I was thinking this morning of Cya having to deal with a new teacher:
“I wanted to talk to you about this picture of his family Yoshi drew.”
Horns? Tails? Cya’s worried for a moment; humans get so bent out of shape about these things, thinking they’re symbols when they’re just the way the family looks.
But no. She looks over the picture. Yoshi’s probably not a budding Picasso, as much as she’d like him to be, but it’s a pretty good representation.
“Yeah, that’s about right. That’s Yoshi and his brother Viddie – it’s Viðrou, that’s an eth, don’t mark him off for a wrong D when it’s not, please – those are my friends Howard, Leo, and Zita – she really is that short. Leo is Viddie’s father, that’s why he’s over there next to Viddie, and then that’s Leo’s daughter Sigruko and Zita’s kids Amy, Ariel, and Brandy. That’s everyone.”
“But the assignment was to draw his family.“
Cya aims a look of patient disparagement at the teacher. “You’re new here, aren’t you?”
All over America, from ’99 through 2011, kids in their early twenties are struggling with the system.
Acacia leans in close to the teacher. Her voice is low and full of menace. “Do not ever ask about my child’s father in front of her again. That is not a conversation she needs to hear. Do you understand?”
Orlaith sighs at the paperwork. “No. Ce’Rilla, with an apostrophe. Hunter-Hale, with a hyphen. Samael, not Samuel, a-e-l. Seriously.”
Aelgifu has dealt with the whispers and the strange looks, but it’s the soccer mom that actually comes out and asks that brings it all to a head.
“How did two lesbians end up with four kids before you even graduated college? I mean, it’s not like you can get pregnant by accident.”
She waits a heartbeat, then another, to see if the woman realizes how stupid what she just says is. When the woman flushes and stammers out something starting with “I mean…”, Ayla smiles reassuringly.
“At least you didn’t ask the kids.” There’s menace in her words. “And as to how: Io had Cecily before we were dating. Look up ‘bisexual’ sometime. She had Al right after we started dating, but you know, these things happen, and we worked through it. I had Niobe because we wanted a baby together, a kid that was ours. And then I had Siggie by arrangement with a gay friend of mine – twins, and he kept one, I kept one. It’s really quite easy.”
She smiles brightly at the woman and waits for her to go away stammering, happy at the lies and the honesty she’s managed to pile up together.
Addergoole grads raising their chins and looking in the face of people who call them irresponsible for being teen parents.
Addergoole grads refusing to answer questions about “but where’s the father in all this?” or “how could a mother leave her child?”
Addergoole grads not bothering to explain the complicated family trees and just explaining “they’re my kids.”
Or “They’re our kids.” Even if they have no kids in common, two people coming together after school and raising all their children as a family.
Addergoole grads struggling to be family when all the world sees is kids.
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