Heaven holds a sense of wonder….











My brother calls her his brother.

My mother is still trying to figure out which one of us is the “man” in the relationship. Surely, it can’t be me, because I’ll actually wear a dress and look like a girl once in a while. But then again, it can’t be her, because she thinks and argues like a woman.

She calls me a “lipstick tomboy,” a badge I wear with pride because it does sum me up pretty nicely. I love to get dressed up – if I’m Dressed Up. And even in my formal, I won’t hesitate to get down in the mud and play ball.

This whole butch-femme thing is kind of silly. The idea that one of us has to be girly in order make the balance work.

I’m not dating a man. I really have no desire to. So when my brother calls her his brother… something about that feels disrespectful. Even if she is ok with it, even if she does behave like a ten-year-old boy sometimes. Ok, a lot of the time.

But she has girl parts. She has a woman’s physiology. These are things I like. They are not her in her entirety, but neither is her ten-year-old boy persona.

All that said, I have to say, she does look good in her fedora and she rocks that vintage tie of hers that matches, and my heart flips a couple of times in my throat every single time she puts them on. I love going out with her, dressed to the nines, me uber-femme’d out and her all butchy.

I spent a very slow day at work yesterday trying not to think of her. Unfortunately, where I work is very queer-friendly and located in a high-traffic area, so we get lots of good-looking dykes walking in throughout the course of any day. And yesterday, there seemed to be more than usual. And every time a hot dyke would walk in, my mind immediately drifted over to Pickle. And wouldn’t leave.

I had visions of her in full drag (something I’ve heard stories about but not yet seen for myself), and private scenarios played themselves out in my mind, causing me to grin foolishly in a store full of customers, repeatedly waking from my reverie blushing and stammering apologetically to those looking on, trying to puzzle out what the hell was wrong with me. Couldn’t stop.

But honestly, six days out of seven (and probably more than that), those who know me expect to see me in cargo shorts and a ribbed tank top, maybe with a button-down work shirt thrown over it. Or jeans and a big hoodie. My hair is almost always pulled back out of my face, and if I’m wearing shoes, they’re likely to be her DC’s or my canvas Airwalks. I hate pink, and all my “girly” clothes (except for the really nice stuff) look like they’ve been worn by a girl who likes to play in the mud. And her uniform consists mostly of t-shirts or polos and jeans.

We both walk the line somewhere in the middle. She’s not a boy, and neither am I. I find her sexy regardless of what form she takes – as long as she’s comfortable and true to herself.

I’ve also been known to entertain visions of her slightly more femme-y (and even then, she’s still wearing jeans and a tank top), but I’ve seen pictures of her in a dress, and it’s not her. She looked pretty, but she didn’t look like Pickle, and it didn’t do a damn thing for me.

She might not be the girliest girl out there. Well, hell, neither am I. But there’s no man in this relationship, and my brother’s brother lives far away, and he sure as hell doesn’t share a bed with me.

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I write an awful lot about our relationship. I don’t write nearly as much about the kids. I think this is because, for the most part, I’m pretty secure in my role as Mom. The kids won’t up and leave me if I do something stupid, and, at this stage of the game, I’m pretty certain that I’m not going to screw them up too bad if I make a mistake. They’re little and little kids are experts at forgiving and forgetting.

This parenting thing in our house is kind of strange. I’m in some sort of awkward limbo between single mom and partnered-mom – I’m definitely partnered, but she’s only been living with us for a little over 6 months, and as far as the kids go, there are boundaries that are still being worked out.

Take discipline, for example. The kids love her and trust her unconditionally, and because of the nature of their relationship, she gets to be the fun one. She rarely gets mad at them, and when she does, they pay damn good attention. It’s nice because if I’m struggling with them and they’re tuning out Mom, all she has to do is say, “Hey, what did your mom say?” and it’s like magic. They can hear me again.

While it’s refreshing, because even while I was with their dad, I didn’t have this kind of support, it also sets up a potential good-cop/bad-cop dynamic that I would really like to steer clear of. So when it’s her boundaries that are being pushed, I’ve encouraged her to find ways to deal with it herself, to talk to the kids, rather than have me “handle” them. It’s been touchy at times. They’re my kids, I should be the one to enforce the rules, etc. At the same time, if we’re to be long-term partners, and if she wants to have her personal limits respected, they need to hear it from her at least some of the time that they’re pushing.

She is much more receptive to the idea when she’s not trying to sleep. (and usually, I go ahead and enforce her boundaries for her when she is trying to sleep – I mean, I’m not totally cold!)

The kids love her to pieces. They come home from their dad’s house, and the first thing they do when they see her – however cliche it may be – is throw themselves on her. She’s tackled and tickled and kissed and cuddled. And it all happens again at the end of every day, bedtime. And then at the beginning of the day, her bedtime. They can’t get enough of her.

This morning, my daughter, three, was distressed to found out WokkaWokka had gone to bed. (That’s the special name she came up for my Darling, henceforth abbreviated as W.W.) “I want someone else to make my breakfast! I want W.W.!! Not you!” Apparently she’s cooler than me, and she makes cereal better than me.

Sometimes she likes to play around with words. She’ll tell others, “We have kids,” rather than, “She has kids and I put up with the noise.” She’ll say things like, “Our kids are little shits sometimes, but I do love them,” which I almost always have to replay in my mind a couple of times to confirm the “our” presence in the statement. And she’ll never repeat herself. “You heard me. Shut up, leave me alone,” she mumbles with a sheepish grin.

She’s getting the hang of it. It’s not like there’s a lot of resources out there for people in her position though, which I find surprising. I’m trying to find some books – and I’ve got one title in mind that I haven’t read – that focus on lesbian step-parents. Because a lot of the step-parenting books out there are hetero-biased and subtle as it may be, it is hard to navigate around sometimes. And a lot of the lesbian parenting books out there focus so much on lesbians who were already coupled before the kids came along, rather than the other way around. And she could use some support, because it’s not always easy to be in her position.

And the kids… they love her, but they still can’t quite wrap their minds around who/what she is to us. My oldest, my son, knows she’s my “girlfriend”, and that we love each other a whole lot, like a lot of mommies and daddies love each other, which is cool but kind of strange because we can’t get married cuz only men and women can get married, right? Not too bad for a 5 year old. My daughter, she’s absolutely unabashed about sharing affection with her W.W., regardless of where we are or who’s around, which throws people off when she explains their relationship: “She’s my roommate.” Which stings Pickle a bit, because they’re so much more than roommates or friends, but, hey… the kid’s only three. She doesn’t have the language yet.

We’re lucky to live in a very progressive town with a same-sex registry. There’s another girl in my daughter’s class at preschool who has two moms. I don’t really worry about the kids getting bullied or treated badly for it – in fact, in a town like ours, it’s likely to be a popularity boost come junior high – “Wow, you have two moms? That’s rad!” Rebellion is encouraged around here, and having parents that are already breaking the mold, well that’s just bonus.

I’m sure there will be some jerk kids out there who will assume that because her moms are dykes, our daughter will be too.

And then there’s their dad – who’s a puzzle of his own. He identifies as a gender-queer cis-male. This may be a judgmental thing to say, it may not be socially correct, but it is based off of everything I know about him: I would not be surprised if he, in the next ten years, came out as transgendered and started living as a lesbian. He’s very zealous about trans issues, and I don’t think it’s just because it happens to be the current trend, the “cool thing to do” in the Radical Queer community right now.

And while it’s cool that he’s currently exploring his identity and I hope he is able to find happiness and comfort, I do worry about the natural bias of the outside world – even the LGBT community. It’s ok to be gay, and it’s ok to be lesbian. And once people start talking about trans issues, it seems like it’s ok to trans – as long as you’re female transitioning to male (FTM). But if it’s the other way around people start to get squirmy. I think it’s a reflection of society’s general underlying attitudes towards women – “Why would anyone want to be a woman?” It may sound extreme, and certainly, it’s not conscious thinking on the part of most, but it is worth examination, I think.

And my kids have two moms… maybe one day they’ll have three, or even four. I don’t think anyone around here would bully them for having two moms. I worry that, especially for my son, their father’s identity and presentation (he dresses in women’s clothing often) will create problems, and have my son branded a sissy.

But then again, he’s got two tough moms with a lot of fight in them…. and I’m learning – people are scared of pissing off lesbians!

Maybe that’s why people have always found me intimidating – they sensed my inner dyke…



et cetera