Tavi's got four grandmas

Updated Oct 12 2015
arielmstallings
The grandmas, they circle like vultures!
This is the story of what happens when two children of lesbians (each their mother's only child) have a kid. The short version of the story: picture a swarm of grandmas circling the baby like the world's most loving vultures.

The long version:
When Andreas and I first hooked up, one of our very first conversations was about all the similarities in our lives. We were both the children of liberal parents. Both our fathers are academics. Both our mothers are lesbians, and live on log cabins on islands — his in Montana, mine in Washington. As my 22-year-old self stood there in that nasty-ass warehouse on New Years Eve 1997, I thought, "That's funny. We have a lot in common."

Flash forward 12 years and here we are: married with an infant son. We still have a lot in common, and we still have our lesbian moms, who are now lesbian grandmas. Each of our mothers is partnered, and so that means our son has FOUR lesbian grandmas.

Since I'm an only child, Tavi is my parents' first grandchild. My dad retired two weeks after Tavi was born, and already has his weekly babysitting regime all set up. My mom (the retired midwife) seems to have been preparing for grandmother hood for the last decade, and her partner (a contractor) got preemptive on her grannyhood by helping us convert our walk-in closet to a nursery before Tavi was born.

Dre's got siblings on his dad's side, but he's his mother's only child and although she lives out of town, she's already come out for two visits. Her partner came with her for the second visit, and they brought their ukuleles (yes, they play) so that they could sing Tavi a song they'd reworked just for him:

I'm a little bit jealous of Tavi's four grandmas. I had a measly two grandmas, and one of them was mentally ill and disowned the family when I was 12. The other one lived far away and I only saw her once or twice a year.

My son, meanwhile, gets FOUR wise women who are excited to share their lives with him. My mom can't wait for him to be able to run around her commune. Her partner seems to already be scheming projects for them to work on together. My mother-in-law (who prefers to be called my "Outlaw Mother") is drawing out plans for a Tavi-friendly bunk house she's going to build out at her Montana lake cabin. Her partner, a dog-lover through-and-through, went so far as to call Tavi "little pup," which is the highest compliment you can get from a dog person.

Having four grandmas would be awesome enough, but four LESBIAN grandmas is even better! These aren't doily and tea cup grandmas. These are let's go hiking and build shit grandmas. These are let's hop in puddles and get filthy in the mud grandmas. These are let's use tools and work with wood and talk about American history grandmas.

I may be biased, but I'm starting to think lesbian grandmas are the best kind.

  1. I'm jealous of the four awesome grandmas. I am 12 weeks pregnant and my kid will have two INTENSELY traditional grandmothers. Both of them practically died when I told them I wasn't going to tell anyone the sex of the baby. They NEEDED to know so they could buy a boy stuff with trucks and dogs on it. And for a girl they would buy a whole bunch of pink shit with "PRINCESS" written across it. NO THANKS!

  2. Would you like to adopt me so that I can also have four awesome lesbian grandmothers? I would be glad to submit my resume for awesome older sibling πŸ™‚

  3. ""little pup," which is the highest compliment you can get from a dog person."

    I LOLd! I refer to my daughter as "my other puppy" when she's asleep on my back at the dog park.

  4. "Having four grandmas would be awesome enough, but four LESBIAN grandmas is even better! These aren't doily and tea cup grandmas. These are let's go hiking and build shit grandmas. These are let's hop in puddles and get filthy in the mud grandmas. These are let's use tools and work with wood and talk about American history grandmas."

    Except for the lesbian part this describes me to a T. So you don't have to be a lesbian to be that kind of grandma. I can't wait to be a grandma! And Tavi is one lucky puppy!

  5. totally jealous as well!! What wonderfully talented, wise women to surround your son's development, I would of loved, loved, loved to have grandmothers like his! He's certain to be so positively influenced by their love and attention!

  6. what a lucky kid! this is just more fantastic evidence that families come in all shapes and sizes and they are ALL beautiful. as more and more children of gay parents grow up and make their own families, the conservative arguments that marriage equality is "anti-family" will continue to fall apart.

    not to get all political on the adorableness.

  7. Lucky Tavi, I don't have any grand mothers at all. It's cool that both you and your husband have lesbian moms but that you also have contact with your dads growing up? If you don't mind me asking (and if you do, feel free not to answer); did either you or Andreas live with your fathers?

    I'm interested because I am genuinely interested in alternative families and seeing how people make complicated relationships work with grace and love. But if you feel that my question is out of bounds, please feel free not to answer. I mean no disrespect and I'm not trying to pry.

    • My parents didn't separate til I was in college, so I had a relatively het upbringing. Dre's mom has been with her partner since he was 12, but he split his time about 50/50 between living with then and his dad's family.

      • I'm impressed!

        My own family is so very dysfunctional (multiple divorced grandparents, one set of divorced parents and a strange immediate family dynamic), that I am always impressed when people make "non-traditional" arrangements work! Divorces in my family really mean divorces from the child too πŸ™

        It's awesome that all your sets of parents are involved in the life of your family!

  8. Straight tomboy grandmas are that way, too. 8) At least mine was, and my kids' will be. If any of my kids end up being football fans, they'll have to watch the Superbowl with Grandma.

    Tavi is definitely lucky to have not one or two, but FOUR of these awesome grandmas. πŸ˜€

  9. Aw man, as a queer girl that sometimes gets really worried about having kids in this somewhat homophobic world, this post gives me so much hope. πŸ™‚

  10. My husband only had two lesbian grandmas, but they were pretty awesome, too: Darth Vader glasses-wearing, cursing while driving, never let the kids win at Scrabble just 'cause they're kids Grammy, and lovely, patient, chicken-sandwich-making Claire.

    Extra Granfolk are awesome in general.

  11. My future kids will have four grandmas, but not because any of them our lesbians. Both my parents and my husband's parents, are divorced. So, his mom and stepmom, and my mom and stepmom. They are all very different and totally kick-ass in their own ways. I really regret that his parents live in Europe, just because I know what that means for being able to spend time together. They'll also have three grandpas! Lucky kids.

    Tavi sure is lucky!

    • Same here, except my little one has 4 grandmas, 4 grandpas, and 7 great-grandparents (still living)! I think it is pretty cool that my parents' divorce and my husband's parents' divorce actually turned into a blessing for our little one.

      Cheers to nontraditional grandmas!

  12. I am really jealous too! Tavi is going to have such awesome experiences while growing up. The love in that picture makes me kind of want to cry.

    I'm also super jealous of you too Ariel. Your support system is rock solid and honestly to me just so beautiful. You never have to worry about Tavi when he isn't with you and that must be such a blessing. All of my family lives 2 hours away and my husband's family is…lets just say less than stable. Whenever I leave my daughter with them I'm always so anxious and have recently come to the conclusion that it just isn't good for my nerves.

    I'm going back to school soon and now I have to tackle the issue of trusting a complete stranger with my daughter which isn't a bad thing – I was a nanny and I adored the children I watched. But it's just not the same you know. I know you already take time out to reflect how blessed you are but seriously four grandmas (and a grandpa) who adore your child is really just a massive blessing.

  13. I was once told (by someone that claimed to be my friend) that I'd make a bad parent because I am a lesbian. It is so good to read stories like this. Thank you so much for sharing.

  14. Unrelated to the lesbian grandmas, I would like to point out that the back of Tavi's fuzzy head looks very sweet and kissable. πŸ™‚

  15. Hey hey hey! What's with the stereotyping?? My Oma wasn't a tea-cup-and-doily grandma, and she *wasn't* a lesbian; at 60 she lived in the back of her truck on a tiny island while she build a small cabin to live in. And I will certainly be a non-lesbian "let's go hiking and build shit" kind of grandma (and mom!).

    Sounds like they are just kick-ass ladies, regardless of their sexual orientation. πŸ™‚

    • I know how you feel, I get a little jealous reading these posts too because our family is in no condition to be caretakers or really even role models for our kids. πŸ™ Big sad face there. We love them but they are pretty dysfunctional!

  16. Tavi has Alice beat–she only has two lesbian grandmas (though she does have five grandmas total)! They are both huge baseball fans, so I foresee a lot of baseball games in her future which are old hat to her cousins already.

  17. I love it! My tykes have 3 grammas – (2 lesbian grammas and one straight gramma) and 2 grampas. Tavi is a lucky grandchild indeed πŸ™‚ Great post!

  18. off topic, but I just sent a link to this story to a friend of mine. She saw the URL, and where it included the words "lesbian" and "grandma", and responded with: "That better not be porn."

    I hadn't laughed so hard all day. πŸ™‚ Just thought you guys would find that as funny as I did.

    • Right?! It's SO GROSS that when I initially started searching for lesbian grandma stories I mostly got porn. It's frustrating!

    • Sally, he's also got two very active grandfathers — one of whom I mentioned in this post babysits him every week.

      It's worth noting that he's got two more grandfathers than I had … both of my parents' fathers were dead by the time I was born.

  19. What a lucky lucky child! I only got to have one grandma. I can't imagine 4! What fun. I guess you'll have to have 3 more kids to go along with it – so each grandma can take one.

  20. My son has four grandmas: my mom, her partner, my step-mom, and my mother-in-law. All of whom live within 30 minutes of our house. The first month was a mad house, I tell you.

  21. Thank you so much for writing this. My two bonus sons now have my lesbian moms as grandmas along with 3 others (2 bio, 1 step) and it's refreshing and fascinating to see how other families are handling similar situations. Thank you, thank you, to the author and all of the commenters. It's great to know I'm not alone!

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