Prop. 8: A Mother's View
No: Are our families that different?
By MINDY J. BLUM
To the woman dropping off her child at elementary school and driving the 1999 green Honda Odyssey with the "Yes on 8" bumper sticker: I noticed you this morning, when I was dropping off my son. Your car is my car's twin, except the bumper sticker on mine says, "No on 8." So I've been wondering about you and your life. Is it really different from my life? Are our values really different? I prize commitment and fidelity. My spouse and I have been together for 24 years. We have two children, a dog, a cat, 2 guinea pigs and a mortgage I try not to think about. No matter what I'm doing, some part of my brain is always tracking how much milk there is in the fridge.
I wonder about your life and your spouse. How long have you been together (assuming you're married)? Do you have trouble tending to your relationship while wanting to be so present for your children? How old are your kids? What grade is your child in? Mine's in fourth.
Tell me, do you dread all of the gluing and angst that comes with the fourth-grade build-a-Mission project as much as I do?
How much of your waking time is spent thinking about how you raise your children and the sort of people you want them to be? Do your children complain about going to religious services on the weekend, like mine do? Do they say, "Are you kidding me?," like it's a surprise, rather than your weekly routine? Do you have parents that you are also looking out for? Are you sometimes divided between the kids and your folks?
At the end of the night, do you flop onto the sofa, exhausted? And do you — finally — now that the kids are in bed, look across to your spouse for that kiss, that moment of support, or maybe you just say, "Can you pass the remote control, honey"?
So, Ms. 1999 Green Honda Odyssey Woman with the "Yes on 8" bumper sticker, this July 27th I got to marry my spouse, the woman I've loved since I was 21. Surrounded by my closest family — and I'm fortunate to include my in-laws on that list — and our dearest friends, our children got to hear our clergy utter the words, "by the powers vested in me by the state of California" and ... finally... our family's reality (namely, that our lives are the same as everyone else's) became legal reality.
When you and I are working a booth together at the spring fundraiser, discussing those funny sounds our Odysseys make, I pray that I will still be married and that you will have helped. Because, in truth, you will see that our days and our lives are the same: on the surface, we may be paying bills, buying groceries, and helping with homework but, at the heart — at the very core — the richness in our lives comes from our love and devotion to family. Please vote "no" on Prop. 8.
Mindy J. Blum is a clinical psychologist who is currently working as a stay-at-home mom in South Pasadena.
As a journalistic aside, I note that this article was submitted to the OC Register but published, without checking with the author, only on the paper's website. And, alas, it seems likely that the only people who read Prop. 8 arguments on a newspaper's website are those who've already made up their minds. The same goes for ads on YouTube instead of regular television. The web is a great communication tool, but it doesn't encourage the same stumble-on-it access of traditional media.