Tuesday, May 29, 2007

did you say mother?

While SA is known for its #1 murder-suicide rates (ex or lover killing a partner/wife), we may soon have the designation of #1 state for murder-suicides of abusive mothers with children -

One mother hung her babies. Yes, hung them. With rope. In a closet.

Another used a stun gun on hers. Multiple times.

Still another bit her son repeatedly. Gave him black eyes.

My brother was arrested a couple of weeks ago and, despite the bond, was picked up last week because of the warrant out for his arrest - he is already on parole. His daughter, who looks surprisingly like me, is just gorgeous (not just because she looks like me). I wish, considering how he and her mother have been inconsistent, thinking of themselves more, etc, that I could have the baby to raise. I told my mother I would do it without hesitation.

More odd, I've had this incredible mother drive in me lately. I really do want another child. I don't want to have to make it because I think, given my situation, that would be an ego-based decision. Also, I don't think I could handle the physical demand - I had a hard time the last time around. Rather, adopting or being with someone with kids - those are things I'd really like to do.

And while I know there's no way in hell that it's fair to compare mothers, to pit them against each other, I try, harder and harder everyday, to be a damned good mother. At least once a week, someone will look at me with a questioning eye, or ask - outright - if my child is mine or where her father is. My child is getting asked the same question at her school - where, even at age 7 and 8, kids know the difference between "absent father" and "no father".

And for all the heavy-handed queer parenting surveys of the past, one thing is clear - queer parents are raising their children in increasingly diverse settings, teaching them to accept others, to see past preconceived notions and stereotypes. When asked about her father, my child will tell anyone - families come in all shapes and sizes - we just happen to be a small family of two living in a house of love.

No, queer families are not beyond the hideousness that is shown in the media. In fact, queer women/lesbians are made to feel even more responsible for any upbringing that is not excellent (I know - I carry the burden!). But, hopefully, given our attempts and desire to create family - our need to not be alone but to develop community - we may have the kind of support to avoid stories of broken children and broken families. Seems the straights can, once again, learn from us. Lord, let's hope we let them - division only makes for more of the stories linked here.

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