Family of Me

by Daphne
Updates Mondays and Fridays

Scene 136: Feeling Out Family

(I sit in the living room of my apartment, watching a younger version of me parent a young child while my partner is off running errands. Sitting with me are Bloom, Kay, and Lark, watching alongside me.)

Mom (Me): I see you’ve all decided to revisit my parenting memories too.

Lark (The Dreamer): Yeah. I think I’ve seen this one already, actually? We’ve all revisited memories from all throughout your past by now… This time feels different though.

Kay (The Friend): I feel like we have more context for these memories now. Now that we’ve met Twyla, they feel less…

Lark: Dreamlike.

Kay: That’s a good way to put it, yeah.

Mom: I think that makes sense. Writing about these memories brings them back into focus for me, in a way. I’ll feel things that I didn’t take note of the first time through… You know, when I lived it. Or when Twyla did, anyways.

Bloom (The Survivor): I think we wanted to experience that difference too. Besides, this is a good chance for us to really focus on those parts of your life with you. It helps all of us feel connected, you know?

Mom (content): That’s the goal, after all. How’s that going for you girls, anyways?

Kay (unsure): To be honest, it’s been a little weird lately.

Mom (concerned): How so?

Kay (pensive): Well… You’re our mom, right? You found us, brought us into this headspace, and nurtured us into a family. So you’re definitely our mother.

Mom: I can’t argue with that.

Kay: But then our eldest sister comes along, and she’s explicitly The Parent. Being a mom is kind of her whole thing, but… It doesn’t feel like we have two moms.

Bloom (annoyed): It doesn’t help that Twyla completely rejects the title of “mom.” She steadfastly refuses it, and she doesn’t think you should use it either.

Mom: To be fair to her, coming to terms with being a mother took me a long time once I’d transitioned. A couple of years, honestly. I don’t think it will take Twyla quite that long, but it’s still a process.

Lark (thoughtful): We’re happy to give her that time and grace, but her being The Parent still feels strange. She’s The Parent, but not our parent? There’s a certain dissonance there.

Mom: The way I see it, Twyla’s parent to our child out there in the world outside our head, and I’m mother to all of my children here inside our head. So we’re both parents in different ways, and parents to different people.

Lark: That makes logical sense, but it still feels off somehow. Just like it feels a little odd for Ivy to call you Mom, it feels even stranger to expect Twyla to do it since you two are so close in age.

Bloom: It feels off to me too… Though I’m not really sure what to do with that feeling.

Mom: I’m happy to talk about it. Talking through our feelings is kind of what we do here, after all.

(Silence hangs in the air for several moments.)

Bloom: I don’t know if there’s anything to talk about, honestly. To me it just feels like a sort of vague unease, like a hunch or suspicion that hasn’t coalesced into a complete thought yet.

Kay: Maybe it would be worth keeping that dissonance in mind though? It doesn’t feel like it’s going to go away anytime soon.

Mom (pensive): Maybe our family needs to be restructured a bit.

Kay (unsure): Restructured how, though? I don’t think our roles are going to change… I feel pretty comfortable as The Friend, and I’m sure my sisters feel the same.

Lark: For sure; I’m still comfortable as The Dreamer.

Bloom (focused): Honestly, being The Survivor feels a little grim… At the same time, I’m glad I’m The Survivor. After what I went through, I earned that role.

Mom: I hope it’s not too much of a burden.

Bloom (smiling): Not with your support it isn’t!

Mom (happy): I’m glad you feel that way. Regardless, when I say “restructure the family” I don’t mean trying to reassign roles. I mean changing things like Twyla being your sister, or me being your mom.

Bloom (worried): But you are our mom! I don’t want you to not be our mom.

Mom: That’s a relief to hear, since I quite like being your mother. It feels like “mother and child” is a paradigm that really works for us.

Kay: I agree with Bloom; you being our mom works for me too.

Mom (reassuring): To be clear, I don’t want to change things that are working. At the same time, I think we could lean harder into the concept of found family. We’re all queer girls, after all; found family is our bread and butter.

Lark (smirking): Not to mention this is literally a found family.

Bloom (happy): Yeah mom, you found all of us!

Mom (content): I’m glad you asked me to go looking, Bloom.

Kay: I like the found family framing a lot, actually. I’m with you on trying out different family arrangements… Maybe we will find one that fits us better.

Lark (encouraging): I think we will! Maybe we’ll find the right approach this time.

Mom: I don’t know if there’s a right approach… Just approaches that feel more or less comfortable. Besides, I get the feeling that we’re going to keep growing and changing as long as we’re alive. There’ll always be another thing to learn; a new way to broaden our horizons or deepen our understanding of ourselves.

Bloom: As long as we can grow as a family, I’m excited to keep striving towards our true selves.

Kay: I’m with you on that, sis.

Lark: As am I.

Mom (smiling): I’m glad we’re in agreement, girls. We’ll figure this out.