A new day for Maryland moms

Mothers are very important people. They give us hugs and kisses; they put Band-Aids on our wounds; they hide special notes in our lunch boxes. They're so special and important that they even get their own day. Today, my two brothers — Matthew and Jacob — and I will celebrate our mothers for Mother's Day. We'll plot how to surprise our moms and talk about what we should make for a special breakfast, then go do something fun with them.

But this Mother's Day will be even more special than all of the others because we'll plan all our surprises knowing that soon after, on May 18 (one week before their 30th anniversary), our two moms will be getting married.

Since the people of Maryland voted to give gay and lesbian couples the right to marry last November, my parents and I have been busily preparing for their wedding. I helped paint the decorations, pick out dresses, choose some cool music, learn their dance moves, and pick out the cake design and flavor. (That was one of my favorite parts!) Most kids don't get the opportunity to be a part of their parents' wedding, but I'm glad I am able to.

Marriage isn't just about being with the one you love, although that's a big part of it. Marriage has a lot of important protections that my parents couldn't receive before Maryland passed Question 6. These include legal protections affecting us financially, medically, employment-wise, and so on. My parents need the protections that come with marriage so they can take better care of my siblings and me, especially if something happens to one of them. When our moms have those legal protections, my brothers and I will be safer and more secure, and our family will be given the same respect and dignity that other families have.

Some say that two is better than one, and that is exactly the case in my family. I can't imagine living my life without one of my moms, or trading one of them for a mother and father like many other children have. Besides, my family of two moms and two brothers is just like anyone else's. We go out to eat, hang out with our friends, play games, and love each other just like any other family would. And I'm just like any other 12-year-old. I go to school, stay up on the phone, and play video games. I'm happy I have the family I do, and I wouldn't do or give anything to change it.

Ever since I was about 4, I've wanted to be the flower girl at my parents' wedding. The problem then was that the law, and many people in this country, did not support us. It's great that people's minds are changing and that we don't have to wait any longer. Now that my moms' wedding is finally happening, I'm a little bit too old to be a flower girl, so I'm the ring bearer — and the maid of honor! My brothers, who will be home from college, will be giving the official toast. After the ceremony, I'm looking forward to watching my parents' first dance. They've been practicing. I'm also excited about the cake. (Have I already mentioned that?)

The point is, if you fall in love with someone, whether you're a man, woman, gay, straight, or bisexual, you should be able to get married no matter what. This is true for everyone, but I'm truly happy that after all these years, I finally get to celebrate such a special day with my two moms. I can't imagine a better Mother's Day gift.

Bena Williams, 12, lives in Cheverly.

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