Archive for the ‘same-sex parents’ Category
Cynthia Nixon’s fiancee has given birth to their son.
The ‘Sex and the City’ actress and her partner Christine Marinoni, 43, welcomed son Max Ellington Nixon-Marinoni into the world on Monday, their spokesperson has confirmed.
The representative said: “Christine and baby are doing great.”
No further information has been given.
Cynthia, 44, has two children, Samantha, 14, and eight-year-old Charles, whose father is her former boyfriend Danny Mozes.
”Maybe I’m just lucky, but I feel like Christine is so amazing with our kids – because they’re our kids. I feel like falling in love with her is part of being amazed at how she makes our family so much better,” said Nixon.
Cynthia and Christine started dating in 2004 and announced their engagement in 2009
Posted January 31, 2011on:
Thanks to my official photographer and unofficial BFF Jen Frankovitz for capturing the event with her artist’s eye.
Julianne Moore, a mother of two, commentedin an interview that same-sex couples may make better parents because their children are planned.
“You know what else is really nice, is if you’re in a same-sex relationship, you can’t have a kid by accident, so these children are planned and loved and wanted, well-educated and well-adjusted — and that’s what you want,” she said.
That’s what we’re all here for, right?”
A few commenters on gay sites and others have had a lot to say about this interview. Some have highlighted Neil’s remark that he did not feel an instant connection with the babies, “Everyone said, ‘When you see them, you’re going to look into their eyes, and you’ll never feel love burst forth like you feel …,’ and I’m like, ‘Not so much.’”
Nay-sayers have alleged he does not have natural fatherly feelings because he is gay. Ironically, the sentiments he expressed are common for many new parents — female, male, straight, gay — who have feelings of guilt and disappointment over not forming that initial magic love bond. As one commenter aptly put it, “It’s normal, it’s not a guy thing, it’s not a gay thing, it’s a new parent thing and it’s common and it’s a good thing for celebs/public figures to talk about it to counterbalance all the messages that say it’s wrong to feel that way. Lots of parents take some time to bond with their infants.”
Personally, what I thought was more interesting is that he talked about how his partner David Burtka had twins with another man before he met Neil, and Neil made the point that David raised the children for two and a half years, but, “He was not their father.” So I guess in his mind biology makes a father.
I was thrilled recently to attend the one-year anniversary party for The Next Family, a wonderful site that enlightens, enriches and inspires with its portrayal of an array of loving families of all types. Founder Brandy Black, whom I meet at the LA pride parade of ago, has been an incredibly energetic and positive-spirited force that has made the site a success in all ways.
As the site has grows in followers and contributors (which I am proud to consider myself one), it grows in depth, richness and significance. More and more diverse families are created everyday, and The Next Family provides a place for information, support and belonging.
Congrats to Brandy and all those who have helped to build the site and make it the terrific destination for families out there!
Here are a few pics from the party, atop the glamourous Hollywood Tower Rooftop.
My partner and I were shopping yesterday at Target in West Hollywood with our three-year-old son when something happen that could only happen to a LGBT family.
We were buying some decorations and favors for a Halloween party we are hosting for the kids in the neighborhood, and we were having a delightful time picking out multi-colored flashlights and jack-o-lantern treat buckets, but the shopping trip turned ugly when our son wanted every bag of candy in the Halloween aisle.
A smart boy, he learned long ago how to Houdini out of the safety straps on shopping carts, so it has become a regular challenge to keep him seated in the cart. After he stood up in the cart several times, and we firmly told him to sit back down, explained to him that it was dangerous, that the store manager would tell us to leave if he didn’t sit down, yadda, yadda, yadda, we finally warned him that if he stood up in the cart one more time, he would have to go with Mommy to the car and wait.
Always testing, as three year olds do, he stood up. That was it. I plucked him from the cart and plopped in on my hip. “Ok, now we’re going to the car.”
He turned to my partner and called to her to rescue him. “Momma, Momma. Take me. I need you. I want Momma!” In solidarity with me, she told him, “No, you have to go to the car with Mommy, because you didn’t sit in the cart.”
I carried him, kicking and screaming all the way to the elevator to the parking garage. The whole way he screamed, “Momma, Momma. I want Momma.”
The other people in the elevator starred as I tried to calm down the desparate child in my arms. I gently reinforced to him, ”Next time if you sit in the cart like a good boy, then we can stay.”
All the way to the car he threw a fit and wailed for “Momma.”‘ Slightly embarrassed, I grimaced at the people trapped in the elevator with me and this squirming, screaming child. As I crossed the parking lot two men were following me. I stopped beside my car and was fumbling to find my keys in my purse when one of the men approached me. In a quiet but demanding tone, “Can you tell me, where is his mother?”
I realized that he thought I was not this child’s mother, and that he thought I might be kidnapping him. I took a deep breath. “I am his mother. He has two moms. We raise him together. I am ‘Mommy,’ and she is ‘Momma.’ That’s why he was calling for ‘Momma.’ “
Still unconvinced, he stood watching me while my son screamed even louder because a threatening looking stranger was looming over his mom. The man was wearing (no lie) Bermuda shorts, socks and sandals. He definitely did not look like he was from our part of town. Possibly a tourist, maybe from the Midwest.
“I want to make sure nobody is taking him who shouldn’t be,” said the man, his friend stepping in closer.
“I appreciate that,” I said, “But I am his mother. I gave birth to him. I raise him together with his other mother.”
Here I was in a parking lot telling way too much information to a total stranger, and I was stunned at the idea that someone could think I was a kidnapper. After all, I was in West Hollywood, gay central. Surely this man had heard of two women, two moms, having a baby together.
I tried to sooth my son with, “It’s’ okay, it’s okay,” as I opened the rear door of my car to put him in the carseat. The man wasn’t budging. I supposed I could have asked my son to tell the man who I was, but the way my son was throwing a fit who knows what he might have said. What could I do? I had already told the man my life story in 20 seconds. I focused on loading my son into the car, but with two men staring down his mom — and by now my heart beat racing and me exuding shaky nerves — my son was completely rattled. He refused to go into the carseat.
I decided it best not to escalate the scene. “Come sit up front with Mommy until Momma comes, OK? You can honk the horn.” Finally, my son heard something he liked. Saved by the horn. He quit crying, and we went around to the driver’s side where I sat with him in my lap and shut the door.
“Just one time,” I told him. He tooted the horn. The men were still standing behind my car. Now, because of the horn, other people were looking at us. On the passenger seat floor I spied the bag of candy that we had just gotten at the Westside Families Halloween party at Plumber Park. Ironically we had just left a scene where two same-sex parents were the norm, and it was the odd heterosexual couple at the park who joined the festivities who felt a bit like the oddball. A Tootsie Roll sucker! Normally the one piece of sticky, sugary candy that he’s normally forbidden. I handed it to him for a guaranteed distraction. He quickly unwrapped it and stuck it in his mouth. Peace and quiet.
After about a minute, the men walked away.
I sat in the car with my son not sure what to think. Part of me was glad that strangers would step up to make sure a child was safe. it was a like an episode of that hidden-camera show, “What Would You Do?” where actors play out some sort of unfair or dangerous social situation to see if passersby will intervene. Then again, the incident was a reminder of the assumptions some people make and their ignorance about alternative family structures.
In the end, I decided I was glad that the men had approached me. If someone really had been abducting my son, then I’m glad someone risked their own comfort to approach a stranger to find out what was really happening. Also, the confrontation gave me the opportunity to educate the men about another family formation. So maybe next time they see two women with a child they will consider that the women might not be sisters, friends or co-workers but maybe they are, in fact, both the child’s moms.
All in all, a happy ending.
Posted October 16, 2010on:
Nosey Nellies are always asking lesbian moms inappropriate questions, like “Who’s the real mom?” While we may be tempted to say something snarky and sassy back, Steven Petrow, the author of the forthcoming book, “Steven Petrow’s Complete Gay & Lesbian Manners” (gaymanners.com), says polite, direct and even humorous replies will get us further when these gay gaffs occur.
“Silence is an option, but the truth is that a reply of some kind is hard to avoid,” says Petrow. “Good manners often demand that you rise above the occasion—and the intrusion—and treat the questioner with respect, trying to curb any irritation you may be feeling.”
Petrow gives the following guidelines for responding to the three most-often asked questions of lesbian moms.
Q: “Who’s the real mom?”
A: What this person is trying to find out, is, who between the two women parenting your kid was the one to give birth. Feel free to reply, “We’re both her moms,” even if that results in a puzzled look. Repeat as necessary, but gently. Some straight people still don’t get the idea that Heather can have two mommies, so it falls on us to educate them along the way.
While it’s true that the law in many place does not consider the “other” mom or dad as a legal guardian, polite manners doesn’t make such distinctions because blood ties don’t make one of you more of a parent than the other.
Of course, being the mother in a lesbian couple who hasn’t actually given birth to your child may make you the lightning rod for questions about the legitimacy of your role in your family—sometimes even in the eyes of other LGBT folks. Dealing with such attitudes in your community, school or workplace can be a major source of discomfort if not handled directly and consistently by both parents. One especially challenging situation is in-laws who don’t think of you as their grandchild’s other parent but rather the girlfriend their daughter happens to live with.
Q: “Who was the sperm donor?”
A: This is another personal and quite irrelevant piece of information that you may or may not decide to provide information about. Assuming you even used a sperm donor, as opposed to adopting, you can simply say, “We’d prefer to keep that private for now—that information really belongs to our child. We’ll wait until he’s older and tell him what he needs to know.” Another favorite nosy question along the same lines is, “Do you know if the donor has other kids out there?” to which you can say, “The process was really quite thorough, and we have all the information we need, thanks.”
Of course, an outsider’s overzealous interest in a sperm donor’s identity could signal anything from simple nervousness or curiosity to disapproval of your family. Instead of jumping to conclusions about that—if you generally don’t know which it is—one strategy is to simply make a point of reemphasizing your family makeup, at every opportunity. Be extra-clear by using phrases like “our family” or “our kids” with friends and strangers alike.
Q: “Who is the father?”
A: This is asked of moms with babies and pregnant women alike. But it is perhaps especially annoying when addressed to a pregnant women because it reflects so starkly the naïve assumption that all pregnant women are straight.
Of course, pregnant women of all orientations have long borne various invasions of their privacy, and neither you nor I am about to change any of that. But it is inappropriate behavior.
Whatever answer you come up with to this question, remember that you can’t change people’s preconceived notions overnight. But there nothing wrong with saying, “I’m sorry, that’s my business,” or joking, “Are you saying I’m fat?” even though it’s a non sequitur. If you want, try a more genuine explanation, such as “I used a sperm bank and, by the way, I’m a lesbian.” Your questioner might think twice the next time before asking another pregnant woman the same question. And you would have done your duty for the day in coming out to someone new.
Check out these and other guidelines to handling just about every queery that comes up in our lives and subscribe to the ”Queeries” newsletter at www.gaymammers.com.
Posted October 13, 2010on:
Fun, games and activism were the order of the weekend at the annual Families in the Desert event, as sponsored by Family Equality Council on October 8-10 in Palm Desert, Calif.,
Held at the Embassy Suites Palm Desert in Palm Desert, Calif., the event, now in its fifth year, resembled a summer camp for LGBT families, where family meals, pool games, movie night, BBQ and s’mores, an African animals safari and other activities brought together 60 families from San Diego, Los Angeles, and across the West Coast to meet other families like theirs, enjoy fun family activities and learn how to get involved in their community and make a difference in the lives of LGBT families.
At the annual State of the Movement address, Family Equality Council executive director Jennifer Chrisler updated families on current laws and policies affecting LGBT families and the efforts by FEC to lobby for fairness for our families. Christer urged parents to become activists, even though she understands why many parents are hesitant.
“There’s a tendency of LGBT parents to want to normalize our lives for our children. We don’t want them to experience thier childhood differently from other children who do not have LGBT parents. But then we are forgetting our jobs as parents, which is to make the world a better place for our kids,” she said.
Family Equality Council is living proof that charity begins in the home, as the group continues to grow in size and stature as the number of LGBT families continues to grow. Currently FEC boasts a staff of 14 and an annual budget of $2 million, earning Chrisler and LGBT families a place at the table with the heavy hitters of the LGBT movement as issues of LGBT parents and their children become part of the mainstream of the LGBT movement.
Next weekend my partner and I are headed to Palm Desert to part-tay, with sippy cups in hand. Our three-year-old son will be along too as we join an estimated 60 LGBT families October 8-10 for some wild GLBT family fun, including rubber ducky races and a wildlife show, all part of Families in the Desert, sponsored by the Family Equality Council.
It’s still Palm Springs though, or at least the vicinity, so our first stop will be the pool at host hotel Embassy Suites Palm Desert, but instead of dykes with Nerf footballs and boy-shorts, the scene will be tykes in swim diapers and floaties. After fun in the sun, there’s family trivia, followed by a great big gay family dinner and karaoke and dessert. It reminds me of the family vacations of my childhood, if my parents had been gay and all their other parent friends were gay.
Times, they are a changing, and this refrain is echoed by the choice of Family Equality Council to host their event for the past several years in Palm Springs, home of the Dinah and the White Party. Just like their choice of Provincetown for the annual Family Week in August, it’s a sign of the times that our community’s adult playgrounds are now the playgrounds for our children.
“It is important to FEC that we hold events in communities that are welcoming and supportive of the LGBT community. We also want them to be accessible to large populations of LGBT parents,” says Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of FEC.
Chrisler, mom of twin boys with her partner Cheryl Jacques, is a regular fixture at all of the events, ever playing the host and making everyone feel at home. If charity starts in the home, so does community, with Chrisler as the indefatigable super mom overseeing her amazingly efficient staff and a top-tier team of volunteers who put on these regional events as well as a series of fundraisers and community-building events around the country.
As someone who’s been to more galas, awards dinners and community networking events than I can shake a plate of chicken or an Absolute cocktail at, I vouch that FEC holds some of the most organized and entertaining events out there for the GLBT community, and it figures a mom is running the show.
This upcoming weekend includes programming for both kids and adults, including educational sessions on topics such as battling homophobia, dealing with gay bullies and the process of adoption. Chrisler will lead a keynote workshop entitled The State of the Movement with an update on the work FEC does to forward its mission of ensuring GLBT families are recognized, respected, protected and celebrated.
Other activities for the whole family include a family BBQ, storytelling and s’mores, a special screening of the film “Expecting Mary” www.expectingmary.com at The Living Desert Museum, a safari tour, and a Wildlife Wonders Show of the animals of the African Desert. Teens and ‘tweens will have their own meet-and-greet mixer, chaperoned of course. Leaving no detail unattended, FEC provides free babysitting by professional child care providers so that parents can attend adult sessions.
It’s no wonder that families come from all over the country, and even as far as Australia, to come together with other GLBT families at these events for affirmation, enrichment and inspiration to make a difference in our children’s lives.
“We hope to deliver an event that our families value as an opportunity to strengthen their ties to the LGBT parenting community and a place where they continue to learn from each other how to navigate the journey of LGBT parenthood,” said Chrisler. “It’s also an opportunity to see old friends and meet new ones and enjoy some much-earned time off with your family.”
I know I speak for the rest of the grateful GLBT parents when I say, “Thanks mom.”
For more information, go to www.familyequality.org/desert
Family Equality Council Hosts Annual Families in the Desert for LGBT Parents and Kids
by K. Pearson Brown
Typical busy mom, I usually don’t get to out to movies until the ones I want to see have left the big screen. So nearly a month after The Kids Are All Right hit theatres, I finally got a night off, got a sitter and went to the ARC Light in Hollywood to take in the very first major feature in history to star two leading ladies playing lesbian moms.
Lesbians can make strange bedfellows, as in the case of Annette Benning’s “Nic, short for Nicole, a serious and practical physician, and Julianne Moore’s “Jules,” her hippie chick partner who is still finding herself at middle age.
This lesbian “Darma and Greg” mismatch have stuck it out for 18+ years, during which time they each used the sperm of an anonymous sperm donor to conceive a child, and now their daughter Joni (Mia Wasikowska), 18, and Laser (Josh Hutcherson), 16 are coming of age.
Seeing a lesbian odd coupling that beats the odds is affirming and inspiring, especially considering they would have met and started their family circa 1991, when planned lesbian families were rare.
Of course, lesbian mom pioneers or not, this couple falls into some of the same traps as heterosexual couples. With apologies for revealing the plot to those three or four lesbians who have not heard what happens in the movie, Jules winds up in bed with the sperm donor, played by Mark Ruffalo.
At first the affair threatens Nic and Jules’ relationship, but in the end it becomes a catalyst that leads the two lesbian lovers to realize and return to their true love for each other.
While the story of Nic and Jules is intriguing, as a lesbian mom, the narrative of their children resonated more for me.
The scene that most affected me was when Vic and Jules’ 18-year-old daughter, Joni, sarcastically snips to her moms that she will keep up appearances, despite the fact the family is unraveling, in order to preserve Nic’s ideal of their “perfect lesbian family.”
These words hit home as they brought up the looming issue of how children in LGBT families are effected by having gay or lesbian parents. The reality is that our kids will be different than most other kids because of their family structure, and our kids will have to come out, as if they themselves are gay, throughout their lives. Some may be teased at school. Some may feel deprived of a having a relationship with both their biological parents or being raised in a traditional, heterosexual-mom-dad household.
It is true, that life at times will be hard for children in LGBT families. But it is also true that life will be good for them. Joni and Laser are like other kids in most ways, and Nic and Jules are like most other parents. By meeting their biological father, Joni and Laser come to appreciate what their parents Nic and Jules mean to them. While their family is not perfect, and their moms do make mistakes, and as a family they have ups and downs, in the end, well, the movie’s title says it all.
A couple of years ago one of the major mommy magazines ran a short feature on Cat Cora with nary a mention of her partner or the fact she was raising her children in a two-mom household, but Working Mother was anything but mum about the topic in their recent cover story on the out and proud lesbian and only female Iron Chef on Food Network’s Iron Chef of America.
The article featured a family photo of Cat, her partner Jennifer and their four boys. In a Q&A format the story covers everything from Cat’s coming out to her IVF adventures with Jennifer and their arrangement of having each other’s eggs transferred into the other mother so that they gave birth to each other’s biological children, except for the one boy who they don’t know who is bio mom because they mixed their eggs.
Thanks Working Mother for coming out with such a wonderful, honest and inspiring story of an accomplished working mom who happens to be gay.
Posted September 10, 2010on:
Saw this post on Mombian which is several months old but timeless! Ok, so my partner and I are not on the list, but we feel pretty powerful each time we say no to chocolate ice cream at 8 o’clock at night.
POV (Point of View), the award-winning PBS documentary series, is proud to present POV Adoption Stories, three acclaimed films about international and domestic adoption, airing on PBS from Tuesday, Aug. 31 – Tuesday, Sept. 14.
The films explore the challenges of adoptees forging new identities while holding on to their cultural roots. The award-winning film Off and Running, a story about lesbian parents raising a multiracial family, will air as part of the series on Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 10 p.m. (check local PBS listings) In addition the TV premiere, POV will be streaming Off and Running in its entirety beyond the broadcast, from Sept. 8 – Dec. 7 at www.pbs.org/pov/video to commemorate National Adoption Month in November.
Off and Running, by Nicole Opper, is the story of Brooklyn teenager Avery, a track star with a bright future. She is the adopted African-American child of white, Jewish lesbians. Her two brothers are black and Puerto Rican and Korean-American. Though it may not look typical, Avery’s household is like most American homes — until Avery writes to her birth mother and the response throws her into crisis. She struggles over her “true” identity, the circumstances of her adoption and her estrangement from black culture. Just when it seems her life will unravel, Avery begins to make sense of her identity, with inspiring results.
Nicole Opper (Director/Producer)
Nicole Opper’s filmmaking credits include producing the Emmy-nominated “The Killer Within” (Toronto International Film Festival, Discovery Channel), “Sacco and Vanzetti” (Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Winner of Best Historical Film by the American Historical Society) and the Here! network’s five-part documentary series LSS. She was selected for Filmmaker magazine’s annual list of “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2009 and for Heeb magazine’s list of “100 Jews You Need To Know About” in 2008.
Off and Running was an Audience Favorite Finalist at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival, winner of the Jury Award for Outstanding Documentary at Outfest, Best Documentary at the Milan International Women’s Film Festival, Best Documentary at Philadelphia QFest, winner of the SILVERDOCS WGA Award for Best Documentary Screenplay and winner of the Audience Award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival.
Opper is pursuing a master’s in media, culture and communication at New York University’s school of education. A Brooklyn resident, she is currently a Fulbright Fellow in Mexico, where she is in production on “The Ipo Boys” (working title), a documentary about an innovative group home for abandoned youth.
Watch the trailer and find out more about this film at www.pbs.org/pov/offandrunning.
On our way to dining and art walk adventures last night, we went by Crown & Anchor, one of the landmark gay bars of P’town, where Family Equality Council set up Family Week headquarters, but alas we were too late and they had wrapped up registration for the day. We had planned to go to the family beach picnic and campfire, but with high winds whipping up, and us feeling daunted by the prospect of finding where to catch the Provincetown shuttle to get us to the Truro beach point landing, we opted to pass on what would have been our first official Family Week activity. Better luck tomorrow.
Again, best of intentions. Our itenerary had us up at 8:30 am and heading to Family Week’s Little Gatherings for Little Ones, arts & crafts, games and a bounce house for ages 4 and under. Perfect! But at 8:30 rolled around, Stephen was still snoozing, so we set our sights on the next scheduled activity at 10 am.
Stephen finally awoke around 9 am.
After several trips to the breakfast extravaganza at our B&B, feeling replenished with fresh fruit and warm muffins, we set out on our day-two mission: get a stroller and get to Ptown High School for the 10 am to 12 noon Rainbow Friends Activity Time for ages 3 to 8. On a tip from our friends who we had met last night, we went looking for Arnold’s bike rentals, where we heard we could rent a stroller. Already temperatures were souring to the 80s with high humidity. Not only was the weather not good for hair, it was tiring to be out in it dragging around a preschooler who would rather run into the street and pick up and throw rocks every few steps. Hot and sticky, we trudged onward, slowly but surely. Only the slowly part went very slowly, partly owing to a short stop for Stephen get a balloon hat from a man entertaining children from a bench in front of Town Hall. Before we could get to Arnold’s, we realized we’d missed half of the activity time, so we detoured straight to the high school to catch what we could of the program.
The high school was a beautiful classic old building, the kind you’d see in a movie set in a stately old New England town. The staff who greeted us were friendly and helpful in guiding us to the room for 3 year olds. We stopped off first in the auditorium, which was dark and cool. Kids on the stage were laughing and running around, playing a game with the staff, all outfitted in orange T-shirts. As we found at every Family Week sponsored event, everything was impressively organized and orderly.
We placed Stephen in a room with about 15 other kids his age who were being supervised by half a dozen orange-shirted staff who were keeping them all happy and in line with games, crafts, songs and other activities. We stayed and watched for about 10 minutes, ever the overly protective parents, and when we realized Stephen had totally forgotten about us, we crept out to the parents’ program downstairs.
Family Equality executive director Jennifer Chrisler was speaking on several subjects: State of the Movement Address; then Talking to Your Children about Being in an LGBT Family; followed by Schools and Our Families with Stephanie Hazen and Tricia McCarthay, two experts on the topic. It was a standing-room-only crowd, so we stood outside the doorway to catch what we could of the program, which again, was highly organized and professionally presented.
After the program let out, we headed back to the activity room where Stephen was enjoying a rousing chorus of Ring Around the Rosies. We signed him out (again, the organizers had the entire process down to a science), and went on our way into town, finally got a rental stroller and strolled to the Crown & Anchor for lunch. We figured we should patronize the restaurant/bar since they had been so generous to host Family Equality’s registration for the week, but honestly we did not expect much in the way of cuisine. We we were very pleasantly surprised that our lobster mac-n-cheese and lobster lunch (when in New England…) would be the most delicious meal of our visit! We also had a terrific server who brought us a cup of Crayons upon our arrival for Stephen to draw right on the table, covered with a paper roll.
After lunch we swam in the Crown & Anchor pool which was open to the families attending Family Week every day leading into a daily family happy hour at the bar! The scene was like any resort pool, crowded with kids and parents, except on closer inspection one would notice all the couples were of the same sex. Completely wholesome.
After lunch and swimming, it was nap time. Back at the inn we rested up for our next adventure, a guided sunset tour of the dunes. When we booked our tour we learned just how unaccustomed P’town was of pint-sized tourists. None of the cars in the fleet of Chevy Suburban’s at Art’s Dune Tours www.artsdunetours.com had a child car seat. Thanks to the kind folks at Dorel, makers of children’s gear, we accessorized one of the trucks with a hot pink Cosco Scenera car seat ($59.99, Target) which not only provides a secure ride with a 5-point harness and a clear view with an up-high profile for tiny travelers but is also ultra lightweight and comes with its own plastic carry bag which makes it perfect for air travel. Art, the owner of the tour company took one look at the bright pink seat and declared, “It’s perfect for P’town!”
Off we went for our off-road tour experience through the heart of the National Historic District of the Cape Cod National Seashore Park. There we saw the majestic dunes where our guide pointed out the “dune shacks” where famous artists and writers like Eugene O’Neill and Harry Kemp became inspired to create their art. We also passed the remains of the Peaked Hill Life Saving Station and learned how the brave “life savers” enacted their heroic efforts to save the lives of thousands from the doomed shipwrecks.
The climatic moment of the tour was the sunset, for which our trucks pulled over near the shore for us to enjoy sitting on the beach. Some of our fellow tourists brought blankets, picnic baskets and wine. Stephen was unimpressed as we watched the sun dip into the Atlantic, preferring us to chase him into the water where he would shriek and run away as the waves crashed. We didn’t mind his shenanigans, as it was a great way for him to burn off energy before our dinner at a fine dining restaurant.
After landing back at Standish Street where our dune tour dropped us off, we hurried to get to dinner at the Waterford Inn, Cafe & Tavern (386 Commercial Street, 508-487-6400, www.thewaterfordinn.com) where we were already late for our 8 pm reservation. The host was gracious about our tardiness and seated us with a smile.
Despite the fact that the restaurant catered to discerning palettes and tastes, we were pleasantly surprised to find a cup of Crayons on the table and we were handed a kids menu. Then we learned why this elegant establishment was so kid friendly when we met the wonderfully affable proprietor Al Gordon, who quickly bonded with Stephen, making it evident he was a family man. Al told us he had two children of his own, so he sympathized with parents who often feel children are not welcome at gourmet restaurants, so he strived to make the environment at Waterford Inn inviting for families while still providing the upscale atmosphere that the adult diners seek in a fine dining experience. He succeeded!
To fully appreciate the Waterford Inn experience, we ordered several of the house specialties. We started with the lobster sliders, mini lobster salad sandwiches served on home baked brioche minis with Asian slaw; and the Waterford wedge, a flavorful iceberg wedge topped with shitake mushrooms, sun dried cranberries and homemade bleu cheese dressing. We followed with the Asian tuna entree of seasame enrusted and seared rare tuna with orange soy reduction, wasabi mashed potatoes and steamed bok choy; and the filet au poive, a succulent tenderloin griled with cracked pepper and served over goat demi glace with potatoes au gratin and asparagus.
A delicious ending to our delightful day.