A Baba’s Day Proclamation

[Repubbed from its initial 2007 appearance, and with apologies to Julia Ward Howe.]

Whereas there have always been womanly men and manly women, and Baba’s in the latter camp, always has been, always will be, and we like it that way; and

Whereas people like Baba, even if they may constitute a minority of the general populace, constitute at least 50% of the parents in their family, when they’re parents; and

Whereas Baba is a wonderful parent whether or not she’s socially recognized or understood, but the truth of it is that things will be a heckuva lot easier for her kids if more people considered, ideally even appreciated, that the spectrum of gender, and therefore quite naturally the roles “mother”  and “father,”  includes a rich band of people smack dab in the middle; and

Whereas in some lesbian families — like ours — our donor chum remains just that: our donor chum, a Special Uncle of a donor chum, but a donor, not a daddy, and it’s Baba that plays the daddy role, for most intents and purposes, (to the extent parenting ever does split along two mutually exclusive gendered roles, which sometimes it can, but mostly it needn’t); and

Whereas, at least in our family, we like monotasking on these days and focusing all our attention on one parent at a time, preferring to spread out the love; and

Whereas almost all the stuff that people promote as appropriate gifts to be given on “Father’s Day”  are things that Baba would be delighted to receive anyway, though of course it’s the thought that counts, and she’s sure she could find something to do with yet one more tie; and

Whereas, because our family is headed by lesbian gals, we’re quite accustomed, as are all “minority” communities in a “majority” culture, to drawing on or even inventing our own traditions when those around us fail to speak to our lives (oh, like, we had a commitment ceremony instead of a marriage), and frankly, rolling up our sleeves and customizing the culture around us makes for a better fit anyhow, not to mention it’s tons more fun,

Be it resolved that henceforth, at least in our family, the third Sunday in June, celebrated in the United States as “Father’s Day,” shall be celebrated as “Baba’s Day,” with all the hoop-dee-dooing attendant thereto.



28 thoughts on “A Baba’s Day Proclamation”

  1. Many thanks, sister! We’re either going to sail a boat at the little boat pond in Golden Gate Park in SF, or make little Baba’s Day plates and mugs with the kiddles extremities embossed on ’em at the do-it-yourself ceramic studio in town. Either or both, depending on the prevailing winds of the dynamic duo (infant toddler). Either way it looks to be positively bucolic, since I will be sittin’ pretty being celebrated for doing my favorite job of the whole wide world.

  2. Thank you, Chris. We’ll spend a moment that day in respectful silence, praying that your winning the bidding war on the twinmakers from L,D! wasn’t a sign that you’re heading for double the fun!

  3. Thank you, sister Liza! It didn’t dawn on me that I’d get any hoop-dee doo-ing here, so hell-bent was I on spreading the Good Gospel to other Babas, should they be out there. But I am ever so grateful for every “hoop” and every “dee-doo”! (Or “woo hoo,” as the case may be!)

  4. Been lurking for a while, am poking my head out for just a moment to say Happy Baba’s Day! If it’s not too strange. I shall explain myself somewhat to take the edge off internet anonymity:

    I’m a teenager, *was* a high school student until yesterday’s graduation, and before I came out this past year was trawling the blogosphere desperately, looking for My Kind and perhaps some assurance that lesbianism wouldn’t consign me to some dreadful lonely life with cats and blaming the patriarchy and such. Not that I dislike cats, and I do sort of blame the patriarchy. All the more reason for my concern.

    But anyway, found your blog, and it was so interesting, and so funny, and so eloquent, and so *normal*–god, I just almost cried. Normalcy. Imagine that.

    I feel as though I’m awkwardly peeking into your family sometimes, and I hope you don’t mind, it’s just…so lovely. So happy, so positive, so healthy and normal. Gives me a lot of hope, and a lot of courage, and a sense of community that I just don’t have ’round these parts.

    Thank you, so much, for blogging; and again, Happy Baba’s Day.

  5. Snail, that made my Baba’s Day. Actually, it just made the web hosting fees for the past year and a half, and the countless late nights falling asleep at the keyboard worthwhile. You are humble, too: I just read where you were valedictorian at that high school graduation. Gives me not just hope, but confidence, about the future. Congratulations on the milestone (lordy was I glad to be rid of high school!), and thank you, very much, for sharing what you have.

  6. I can’t stop thinking about Snail’s comment (thank you, Snail, congrats on your graduation and valedictorianship). I know very few people who felt normal during high school. Those years are full of discovery about who you are and, it seems to me, there is an inherent dichotomy between establishing yourself as an individual about to become an adult and wanting desperately to belong. There’s real tension in that struggle and it can be very painful to go through that birthing of an adult from the kid that was. I certainly felt like a freak, and most people I’ve talked to felt the same way.

    Most of us, I think, end up finding that, freakish though we felt, there’s a place for us and people like us and other people who can see us for who we really are and respect it. Of course, some don’t find that, which sucks, I wish our society has a more core ethic of differences being OK.

    What’s f&#*ing criminal is that whole groups of people are told consistently loudly and clearly that their feelings and who they are are not OK and not respected. We are all told with everything from subliminal messages to overt violence that it’s not OK to be a teenager (or adult) who doesn’t conform to some phony irrelevant preconceptions about who you can love and about gender roles. Our teenagers pay the price for these lies. They pay the price if they’re straight. They pay the price if they’re butchy men or femmey women. But they particularly pay the price if they’re gay or lesbian or in some form outside of our pathetic little ‘models’.

    I’m glad snail has this blog to read. I’m glad my kids get to see and hang out with you, LD, every day. And I know that your gentle example and eloquent writing will help them and many others know the truth. That they get to be whoever they want to be, whoever they really are, and that that’s a great part of the fun.

    Happy Baba’s day, it was fun to be able to share a piece of it with you.

  7. Most excellent. I totally agree that there are parents who aren’t traditionally “mother” or “father” but some fantastic personal blend thereof.

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