What We Create by Meg Keene I’m feeling weddinged out today. Just. Phew. They are tiring, weddings. But I still can’t get myself to wrap words around, well, my life right now. I have no notes from a marriage today. So I thought I would post something from the current inspiration folder of my brain. My current inspiration folder, blessedly, contains nothing wedding related. It contains things about being brave, about breathing into the belief, not the fear. It contains snippets of people working to build the life they want. It, frankly, includes a lot about world travel. And style. I like style. And it includes families – families who have found a way to navigate through the shoulds, and create what they need. People who have had the courage to hold tight to the core of who they are, as they allowed what their family was to shift and change. Almost exactly a year ago, I was starting to have tiny breakdowns about the wedding. The invitations were going out, and some people’s reactions were less than ideal. I was being asked about my bridesmaids, and about first glance pictures, and about all this stuff I didn’t want. And I was starting to hyperventilate. And when the feeling of there being no air got to its worst, I would watch this Our Labor of Love Slideshow – Aly and Elroi’s wedding. Over and over and over again. And slowly, I would start to breathe again. What I wrote last year was: Maybe it’s because I’m a visual person, or maybe it’s just because I’m a little slow sometimes, but somehow these pictures slammed me over the head with what should have been really obvious: I can do whatever feels right to me to do, and still stay EXACTLY who I am. So this year, when I saw pictures of Aly & Elroi and their baby (I knoooowwwwwwww…..) it loosened up something else in my chest. It made me breathe easier. It made me feel like I had permission to make our family whatever it needed to be, and do it however we needed to do it (babies in closets most definitely included). Because no, I’m not pregnant, but I am thinking and thinking and thinking. Thinking about what I need, thinking about what we need, dreaming. After I saw these pictures, I was lucky enough to email with Aly. We talked about how important it is to expand the notion of what a family can be, for all of us. We talked about how family equality is as important as marriage equality – and not just for LGBTQ people, for all of us. Because the brave and radical acts of redefining and reclaiming families and marriages, that the LGBTQ community keeps doing, over and over, in face of all of our laws, and discriminations, and judgments? That radical act of bravery continues to free us all, one hyperventalater at a time. But I’ll leave you with Aly’s liberating words: I went into parenthood knowing I’d do some things differently from my parents and peers partly b/c of my sexuality and politics and partly b/c I’ve always tended to feel more comfortable with non-mainstream choices. But, my oh my, I had no idea just how different my choices would be and how much my making different choices would affect others. From where my baby sleeps to what he eats to what he plays with, not to mention how he got here–every single decision is wrought with so much controversy. And people feel offended if you go a different route than them. It’s bizarre. The first year of my son’s life has been a sort-of decision-making and assertiveness-building boot camp. It was exhausting at first and eventually enpowering. But fear not, parenthood, like marriage, is what you create. And that holds true for all of us, and all of our families: kids now, kids later, kids never (and eff that – partner now, partner later, partner never). It is what you create. Photos by the blindingly talented Our Labor Of Love Meg Keene Founder & Editor-In-Chief Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.