed unacceptable--extreme.

And yet, I did not find myself hating her. Since she actually becomes reflective of her parenting style by the end of the book, I feel like perhaps she learned a thing or two from her kids along the way. While you can't argue with the results of these two girls, it still all left me wondering--why? So what if your child is a piano prodigy? So what if they get straight As? I suppose Amy Chua would call me very Western for considering such philosophical questions, but it made me think about my own kids and what I want for them versus what they may someday want for themselves.

Anywho--this spring has seriously sucked so far. May 6th and we've had only a handful of warm days. But our gardens are starting to be planted, the grass has been mowed, and we finally put the snowblower to bed until next winter. And---it's asparagus season. Yumyumyumyumyummy.