Babies Are Magical, No Matter Where They Come From

, , , , , | Related | June 10, 2021

My parents are both female. For pretty much my entire childhood, I never questioned how two women could produce a child. I just assumed it was possible. Then, when I was ten, we had sex education in school, and I learned that two women couldn’t have babies.

So, the question was, whose daughter was I?

[Mom #1] was blonde and I had blonde hair, but everyone agreed I really looked like [Mom #2], and I had seen pictures of her pregnant.

I got really excited about the idea that my parents were magicians and somehow magically conceived and birthed me. So, I excitedly went home and eagerly asked my moms how they did it.

It turns out the sperm used to impregnate [Mom #2] came from [Mom #1]’s brother.

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And Then, After A Pregnant Pause…

, , , , , , | Friendly | May 13, 2021

My toddler and I are at a park with a good friend of mine and her toddler. We’ve been friends for almost twenty years at this point. We both want another child, and a couple of weeks ago we lamented to each other how we hadn’t had any success getting pregnant. Just yesterday, though, I took a pregnancy test and it came out positive. I know my friend will be happy for me but disappointed for herself, so for the hour we’ve been at the park, I’ve been trying to find a good way to tell her.

Then, out of the blue, as we’re pushing our toddlers on the swings, she says:

Friend: “So… I have some news. I’m pregnant.” 

She’d been having the same dilemma I had and was trying to figure out how to be sensitive to me! It turned out we were due two days apart and had both been pregnant but hadn’t known yet when we were talking about wanting second children. Our babies were born within a week of each other, and she’s my second child’s godmother. All our kids get along well, and we take family camping trips with them nearly every summer. I’m very lucky to have such a good friend in my life.

This story is part of our Best Of May 2021 roundup!

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At Least You’re Not Your Own Grandpa

, , , , , | Related | April 9, 2021

You know how some people say that they’re related to pretty much everyone in some way? My mother is one of them, and she’s actually not exaggerating when she says that. Nearly everyone in her hometown is her cousin or extended family. According to her, and corroborated by her siblings, it’s easier to count the number of people she isn’t related to than the ones she is.

Back during World War I, all the men in town were called on to serve the nation and defend France against the Germans. They all fought, and died, in the trenches. I’m not sure the exact number, but of the thirty or forty men that left, less than half a dozen came home in something other than a coffin.

Including my great-grandfather.

With the death of nearly 80% of the young men in town, there was a whole motherlode of widows and young women facing spinsterhood, and many families without heirs, so the surviving men got busy rectifying that.

My great-grandfather, in particular, was the most virile of the lot. He was married to at least four women at the same time. Seven wives is the most commonly accepted number, with nine as the highest. More, if the one-night stands and mistresses are counted.

He then proceeded to have nearly fifty children with them, which made up basically half of their hometown’s next generation. And when those kids grew up, they married the other half of their generation. That meant that, by the time my mother was born, nearly every other kid in town was her cousin.

She half-seriously told me that when we were at her hometown, she could point at a random person on the street, and chances were he or she would be a blood relative. In fact, she actually did that, after a night of drinking, and indeed, that person was her half-cousin once removed — her mother’s half-sister’s grandson.

All in all, I’m told that my mother has nearly two hundred aunts, uncles, and cousins. And if that isn’t enough to be related to virtually everyone in a town, then I don’t know what is.

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I Think I Read A Fanfiction Like This Once

, , , , | Romantic | March 8, 2021

I’m an out-and-proud lesbian. I left the closet at age six and never looked back.

My best friend and I have been BFFs since we were toddlers, and my parents basically raised him and me as siblings — to the point that I call him “Bro” and he calls me “Sis.” I always introduce him as my big brother and he tells his friends I’m his little sister. It helps that he has a passing resemblance to my mom and me.

Singapore has this really dumb law that property can only be owned by people above thirty-five unless they are married. My best friend desperately wants to leave his toxic family and never return, so he needs to get hitched as soon as possible.

[Best Friend] found himself a girlfriend in similar straits, and they agreed to marry after he finished his mandatory military service and saved up enough to afford a flat. My mom also agreed to give him a loan and conveniently forgot to mention any interest or fixed repayment date.

Alas, his girlfriend found herself a better deal with someone else and summarily dumped him about a third of the way through his service, leaving him with a broken heart and even more desperate than before.

He had a backup plan, of course, but it was fairly unpalatable, as it involved renting an apartment with three other guys, and the only people he could find to agree with that were either horrendously immature or slobs.

My BFF is lamenting this conundrum while having dinner at my place, when I decide to “propose” to him right then and there, with the idea that we’ll divorce after he gets a flat. It takes a bit of convincing, but beggars can’t be choosers. My parents have to sweeten the deal by promising a really generous dowry, but he eventually says yes.

We begin preparing to get married. We tell all our friends about it, which is where things get silly.

EVERY SINGLE ONE of them reacts with shock and disgust. “Oh, my God, but he/she is your brother/sister! Isn’t that incest?!” Even some younger members of my family react that way.

It turns out we’ve thought of each other as siblings for so long that we’ve never told any of our friends that we aren’t actually blood-related. And my younger family members — including my actual younger brother — genuinely never realised he wasn’t actually my brother as, since as far back as they could remember, we always told them [Best Friend] was my brother.

After a whole motherload of explanations, the two of us are sitting on my bed and looking dumbstruck at each other.

Me: “I never realised just how many people we told that we were siblings.”

Best Friend: “Yeah, that was awkward. In all fairness, Sis, you’re literally one of the last people I saw myself marrying, so we never saw that as an issue.”

Me: “Huh. For me, you were literally the only guy I even remotely considered marrying. But I see your point, Bro. Never thought we actually would get hitched. You being my sperm donor was obvious, but actually marrying? Nope.”

Best Friend: “I know. It’s one thing to help you have kids. But to actually marry you?”

He shakes his head and lets out a long sigh.

Best Friend:  “Anyway, thanks again, Sis. I owe you big time.”

Me: “Eh, what are best-friends-slash-siblings for? Don’t mention it.”

We hug.

Best Friend:  “Love you, Sis.”

Me: “Love you, too, Bro.”

We stay like that for a while before we let go.

Best Friend: “But after we get married, we absolutely have to introduce ourselves as best friends or a couple. Calling ourselves siblings just causes way too much drama.”

Me: “Crap. That’s not gonna be easy. I’m so used to calling you my brother.”

Best Friend: “It’s not easy for me, either. I literally cannot see you as anything other than my little sister.”

Me: “Same. God, this is so awkward.”

Best Friend: “No kidding. Ah, well, just have to knuckle down and do it.”

I groan.

Despite everything, we get married a year later. We have a beautiful ceremony, swear our vows, and kiss. And every single person that attends says that it feels weird.

Me: “I always wanted to be a bride. I’m one now, but this doesn’t feel real.”

Best Friend: “If someone had told me that I’d be marrying you, I’d have laughed in their faces. I can’t believe we actually are doing it.”

Dad: “I seriously can’t see [Best Friend] as anything other than your brother.”

Mom: “It feels like two of my kids got married at the same time.”

Aunt: “This is so weird. The two of you look like cosplaying siblings.”

Cousin: “Someone please get me some brain bleach. The two of you kissing just looks beyond wrong to me.”

Uncle: “I cannot take this seriously. The two of you look nothing like a couple.”

Homophobic Grandma: “I’m happy you married a man, as is only proper, but even this feels wrong to me.”

Younger Brother: “I feel so much like Tyrion Lannister right now.”

Me: “Noted. I’ll name our son Joffrey, then.”

[Younger Brother] gives me the most horrified look.

Younger Brother: “I was joking!”

Lannister jokes aside, our marriage was perfect. It’s been a couple of years now, and my best friend now has his own flat and is far away from his toxic family. Meanwhile, the ex that dumped him underwent a really messy divorce and lost the flat, stranding her back at square one with nothing to show for it.

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It’s All “Ohana”

, , , , | Related | March 5, 2021

As an “honorary” uncle, I am playing with my two-year-old niece one day when she decides to bring all her horse dolls out to play with. Two of them are about the same size while the third is noticeably smaller.

Me: “They could be a mommy and daddy horse and their baby horse.”

Practically the moment I say that, I realize I don’t want to imply that this is the only “right” sort of family unit, especially since my niece was conceived via sperm donor and so doesn’t have a father. Thus, I quickly decide I need to add some other suggestions.

Me: “Or maybe it’s a mommy horse, another mommy, and their baby?”

Niece: “You can’t have two mommies.”

Niece’s Mother: “Sure, you can! What about [Friend]? She has two mommies, doesn’t she?”

Niece: “Oh.”

Niece’s Mother: “Or maybe it’s a mommy horse, a grandma horse, and a baby horse.”

Until recently, [Niece] and her mother lived with her grandmother while their house was being renovated, so a mommy horse and grandma horse better describe their “family unit.”

Me: “Or maybe it’s a mommy horse and an uncle horse who came to play with his favorite niece horse!”

Our play quickly moved on to other things, but I’m glad I was able to catch my mistake in time to fix my original suggestion, and particularly thankful that my niece’s mother picked up on what I was trying to do and backed me up so quickly.

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