Okay granted Edgar’s parents aren’t truly my in laws yet, but it certainly feels like it when you live with them. When we started this about a month and a half ago everything was fine. In fact, besides the immediate culture shock of living in a home where the language spoken is not my own, I felt kind of at home. There house and neighborhood are similar to what I am use to and the bickering with teenage son was comforting. As time has gone on though I have realized that I am not in my own house. What I mean by that is that before I was use to being a grown up in charge of the groceries that came in and out, the life style of the family, and in raising my own child. What I have learned is that when you are in someone else’s house no matter how old you are you feel like a child.
Now, up until this point I was dealing with it better than Edgar. Which is understandable because they are his parents and they push his buttons. One of the big things is how judgmental they are of alcohol. We are not big drinkers but when we decide to have a bottle of wine we finish it that night and we were quite use to having the opportunity to go out every few weeks or so sans baby and reminisce over the fact that we are 22. Loreto and Rosa however do not approve of this. Once Edgar had a high school friend over and we had two bottles of wine. The next day, Loreto told Rosa that he thought “we were going hard”. Not to mention the looks we got when we went out to meet our friend in Dallas one night. Anyway, besides that, most of the frustration has been Edgar’s, with judegements on jobs and clothing choices and things of that nature. This morning that changed.
River has been sleeping horribly the past few weeks and last night was the WORST. First of all I’m sick, like flu and bladder infection sick, second I’m still nursing and at this point it has translated to having a toddler sucking hard on my nipple all night. Last night I couldn’t do it. She had had enough milk and my nipples were sore. So I didn’t let her have anymore, which has happened before, but last night she screamed and screamed. She would fall asleep for an hour and wake up and scream. So much that at six thirty in the morning when Edgar was leaving I gave up and nursed her. After nursing she was awake and I was tired and in pain. So Edgar took her with him to have breakfast so I could sleep. Then she hung out with her Abuela for about half and hour before I got up. When I did get up and drag my self to the living room it was only seven thirty but I apologized any way for making Rosa watch her. And then it happened, she said, “that’s okay, but I have to tell you that me and my husband work inside or not very hard, but Alex(what they call Edgar), works very hard and drives a big truck so I think you need to make River sleep all night. Maybe she should not sleep durning the day. And you should only give her milk in the morning”. Now I don’t react with anger but in my head I was like SERIOUSLY!! Don’t you think I would if I could? Don’t you think I know how hard he works? Do you know I’m sick? And then in real mexican mother form she reminded me that River’s nose was runny and that I needed to keep socks on her at all times.
Okay I am thankful that we have been able to live here rent free while we got our feet of the ground but soon we are getting our taxes back. When we do we are moving out ASAP and let me tell you, I will put River to sleep when I want and how I want, I will let her cry in her room at night if necessary, and if her dad wants to help in the middle of the night, I will let him. One other thing I will most certainly do, I will let her be naked if she wants and I will have a glass of wine while I watch her play.
At the beginning of this fall I fell in love with the father of my daughter for the first time. When River was conceived I was a spiteful sophomore looking for revenge from a girlfriend who was falling out of love with me. A month later when I found out I was pregnant I was scared. Scared I wouldn’t graduate. Scared about what everyone would think of me. Scared of the future. I had several people suggest abortion. Although I am prochoice, I knew my maternal nature couldn’t handle it. So I went forward with the pregnancy. Edgar, the father, agreed to be there. He was a student too so we knew it wouldn’t be easy. But we both had feelings for others so we stayed friends. Flash forward to after River was born and I was back with Britni, finishing my degree, and picking River up twice a week from her Dad’s. That was about as much as I saw him. Still I knew from our talks when I was pregnant that we had similar interests, values, and politics, plus we just got along. Never did we fight about anything having to deal with River. In fact if we ever disagreed he usually just told me his opinion and said that I should do what I thought was best. But, I put the idea of ever being together out of my mind. I was gay for God sakes and in a relationship with some one who thoroughly opposed Edgar and pretty much everything and anything to do with him. Including the mentioning River being half Mexican. Britni’s spite for him was a big turn off. It seemed to start to invade our lives. If I had changed right before River was getting dropped off then in Britni’s mind I was changing to look better for him. In the mean time I was realizing how unhappy I was in my role as lesbian house wife. I had to do pretty much everything because Britni was providing for us and she didn’t feel it necessary to help around the house. I slowly started developing feelings for this kind an gentle soul I had had an one night stand with. One monday I could stand it no more and after much council with friends I decided to tell him my feelings and see what he said. I walked in his house, sat down on his couch, and worked up the courage to tell him that I had feelings I could no longer ignore. We talked for nearly two hours about all of the possible outcomes if we got together. Finally I asked him directly if he would like to be with me. He said yes, and I kissed him for the fist time in the two years since the night our daughter was conceived. The next part was messy. I had to go home and break up with Britni. It was quick and painful. I will probably never forgive myself for doing that to someone. However after I left her Britni showed me that she was not the kind of person that I wanted to spend my life with because she never saw River again. In my eyes she was River’s mom. She was there in the hospital she called her her daughter and yet when I presented her the opportunity to still see her, she refused. She felt that it would be too painful. In my opinion it does not matter how painful something is you don’t abandon a child, any child, but certainly not one you consider to be yours. River will probably always have trust issues from waking up with a parent one day and having her be gone the next. I know I have to accept part of the blame for that but I think she is going to be better in the long run. Already in the three months we have been together as a family she has become a much happier child. Also in those three months I have fallen deeply in love with someone that I had previously written off, I have graduated from college, and moved in with Edgar’s parents in Dallas while we both look for jobs. Even though this all sounds crazy and super fast It has been the best decision I have ever made. If you ever have the opportunity to be with some one who completes you, dive in with everything you have. Although I have never been a religious person falling in love with my baby daddy has been a biggest blessing I have ever received.
Yes I’m gay, my girlfriend lives with me and River. It’s a long story. Britni and I started dating in 2010, we have had our ons and offs, namely the time when River was conceived, but we’ve been back together since August and are happier than ever.
That being said, although River’s Dad is a part of her life, Britni is as well, and River most definitely sees her as a parent. Britni shares the responsiblitlities of parenthood with me and I also consider her to be a parent.
We live in a Red State, a Very Red State. The Supreme Court Cases on Marriage Equality are important to us. I find it sad that in considering where to live after graduation I have to take into account that at home, in this state, I do not have the same rights as others and our family would be adversely affected by our staying here. I want to be near our family. I want Britni to keep her new job for more than a year but I want equal rights as well. It is sad that we may have to leave our home and family in order to receive these rights.
The thing that gives me hope is how fast the public opinion is changing. In our own lives we barley notice that we are different. That is a big deal. Even within this Red State we are treated the same as others. Never have we had an experience where anyone has said or done anything negative to us. Maybe we are lucky. But we are most definitely grateful for those who have come before and have experienced these things. We live our lives like normal people and don’t feel that we are different. In fact sometimes I forget. Until the news comes on and I am reminded that there are people who hate us because we are two people of the same sex who are in a relationship that happens to involve a child. Our child will never know anything but love. We will shield her from hate until she can understand that it is misguided. Hopefully the hate, that we have yet to experience, but we know exists in the world will not be there. Hopefully, by the time she can understand these things she won’t really have to. Hopefully no matter where we live she will have the joy of watching her Mom and Step Mom get married. But for now I am truly saddened by the fact that my home state does not really want me here, as far as laws are concerned. I also feel that even liberal media doesn’t know we exist. (Yes there are gay people and families in fly over country). Despite this, I have hope that someday I can really forget that we were once different than those opposite sex couples who enjoy benefits that currently, if married, we could not.
(if any one is interested check out my Girlfirend’s blog at, britnipeelphoto.wordpress.com and britnipeel.wordpress.com, she posts lots of pictures)
In the past week River has exploded developmentally.
It started two weeks ago when she cut her two front teeth and was no longer burdened by teething pains. Since then she has started saying “momma” and “Hi” more regularly, we think she may also have decided to call my girlfriend Britni “Ama”without any prompting, but the jury is still out on that one. Literally Friday morning she started army crawling and has gotten exponentially better in two days. We also have transitioned to baby led weaning instead of purees, as pictured she is eating some cheese. She is doing really well with table food and it is allowing us grown ups to eat our dinner too! It’s been a whirlwind two weeks, bring on the baby proofing!
This semester I was supposed to graduate, but I’m going one more semester. If everything goes as planned this time next year I will be a college graduate. What’s on my mind now however is what to do after that. I will have a BFA not the most lucrative of degrees but at least it is one. I will also have an 18 month old. So I will have to keep my what am I going to do now newly graduated unemployment period to a minimum. But I’m not sure what to do. I would like a career that at least requires a degree and at best has something to do with art. Then there is the grad school thing which I keep coming back to. Ideally I would like to be a professor. No matter what I’m going to have to deal with my issues with productivity. Anyway I’m not going to find the answer tonight and I have a year before it becomes an issue. There it is my stereotypical wtf am I going to do young person rant. Stay tuned more to come!
On New Years day River was officially six months old! It’s crazy how fast this happened. My best friend just had a baby and seeing the two of them side by side it is just crazy the difference half a year can make. As far as River goes, she still has no teeth (although I think there is one on the way) she was 26 in long and 17 pounds at her last check up, she can sit up and roll, and has mad separation anxiety–which is so much fun… She’s so big can’t wait for another six months!