“I know Modern Family is just a t.v. show, but on the show did Lily really come from Mitch and Cam? I mean, was she born from them?” C.J.’s Brother asked as we drove to school one morning last week.
“No. They adopted her. People can have kids lots of different ways. When you make a baby from scratch you need a man and a woman,” I answered.
“Oh, cause I was wondering, cause Mitch and Cam don’t look Chinese.”
C.J.’s brother has been curious about sex and babies lately. Not only have we been peppered with questions about “the birds and the bees,” but also about “the birds and the birds” and “the bees and the bees.”
“Please just tell me how babies get out of your belly,” he said seriously, tired of the game playing. “And, DON’T tell me they get out through the belly button!”
“The doctor or nurse or midwife helps the baby out,” I said, as I’ve been saying for a while now.
“But, WHERE do they help it come out of?”
“WHAT?!?!?! Gross! I thought it came out of the upper-leg area,” he said making a sour-face and smile at the same time.
Ahhhh, to be innocent and think that babies escape the uterus via the thigh.
For as long as he can remember C.J.’s Brother has known that families come in all shapes sizes and gender/sex makeups. But, now that he is thinking about logistics, families that he’s known forever are sparking questions. Take our Facebook friends who are two dads with an adopted daughter named after two famous Hepburns, where’d she come from? She was adopted. Okay.
Families through birth? Check. Families through adoption? Check. Families through surrogacy and egg/sperm donation? No check.
On Sunday night, Oprah’s Next Chapter featured an hour-long interview with Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka. They were talking about “the new nuclear family.” My hubby and I watched that night and sat down with C.J.’s Brother to watch it the next day to show him a family that is different than our own.
“I know them! That’s Neil and David!” he said with a gigantic smile when their images popped onto the scream. C.J.’s Brother attended the world premier of The Muppets movie as the guest of Uncle Uncle who was the guest of Neil and David. It was a defining day in C.J.’s Brother’s life. He went to Hollywood, he had the pleasure of seeing a “hobo” (as he likes to call the housing-challenged), he walked the green carpet, he met THE Muppets, he got to see a movie before any of his friends could have possibly seen it and the day ended with an all-dessert after-party.
Oprah showed a clip from Neil’s days on Doogie Howser, M.D.
“Look, that’s Neil when he was first on t.v.,” I said.
“Wow, that must have been in the sixties….like when they had the first 90210,” he said.
“It’s not that old. I watched it when I was in junior high.”
Neil and David gave Oprah a tour of their house. C.J.’s Brother asked if we could get a magic room with a secret door like Neil Patrick Harris has. I told him he could get one in his house when he grows up. He was disappointed. I disappoint my children at least once a day. Today it was due to magic room envy.
Then Neil and David’s twins, Harper and Gideon, appeared.
“Ahhhhh, they’re so cute!” C.J.’s Brother said, quickly getting over our lack of a magic room. “Are they adopted?”
“No,” I answered.
“One of them was pregnant?!” he said pointing to Neil and David.
“No, a lady helped them have their babies,” I explained.
“That was really nice of that lady,” C.J.’s Brother said.
“It sure was,” I replied honestly.
C.J.’s Brother lost interest in the show once the twins were whisked away for lunch and nap-time. I watched a few parts of the sit-down interview again, cause I liked them so much.
First, I liked to watch Neil and David give Oprah an “aha” moment. Viewers watched as Oprah realized, thanks to Neil and David’s family, that same-sex couples have to really plan out having children. There are no accidental pregnancies with same-sex couples; their children are totally thought out, yearned for, planned for and accepted so gratefully with endless amounts of love. Same-sex couple pregnancies are never unwanted, no mistakes, no surprises.
How many people can say that they have given Oprah Winfrey an aha moment?
“What is your dream for your family?” Oprah asked them.
“I hope that we find ourselves in positions where they have the freedom to embrace whatever it is that they’re drawn to. I want to provide for them the opportunity for them to do whatever it is that they want,” Neil answered.
“Be their own person.” David added. “Because a lot of the time, we grow up thinking we should be something else. It’s so important that we tell these kids that they’re their own individual.”
The new nuclear family, has the same dream for their family that this mom has for her old traditional family. We didn’t come to be families in the same way, but we want the same things. And, to me, that’s all that matters. Thank you, thank you, thank you to Neil and David for being great people and parents…and, for being brave examples for my sons.