I have a 16 year old son. I had him the traditional way as I was married to a man for 16 years. If you’ve been following my blog, then you already knew that. My son splits time equally between me and his dad. 50% of the time he’s here with me and my wife and 50% of the time he’s with his dad, his new fiance and her 2.5 boys (one is grown and primarily out of the house).
I still live in the house that we moved into when my son was 10 months old. After our amicable divorce 5+ years ago, his dad found a new house not far away. I’m considered the residential parent because his dads place is actually in a different high school attendance area within the district. For that reason, my wife and I are slightly more involved in his school and activities life although his dad is very supportive.
What we have works for us. Other families with situations similar to ours – i.e. coming out of a straight marriage into a lesbian or gay relationship with kids – may be making it work just as well as we are, or they may not. What about the less traditional LGBT families with children and, especially lesbian couples with children? How do they cope when their kids are teenagers, becoming independent and, at the same time, questioning their parentage and wanting to know more?
The Lisa Cholodenko directed movie, The Kids Are All Right addresses those questions and more in a style that swings from romantic, to lightly comedic, to dramatic and back again. The leads, a lesbian couple played wonderfully by Julianne Moore and Annette Bening, are faced with both the normal longevity struggles in their own relationship and the new found desire by their 18 year old daughter Joni at the urging of her slightly younger teenage brother Laser to know more about and meet their father/sperm donor. Emotional upheaval and some internal confusion ensue as “dad” comes into the picture and disrupts the foursomes family life in numerous ways, good and bad.
I enjoyed the movie very much. I see it hitting home with a lot of families…even straight, blended families. My one complaint, without giving anything away, is one of a typical “suspended reality for the movie” type. One of the relationships that occurs in the movie is very unlikely to happen in the life of a life-long or long-term lesbian. You’ll know what I mean when you see the movie, and that’s all I’m going to say. Remember that it’s part of the plot-line and it doesn’t necessarily resemble real life in that one aspect and you’ll be able to enjoy this movie too.