To my kids,
This weekend I say "I do" to your mama all over again. It's going to be a busy few days leading up to our vow renewal, and an even busier Saturday. So before I take a deep breath and dive into the mayhem that is bridezilla prep (Mason jars! Tea lights! More signs to paint!), I want you to know a few things.
First and most importantly, we love all three of you. Aerik, Alexis and Jackson, you are our light, our hope, our biggest dreams in compact form. You are the glue of this family, the bond that holds tight and reminds us of what's important in the tougher times. And yes, we all know there have been tougher times. Life isn't easy, and life in a transitioning family has its own unique challenges most of us aren't prepared for.
But you've all chosen to do something so simple, and yet not always achieved, even by those with far more life experience than you: You have actively chosen to put love first.
When the person you knew as your dad told you she was, in fact, your other mom, you all supported her without hesitation or question. Yes, you shed your tears and said goodbye the idea of having a father, but you also wholly embraced her. You rocked it.
No seriously. Guys, you totally rocked it.
That act of selfless love is precious and sadly, not always the reality. If you only knew how many families fall apart, how many children of all ages struggle for years when a parent transitions, you would see the significance. Emotions are complicated, but you've managed them with a grace I wish I could bottle and use in case of emergencies (I have many emergencies. Like right now, because the wedding is in FIVE DAYS and I don't have all my mason jars.).
I couldn't care less about school grades, but I do care about how my little humans treat other humans. And you, my loves, get an A+ in that department. You make me so proud to be one of your moms.
You've also allowed me to share parts of your lives with the world, despite knowing that privacy is not a genie you can put back in the bottle, and that you risk - and have received - judgment from our community and beyond. I've watched you all step boldly in front of microphones and cameras to tell society that love and acceptance of all people is important. That takes guts.
Your desire to make the planet a better place gives me hope for the future. Because you are the future.
The world is a frightening place right now. Just within the last few days, politicians are threatening nuclear war and alt-right bigots are spewing their hatred in large numbers in the country just south of us. We know that sentiment is growing within our own country too. It feels surreal to be planning a vow renewal with all of this going on, doesn't it? A little frivolous and laced with guilt. Don't think I haven't thought about about that.
But I believe our family's story is more important than ever. The love you show - that we all show one another - is its own act of resistance. We're choosing to push forward and not let fear make our decisions or drive us underground.
We're choosing visibility, despite the risks. Because that display of unconditional love creates a connection with people who might not otherwise feel connected to families like ours. That connection turns into compassion, which is the fuel needed to learn about us. And the more people learn, the more they realize there's nothing to fear or hate, and they start standing beside us, rather than against us.
Connection, compassion and education. That is how we can do our part to push the darkness back into its little corner. That is our form of resistance. My darlings, we are the little queer family that could. And it has everything to do with you. Everything.
When we walk down the aisle in a few days, we're celebrating our family as it is today. It's been a long journey - one that isn't over - but it's taught all of us what's most important in life. Joy is at the top of that list, and we finally have a lot of that in our home, despite the scary, scary, big outside.
Aerik, thank you for agreeing to officiate our ceremony. I know you'll do an amazing job at marrying your moms. (But no pressure.)
Alexis, thank you for being our DJ. I can't wait to hear the music you've picked (PS: I hope it's not all dubstep.)
Jackson, thanks for being our ring bearer. (You have the easiest job, but don't tell your siblings or I'll put you on potluck cleanup duty.)
Thank you for loving your parents for who they are, a simple but indescribably meaningful act. Thanks for being a part of a life I never expected, but one I wouldn't trade for the world. You have two moms who love you very, very much. We can't wait to celebrate our family this weekend.
Now help me find the mason jars before I lose. my. mind.
Love you to the moon and back, lousy ankle biters,