Jessica asks:

Does Ruth still remind you of Ruth from the bible?

Haven’t thought about that in awhile! Honestly . . . no. I want to mumble something about steadfastness, which would be accurate if incomplete, but since I started the blog, Ruth has more or less cut her mother out of her life, which is pretty much the antithesis of the biblical Ruth.

Why did you pick the name Nora?

After the woman in A Doll’s House; my impression is that Nora is very much not what her parents expected, and that they wanted their only daughter to be a princess—a doll—rather than a butch lesbian. Nora has managed to become herself and maintain good relationships with her parents and brother, which I greatly admire.

Also, you said at one point that you were only planning to raise one child.  Do you still feel that way?

Well, I’ve gone back and forth for a long time. I most of the time have wanted to raise two children, and Mr. Book wanted to raise only one before Joey. Then we had Joey, and I wanted to raise only him, and Mr. Book was enthusiastic about parenting again—and both for the same reason—because we so enjoy Joey. He is so, so great that (as my husband keeps saying) how could we stop at one? Adding another child is rolling the dice again, which makes me a bit nervous. We’re living with my parents now, and they’re just crazy about Joey: What if our possum is more introverted and less warm, and they care for him less? But even when I was most wanting to stop at Joey, I thought about how much I love my sisters and want a similar experience for Joey, and about wanting him not to face it alone when we die. See how sentimental I am? But Mr. Book and I both plan to have one more child. Maybe in May. 😉

As the only man in Cricket’s life, do you think there are things Mr. Book could/would be teaching to Cricket that Ruth and Nora can’t?

This question right here is why it’s taken me so long to put these answers up. At first I was thinking that there are things Mr. Book would be teaching Cricket just because he is himself, and different from Ruth or Nora in ways that have nothing to do with gender; he’s funnier, and loves early rap (you’d better believe that Joey is hearing a lot of De La Soul), and spends more time outdoors. But then I read Playful Parenting, in which Cohen mentions that in studies, boys have been found to be more likely to (e.g.) play with a baby doll if they first see men nurturing babies; I resist this information, but boys apparently look to men in specific and gender-y ways to see what they should do, and what men do. I admit, if I had known this way back when, I would have tried to choose a gay couple instead of a lesbian couple; I thought it didn’t matter, and now I think that maybe it does matter. Not that lesbians cannot be fabulous mothers to their sons! And provide them with male role models, and so forth. But I am more and more believing that Cricket may grow up to feel the lack of a dad—not of parents, but of a male parent—especially since he has Mr. Book somewhere just out of sight, the tall person who seems to fascinate him. I said something vague one time about Mr. Book being Cricket’s only male parent—not a parenting parent, I was clear—and Ruth Flipped Out. I wonder how she would answer this question. (My guess: “No.”)

6 thoughts on “Jessica asks:

  1. I am such a fan of Mr. Book. He sounds like the sweetest guy. In an unrelated note, hope you aren’t feeling too much fatigue or nausea this weekend!

  2. The last question and your answer to it, I just have so much to say about it and I don’t know where to start. I have been asked and spent much time thinking about the opposite for my son, since he has two Dads is there some place in his life that I can fill that they can’t, is there something I can teach him or show him. Sometimes I think no, other times I think definitely, but most often I’m just not sure. I struggle all the time on the impact of J having two Dads may have on him. I did realize after my son was born that in some ways I was glad that he was a boy and that he would have these two amazing but very different examples of what a good man could look like, if he had been a girl I think I would worry more about the examples in front of her every day being male (which is more your situation). So I completely understand what you’re saying, but I also think no matter what family I picked for my son I would always have worries about the choice I made, and that’s how I make myself not obsess too much about it.

    • Yeah, the gender thing is something I honestly don’t spend a lot of time thinking about—until we have a visit, and I see how incredibly interested in Mr. Book Cricket is. Still, I read somewhere that sons of lesbians tend to be really empathetic and feminist, and that’s a good outcome however you slice it.

  3. As an adoptive parent in a 2 mom household, I know I have recently been feeling the lack of a Dad for my daughter. Not in some heterocentric way that every kid should have a dad because having 2 moms is weird or wrong, but just in the way that having a dad can be different than having moms. The picture in this post by Mama C. really brought this home to me. We don’t and likely won’t ever have a picture of our daughter’s father, and it is beyond unlikely that any of us will ever meet him. And I want that for her in ways that I can’t fully articulate.

    I really love these posts where you are answering questions. Great idea!

  4. I found my way here from there.. The comment here, inspired me to work out another post on the topic. This blog has really grabbed my attention, and brought me inside out in a way. Powerful thinking, writing. Thank you.

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