Wednesday, 16 March 2016

One Reason to Carry on Blogging

Its been ages since I blogged. In fact my blog has been offline for a few months. A few reasons. The main one being that I am not sure where it is headed. I have been wondering if it's right to have all this out there now that BB is getting older. Perhaps I need to edit a bit, hide a few posts, start a new blog, get a .com.au web address, have a different focus, write a diary... I'm not really sure. I have missed the blog though. I think we still need a blog in some form. I still want to share our story, compose my thoughts, have a reason to write and create.

I am less worried about BB's story of origin being out there since a conversation the other day. I had thought that perhaps we wouldn't mention it when we moved here. We could just say that his dad lives in England and that's it, but it never works out that way. People always ask questions; will he join you? are you divorced? is it amicable?  etc etc. As people get to know you they want to know. So we always end up telling the story.

The other day we were chatting to a kindy mum and as she asked those questions about my apparently absent husband, I told her that I have a child by myself on purpose. It turns out she has a friend who did the same. It's no longer an unusual thing to do. Naturally the question turned to wether I had a known or anonymous donor, so I began telling the tale. BB took over the story telling and said 
"Mummy didn't have a man so she had a baby with my Dad. My Dad has a man, his partner is a man so that's why they couldn't have babies together." And then he added "but a man can have babies if he has a womb!" 
The mum looked confused by that last part so I then had to explain that he was referring to when a man is transgender, female to male, and keeps his womb. The mum was a bit surprised by his understanding of it all I think, and just said (non-judgementally) how the world has changed since our parents' generation. 

Then yesterday I listened to an interview on Radio National which infuriated me slightly. It is and interview with the author of The 21st Century Guide to the Birds and the Bees.  The interviewer does seem to be someone who always tries to provoke and irritate the people he interviews, so I perhaps shouldn't assume he has prejudices about this particular topic, but he did give the author a hard time. He questions whether kids can understand the truth, when clearly, as my son demonstrates above, they can. But some adults need an education. I haven't seen the book other than the image on Amazon and I do have my own issues with it. The "I'm extra special" part of the title irks me. This is not special, and you can not expect the audience to embrace diversity and equality whilst you are using language which highlights the differences and gives "special" values to some.  Also, the image on the front cover of a Mum and Dad with a son and a daughter, seems like a strange choice. Why not just have loads of kids, of all shapes and sizes and colours and creeds? Its about the origins of the kids right, not having a mum and a dad and a sibling...  But anyway... It's good that a book like this has been written, the author didn't deserve the treatment she was subjected to by the interviewer, and is definitely a step in the right direction.

I have also been getting on my high horse a bit recently about children's literature. Do you remember when we started seeing gay people on TV. They were shows about Gays. Gayness was the issue, the subject, the whole damn script. It was part of the journey of acceptance though. It got it out there. But now we have moved on. Now we can have characters in mainstream shows that just happen to be gay, getting on with their daily lives. We don't have to have shows that are about gayness any more, because we accept that this is just a normal part of life. I'd love to see kids books moving in this direction. We have a couple of books that address the issue of family diversity; And Tango Makes Three, and The Family Book and both are great. They are also part of our human journey of acceptance and understanding, but now can we please have a few children books where having two mums, or two dads, or a single mum by choice, or a transgender parent is not the main issue, but they are just characters in the story. Kids can cope with this. They are for more accepting than grown ups. I have only seen one book so far,  My Big Barefoot Book of Wonderful Words , where this kind of family diversity is portrayed (in the illustrations as per the one below) as just a normal part of everyday life.


Image from My Big Barefoot Book of Wonderful Words

Also in the time that the blog has been down two people have contacted me, saying they have a friend that is considering taking a similar path to single motherhood and they tried to point them to my blog but couldn't find it. I do want to share the journey. I do want to help normalise this diversity. I do want to encourage potential mums to take the leap and do this. It is the most amazing thing I have ever done, no regrets, other than that it took me so long to dive in and do it.

So anyway, that's just one reason to continue this blog. I have more, but that's for another time