Aimee and especially Mishi shared some of the hardest words I’ve ever read, and I can’t even imagine the pain she must have been feeling herself. You might wonder, why am I still writing about Stella? I was that captivated, Mishi has a gift with words like no-one else I’ve read, not only did her blog chronicle Stella, but they chronicle her life too, the complex interactions that must go on as family members that are stuck in hellish pattern that would break the spirit of even the strongest person. Also, I think this posting, this retelling is cathartic, and though I feel ashamed (because I keep thinking how badly Stella’s family is hurting) I am grieving. This is my way of coming to terms with how a beautiful, wild, red-haired tot with chic-let teeth could be cruelly robbed of her faculties one by one, until she died.
Aimee and Mishi thought they had it all figured out, and as we finished up the second part in the Stellathon, we saw the birth of Stella’s brother that she named herself. Despite predictions that she surely wouldn’t be alive for his birth. She lived. The girl who lives! (if only she had been Harry Potter).
I found Mishi’s musings interesting as she described the life her and Aimee had envisioned in their heads:
From the time Aimee and I talked about having children, we always said we wanted two. Two felt manageable, two felt familiar (Aimee had one sister and I only had one sister until I was 16 and my brother was born), two felt perfect. We always assumed we’d have two boys. I’m not sure why, but that’s what we always talked about. While I was pregnant with Stella, we decided our sons names would be Evan and Finn or Evan and Owen. We didn’t find out the sex of our baby, so when Stella was born— a perfect package of red-headed, screaming, fury— and most definitely girl, we were a bit shocked. But we adjusted and were absolutely tickled with our red-headed imp. Then, when Aimee got pregnant just under two years later, we thought our dreams and our family were complete.
Oh but the best laid plans of mice and (wo)men. Perhaps fate wasn’t as cruel as they thought.
So, one month after Sam was born, Aimee and I decided to try to do an intrauterine insemination one time with the same donor sperm as we used for Stella and Sam. It was a crazy time in our lives. Stella was declining rapidly in the fall, Aimee was completely incapacitated due to her pelvic injury, we were living off of donation money, had volunteers sleeping on a mattress in our living room to help with Sam, and were eating off of the generosity of friends almost every night. We felt like we needed something happy to distract us from the chaos and stress of our everyday lives. We weren’t in a place where we could seriously think about having another child, we just needed something to look forward to, something positive to focus on. We decided to leave it up to the universe. If we were meant to have another child— this child— it would be, and if not, not.
Stella was going to be a big sister— again! No one believed it would be possible that little Stella would be alive for the birth of the third child in the Bruner-Methven houshold. As I read I was secretly thrilled, and terrified for her. How does one face a child that requires round the clock care? An infant, and… another infant on the way?? Frankly I thought Mishi was a total bad-ass. Brave. Strong. Beautiful. Amazing.
As you may have already gathered, the Bruner-Methven clan isn’t exactly into “typical”. I was immediately struck by the thought of this blog after I read today the Lesbians Raising Son article assigned. I had written a bit about the woman-wound, the feminist idea that women suffered at the hands of men in there life, so why/how/who would want to have a tiny dictator in their home? Here’s the essay:
In my opinion Well’s woman-wound relates directly to the fact that many of the hurts women experience in their processes of coming out or negative attention has come from men. With the birth of a male child comes the “intrusion” of what could be a dominant alpha heterosexual male, something most lesbian women have most likely spent a lifetime escaping, and suddenly, you now have a living breathing human being that belongs to that sex. Wells says, “The road to lesbian parenting has been long and hard. Many of us have come through tremendous anger at the male world to be able to embrace our sons with unconditional love (9).
Lesbian couples are forced to go against the grain of the nuclear patriarchal family dyad. These couples have struggled vehemently to define themselves in a world that is still skeptical and unaccepting, dominated by men. Are they then required to raise a male child up in such a way that he becomes part of the next generation of male leaders? Isn’t that a bit like allowing a fox into a hen house, having a male in the home that society will groom to be a typical male patriarch?
It is my opinion that it is a privilege to raise a son for lesbian parents, and society is better for it. Lesbian women know firsthand how harmful the “man’s man” can be. With this knowledge they can go in as parents and raise a new generation of caring and respectful men.
According to Wells, perhaps this raising of sons is not just selfish in trying to prevent further perpetuation of abuse or opression of women, but in fact, benefits the child themselves, “We also teach our sons a level of self-sufficiency and nurturance that is not found in patriarchal families. Our sons may cook, do laundry, clean, and knit. While this may seem to be a technique to ensure that they don’t tie another generation of women to domestic servitude, it is is also because of the high regard in which the lesbian community holds self-sufficiency. And is it not a gift to our sons to equip them to take care of themselves for the rest of their lives?” (11).
I wanted to address a little of what I alluded to earlier, about having stumbled upon Stella’s journey from a conservative christian blogger, and this article directly addresses some of the perhaps unfair criticisms that I share about the right wing blogging sector. ”
I wanted to address a little of what I alluded to earlier, about having stumbled upon Stella’s journey from a conservative christian blogger, and this article directly addresses some of the perhaps unfair criticisms that I share about the right wing blogging sector. “The right wing reacts to lesbian mothers with a vengeance for several reasons: w procreate without intercourse, we raise sons without men in the house; and we teach boys not to oppress women, to feel, and to live free of gender restrictions and homophobia. We are not raising the next generation of patriarchs, and the right wing is coming at us with the full fource of its power. The convervatives have conceded that queers may congregate, drink, dance, and work like dogs without the benefit of medical coverage for our spouses, but they are marshaling all their resources to stop us from going to the next level and creating long-lasting unions.with children as our focal point (13-14).
Stella’s family seems comfortable, Mishi’s sister Heather, is straight, but Aimee’s sister is also a lesbian. Mishi has a strong influence from her dad and family. I think perhaps this may have lead to them planning on sons, they are so comfortable in their identity. Stella’s Cousin Gracie appears with her two moms, one of which is Aimee’s sister.