Yesterday was Elijah’s first day of school. There were many forms to sign. Several forms required the signature of both parents:
Mother’s Signature Father’s Signature
On each of the forms I crossed out Mother and wrote in Father. I did this not because I was trying to make a point or engage in an act of passive protest or even because I was offended, I did this because father and father is how we identify. I did this because this is who we are: we are not a traditional family.
Like an ever-increasing number of families in this country we do not fit the mold of mom, dad and 2.2 kids. If anything that traditional mold has been shattered by decades of divorce, familial reshuffling, and social restructuring. In what may be an actual example of irony, the traditional family is no longer traditional, having been replaced by unimaginable countless configurations: single mom, single dad, two moms, two dads, two moms and two dads, two dads and a mom, two moms and a dad, three dads, grandmother and grandfather, aunt and uncle, stepfather and mother, stepmother and stepfather, mom who used to be dad and mom who is still mom, etc.
Non-traditional is the new normal.
I’ve always believed that the best way to affect change is to just be yourself and lead by example.
Every morning my husband makes breakfast and every evening I make dinner and every night before bed we both kiss the kids goodnight. We are painfully boring. A family just like any other family — a family just like your family. The specifics may be different, but fundamentally we are the same.
Celebrate the non-traditional. Embrace the new normal. Change the form.