If you don’t already know, I have a nephew. He is 5 going on 6, very intelligent young man and very funny. When Frankie was born, I was home every weekend from uni possible to see him, we would spend hours, days together. Growing up I knew everything about him, favourite food, what tv shows he liked, friends he had, future goals. I would snuggle him on the sofa with In The Night Garden to get him to sleep and he would (unfortunately) play with my hair.
While we are away for chunks at a time travelling, we make up for it when we are home and spend as much time as possible with the kids. Frankie’s latest trend is asking questions and not just questions but labels, he wants to know who everyone is and what they are to him. I understand that and actually like to encourage him to ask questions because otherwise how does he learn right?
My niece Bella who is my other sister’s little girl earlier in the day called Frankie her brother, Frankie got mad as he knows that’s not right. She is only 3 and doesn’t quite understand those terms and who’s a boy and who’s a girl etc. Frankie likes to set things straight, so straight away told Bella she was wrong, not that she cared, bless her.
I will point out that I and Cora aren’t very affectionate people in public, not that we are afraid to be as such but it’s just not in our nature. So we have never really been affectionate in front of our families including the kids. Before meeting Cora, I was straight I had a boyfriend before and so took some adjusting for my family. In the beginning, it was out of respect to my parents for supporting me and not wanting to make anyone feel uncomfortable.
Cora and I have been together 4 years now and so for those 4 years Frankie has grown up with us together, none of the kids really no any different. We do a lot together, and by that, I probably mean everything together so there are very minimal times that we don’t visit the kids without each other. So they have always known us to be together as a pair.
Frankie is the oldest of the 3, then Bella and then Matilda. There has been the odd question when Frankie was much younger and we just referred to Cora as my friend. Though it wasn’t true he was very young and didn’t understand, I wouldn’t feel the need to tell any of them before they needed to know or wanted to know. I personally don’t think there is a need to know the label of who we are to each other, other than we look after each other.
Frankie was mad at his mum the other day because she was fixing Matilda’s dinner before Frankie’s as she is only 2. He then complained and said ‘ I wish you were like Auntie Helen, she does everything for Cora’. Which of course is a fantastic line, seen as though she does everything for him but it shows he sees more in us than 2 women together.
Bella didn’t know us apart so when she was 2 she knew us as HelenAndCora, not Auntie Helen and Cora. Which was highly amusing for some time and was nice to know it wasn’t a big deal.
The big reveal that I am in fact a lesbian came while in the car going to Asda Frankie was asking Cora if she was his cousin, of course, she said no. Next, he asked if she was his Auntie and Cora responded with ‘sort of’. He then pressed and said ‘ I know your her girlfriend’ originally he wanted to say boyfriend but quickly changed it as he knew that girlfriends are girls and boyfriends are boys.
So as he was being so polite and realistically there was no way out of it, we said yes that’s right.
Frankie’s reaction to that was ‘okay’… he then went on to talk about the news, cars and what car he wanted from Asda.
I think in hindsight making it into a big deal creates it into a big deal, whereas letting him come to it on his own was much easier and less confusing to him. Whether anyone has explained to him at any point or if he just felt like asking I am not sure.
I think the benefit of having Frankie love Cora like a best friend, Auntie and more makes all the difference. Just to see what great one-liners Bella comes up with now…