We considered today that Guinevere is indeed in a very special family. Bailey and I officially changed our last names at the SSA office yesterday and have considered what all that means. If I end up in the hospital and they say “family only,” then Bailey can see me. Bailey can also take Guinevere to doctors’ visits and speak for me, etc.
We decompressed, piled up on the king size bed, everyone exhausted from the day’s tasks. Guinevere yanked on the shirt sleeves she could reach, babbling away about how much fun she’d had today while we brainstormed about dinner. “Want a hug?” Edward reached out to her and I passed her along. She reached that age where she thinks Daddy is the cool one. Probably because of his beard, which she immediately yanked. Bailey started pinching at Guinevere’s cheeks. “Hey, she’s my baby,” Ed teased.
“Uh, legally, she’s my baby.”
“Legally she’s MY baby.”
There was a shared excitement when we all realized the unique nature of our family. Of our ten born children, Guinevere is the only one that can legally have more than the typical set of parents. Yes, we signed papers saying that Edward is the father. Bailey and I also signed papers, which makes Bailey (as well as myself) her mother(s). And because Alice is married to Edward, she is a stepmother, right? Edward said that Bailey was a stepmother. I don’t think that’s right, because when a gay couple has a child, one of them is not considered a stepparent. I tried to Google the definition of a stepparent, and it doesn’t really correlate, because to count, the initial relationship needs to have ended, which is clearly not the case.
Our poly family may not be legally considered what we count it to be (I think we now look like swingers in the eyes of the law), but we have some sort of legal standing now.
I took pride initially in that my child would be the one to break the double digits of number of children we have, and later realized that I’m also the first ‘second wife’ (though not in paperwork) to have Edward’s child. I don’t ever want to be ‘that mother’ that lives vicariously through her daughter, forcing her to do things she wouldn’t want to do just because I want something to be proud of her for. I love her by virtue of her being her, and I will encourage her to be the best she can be (best at brain puzzles, best at jumping, kindest person in her class, whatever floats her boat, though she seems really driven to communicate). I will be proud to be the mother who supported her in her endeavor, even if no one knows who I am. In the book of Matthew, Jesus prays over some fish and bread and feeds however many hundred in two instances. Had no one packed their lunch that day, there would be no food to multiply, and that miracle wouldn’t happen. I don’t mind being the nobody that was an ingredient to a miracle, and with Guinevere, I think that’s who I am.