Categories
Family LGBTQ+ Polyamory

What A Children’s Book Got Right About Representation

Representation matters. We all know it.

I’ve mentioned it in other posts. It’s a part of my why. It’s important for others to see and be seen. In all areas. It’s why we have a push to feature more girls/women in STEM careers. Why having LGBTQ+ and BIPOC members elected to our government is so powerful. It’s why I shared my excitement over 2 small cities miles away from me that are now recognizing domestic partnerships between more than 2 individuals.

There are so many blogs, websites, and social media accounts devoted to polyamory and other ENM relationships. But in fictional media that representation is lacking. A lot.

Representation in TV & Film

Movies and tv shows try. But they usually fall into harmful or downright wrong stereotypes. Books tend to mostly skip us over, unless you’re into science fiction or high fantasy. And it’s not because the demand isn’t there. Search through any polyam group, or even ask google, and you will see so many requests for recommendations on good polyam storylines. A read through those lists or comments nets you the same ones over and over. A good polyam movie? Profession Marston and the Wonder Women. A good polyam book? Stranger in a Strange Land. A good polyam show? Crickets. Some episodes might be shared from a few popular shows. Or you’ll hear about series featuring polygamous families, like Big Love or Sister Wives. But it’s mostly crickets.

The problem with some of these suggestions is that they are not the healthiest examples. In the cases of Big Love and Sister Wives (and others like those two), they feature polygamy. Or more specifically, polygyny. This is not the same as Polyamory. It does and can fall under the non-monogamy umbrella. But it is more associated with those who hold more fundamental religious beliefs. Other suggestions feature their polyamory in less flattering ways that include cheating or affairs, as well as other red flag practices that those in the community hate. (I’m looking at you, The Good Doctor.)

Representation for Kids

And when it comes to children’s media? Forget it! We are starting to see more stories featuring or about same sex parents. Which is great! Kids need to see their families represented in the media they consume. It’s just as, if not more, important for them than it is for us grown ups. But what about those kids who have multi parent families?

Enter A Color Named Love, by M. Ellery & illustrated by Clara Reschke.

my copy of A Color Named Love, fresh out of the package.

You guys, this book is so cute! I first heard about it months ago when I came across the kickstarter campaign for it. And have been anxiously awaiting the day it would be ready for purchase. That day came this month, and I quickly snatched up my own copy.

A Short Review

It is the story of a little girl named Anna, who wants to know about Love. Through her eyes, we meet the grown ups that form her family. There are 4 of them, and each one shows her a different side of Love. You see the world in a myriad of colors through Anna’s joy and wonder.

The representation in this book is amazing. It is not obvious or obtrusive. But it is woven into every page. There are families of every size, shape, and color. There are little doodles nodding to polyamory or proclaiming Love is Love. And the entire book is illustrated in this beautiful soft rainbow motif.

Seriously you guys, I cannot say enough wonderful things about this little children’s book. The author and illustrator have created a beautiful story. And given representation to so many kids growing up in a polyamorous family. I encourage you to go buy a copy for yourself, and to talk to your local library about obtaining their own copies. You can shop for A Color Named Love here.

If you’re craving a little more adult polyam representation, you can check out my resources page.

You’re Turn!

Let me know what you think below. Is there a kind of polyam representation you would like to see more of? If you’ve read A Color Named Love, what did you think of it? Do you have other books/movies/podcasts you’d like added to our list?

Categories
Family Polyamory

We’re Dating Again and the Kids are Alright

“Girls, your dad and I are dating again.”

“Yay!”

“And we are also going to be dating other people.”

“Ummm…”

That’s about how it went when we told our girls (Sass and Crumbs) that we were going to be Polyamorous.

Questions popped up of course. Some just logistics (Will we get to meet them? Where will we be if you’re both on dates?) Some plain old curiosity. And some – the big ones – were all about reassurance. Do you still love each other? Will you still stay together?

Pretty sure the divorce played more into those questions than our new dating arrangements.

All we could do was show them that this was going to be a positive experience for all of us. We were open and honest about everything. No surprises. Everything was right there on the table before anything happened.

We kept our normal routines. And made new ones when (finally) we were all under the same roof once more. We talked about dating, about new people we were talking to. We answered more questions. Kids seem to always have an endless supply of them, no matter the topic.

Dating Again

The biggest test was when I started going on actual dates. Lovey had dated a few times already. He was living in another city (we were long distance for a little bit there) so it wasn’t as in their face. Not to mention, they were (and still are) Momma’s Girls. And now there was, potentially, a new man coming into their lives taking up more of my time and attention. And was Dad really okay with this? Yes, of course he was. We had talked about it for so long by then that it was no longer a question for us. But, understandably, it was for them.

Even with all of the talking Lovey and I had done, it was still a little weird to start. I had maintained for a while that I wasn’t really interested in dating anyone. Which slowly evolved to not interested in dating men, to maybe just the right man. Enter Boyfriend. Lovey met him after our first date. And they hit it off, as I knew they would. (And let me tell you, nothing will point out your “type” faster than polyamory!)

Boyfriend & Bats

The girls insisted on meeting him right away. So, with Lovey’s blessing, Boyfriend came to pick me up for our first date, and we all walked around the block to the sitter’s. They were mostly quiet, as is their nature around new people. They asked a few questions, made a few comments. But mostly just observed. Boyfriend, to his credit, let them lead.

Lovey had had a few dates with different women over all this time. And then he met Bats. And they fit right into our life as if they had always been. They stepped in with Munchkin, helping to wrangle or cuddle depending on the mood. They reached out to Sass and Crumbs, offering friendship and a safe space.

The Kids are Alright

The girls’, for the most part, have simply accepted it all with grace and minimal complaining. Any mention of dates or any displays of affection has been met with the obligatory eye rolls and resounding sighs of “ugh, grown ups dating.” And for that, we are so grateful.

We were open from the get go with them. There were no dumb or off limits questions. They could meet our partners when they were ready. If they were uncomfortable, they said so. We listened. To concerns, to questions, to whatever they were thinking and feeling about it all.

And now… It is their normal. Munchkin has never known any different. We are a polyamorous family. And that’s just the way we like it.

Did you have to “come out” to your kids? How did they handle it? How did you? Share below! And don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss out on new posts!