We live in a four bedroom house with a wrought iron fence and a small green lawn. We have a pool and a deck with a gazebo in our back yard, where our beagle plays with our two kids. There is a shiny convertible Ford Mustang parked in the driveway and right behind that is a hardworking Dodge pickup truck. Our house looks like a typical suburban home.
My children get good grades at their Christian School. They’re happy, intelligent, and responsible. At the end of their long day being typical teenaged girls, our children care about the community, their friends, their pets and their family. For the last ten years, the four of us agree that our favorite time of the week is Sunday mornings. My bed is our church. We pile in and snuggle and laugh and catch up on our week; the twelve year old, the thirteen year old and the moms.
We met in 1989, while we were in the eighth grade. Neither one of us can remember exactly how we became friends. We were from two completely different sides of the tracks. I was a loud mouthed bruiser. My mom was an addict who had me when she was fifteen and I’d never met my father. We were always on welfare and never had food in the fridge. Her parents were older and still married and their family lived in a big house. They ate dinner around the table every evening. In spite of all that, we were drawn together with an unexplainable strength.
We didn’t always have romantic feelings for each other, although at a very young age, we were committed to taking care of each other. I offered her protection from bullies. Once we were friends, whoever picked on her got their asses kicked. Every day that she packed her lunch, she’d make sure that there was enough for both of us. Sometimes, the lunch that she’d pack for me would be the only thing I’d eat that day.
Taking advantage of my mother’s addictions, I was very promiscuous and by the time I was fifteen, I had slept with over twenty guys. I straightened up as I got older and ended up getting married and having a daughter. She was a virgin until she was eighteen, but had countless crushes on guys at school. She’s never been married, but was in a serious relationship with a man that yielded a daughter. Neither one of us had ever been interested in girls at all, especially not each other.
Our romantic disinterest changed dramatically on Cinco de Mayo in 1998. We had gone to a party at a local Mexican food restaurant and had been drinking. We were out on the restaurant’s patio enjoying the live mariachi music and the gorgeous weather of the evening. There was only enough room for people to stand and we were all standing very close. She and I were face to face, eye to eye, and when she laughed I felt her breath on my cheek. For a split second, I thought “I could totally kiss her right now”.
While there are too many good times over the last eleven years to logically expand upon in this forum, they did take place. If there is one thing the pair of us would like people to know about our relationship, it would be that we transcend the nametags placed on people based on who they have sex with. Our relationship goes past “straight” or “lesbian”. It is true and deep and loving on a spiritual level. Of all the things I love about my partner, the fact that she is female ranks lowest on the list.
Our family is stronger and more “normal” than many traditional families. We face many of the same challenges that any family with teen girls might face. Our girls are boy crazy and don’t understand why they can’t date until they’re sixteen. They like going to the mall and having sleepovers. Some challenges are unique to our situation. There is an element of privacy that verges on secrecy with regards to explaining to teachers why the four of us have lived together for so long. That conversation will likely get a little stickier over time, because it looks like none of us have any plans on changing our perfect little family.