My sons have no ‘mother,’ but that doesn’t mean they don’t get to celebrate Mother’s Day. They just add prefixes to the word. They spend the day celebrating their two grandmothers and two surviving great-grandmothers, all women who have helped make their existence a reality.
Some mothers do not react well to having a gay son, or a lesbian daughter, but I am lucky enough to say my mother took the news well, though after driving me to extracurricular drama for close to a decade she might not have been overly surprised.
One of the final hurdles for even the most understanding mother is the expectation that a gay son likely means no grandchildren as gay dads is a fairly new phenomenon and not something most moms would have come across in their own childhood or even as parents to our generation.
Knowing that Peter and I wanted children, even if the actual how was still a mystery to us, I made sure my parents knew that grandchildren from me was still a possibility. (I do have two siblings, one of whom already has a child.) I also encouraged Peter to let his mother know as well. (Peter is an only child so if we were not parents then there would be no grandchildren for his parents.) Though it is possible they all thought we were dreaming.
But we weren’t and it did become a reality, and even earlier than we would have managed alone thanks to some financial support, followed by a lot of moral support from all the future grandparents.
Peter’s mother arrived in India with Peter shortly after the twins were born and stayed for a month before having to come back to Australia to work. My own parents would have been more than willing to come over as well, but Peter’s mother got in first.
We used Skype, photos and videos to keep my parents up-to-date, but while in India we couldn’t get the camera on Peter’s laptop to work for Skype chats so my parents would sit talking and singing songs to a blank screen so the boys could listen to their voices. They then were waiting at the airport when we arrived, drove us all to our house and spent the day looking after the boys while Peter and I slept.
Peter’s mum comes around about three times a week to see and look after the kids, basking in having grandchildren, and my own mother now has seven grandchildren, though only two are biologically related to her, but you couldn’t tell from how much she loves them all. I am grateful for their continued presence in our lives and cherish the love and care that they provide for me.
Happy Mother’s Day to my boy's grandmothers. Know that your love is returned in full and with interest!