"Coming Out as a Modern Family"
Coming Out as a Modern Family
By Maria Bello
When my 12-year-old son, Jackson, asked me if there was something I wasn’t telling him, I replied, “There are a lot of things I don’t tell you.”
He persisted: “What kind of adult stuff?”
This was the moment I had been anticipating and dreading for months. “Like romantic stuff,” I said, fumbling for words.
“What kind of romantic stuff?”
“Well,” I said. “Like how sometimes you can be friends with someone, and then it turns romantic, and then you’re friends again. Like with Dad and me. Or romantic like Bryn and me were, and then he and I became friends.”
“So are you romantic with anyone right now?” he asked.
I took a deep breath, knowing that my answer, and his response, would have an impact on our lives for a very long time....
...And we have figured it out together: Jack, Clare, Dan [husband], and I. It’s a rare weekend when we aren’t piled in the same car, driving to one of Jack’s soccer tournaments. Dan makes fun of Clare for getting lost and she makes sure he always has the umbrellas, sunscreen, water nuts and whatever else we might need in a nuclear disaster.
We have dinner together almost every night. As I write this, we’re basking in the afterglow of Dan’s 50th birthday party that Clare, Jackson, and I gave, which was attended by his family and mine and many other people I consider partners in one aspect of my life or another. It was a room of celebration and unconditional love.
Mostly, the four of us laugh a lot together. Jackson has gotten us hooked on “Modern Family,” and in each episode he tries to figure out if Dan is Phil or Jay and if Clare is Gloria or Mitchell....
So I would like to consider myself a “whatever,” as Jackson said. Whomever I love, however I love them, whether they sleep in my bed or not, or whether I do homework with them or share a child with them, “love is love.” And I love our modern family.
Maybe, in the end, a modern family is just a more honest family.
Maria Bello is an activist and actor whose most recent film is “Prisoners.”
Read the whole article (Nov. 29, 2013).