Ryan (non binary trans) and David (cis) are a happy queer couple and Ryan is a couple of months pregnant. In an intimate correspondence they share their thoughts and feelings with each other, and with us.
You lit the rainbow candle in your hand and I lit the one in my hand. We burnt the letters that we each held in the other hand.
It was a welcoming’s ritual for Ravi, even before they were in my belly. I wanted to focus on our child’s wish in a positive way and all the negative pregnancy tests only caused stress. To give a positive focus to our journey I wanted to do a welcoming ritual. I looked at the Hindu religion and culture first because of my Hindustani roots, but as a queer couple there weren’t a lot suited for us. Most of those rituals are aimed at a man and a woman. So you suggested: “Why don’t we make our own ritual?”.
And that’s how it happened. We both wrote a letter to our ancestors because I found it important to thank them for the journey they had gone before us and we both wrote a letter to Ravi to welcome them. We ritually burned the letters to our ancestors and went to the beach where our letters to Ravi were taken by the sea.
I find rituals and celebrations to be very important and want to teach them to Ravi. Simple things like a Christmas dinner with family, father and parent day, birthdays but also smaller things like the welcome letter to Ravi or buying mango’s at the market every Saturday like my father used to do when I grew up.
Another small special thing is a song that I want to write together with you for Ravi so we can sing it while Ravi is still in my belly. Our own song that we can keep on singing after Ravi is born every time they will go to bed.
Which rituals and celebrations, big or small, do you want Ravi to experience?
Time goes by so quickly. I remember very well that we partook in that ritual. For me, writing the letter to Ravi felt very special. This way I could share and talk about all the wishes I had for our baby to the universe. I’ve mentioned it before but I grew up thinking that I would never raise or have a child of my own. For many reasons. To go from not having a wish for children to having a child is a complex process. For a long time I didn’t believe I would be a father, but from the moment we chose to become parents together I had to change my image of the future. Rituals really help with this change. It’s beautiful how we make up our own rituals without religion to deal with big life happenings.
The most beautiful life lesson I got from my parents is that you have to celebrate life. My whole life there were celebrations and parties with a lot of rituals. Songs, speeches and poems make up a beautiful celebration.
We create our own rituals, parties and ways to celebrate and commemorate life happenings.
Like how we symbolically celebrated our engagement with friends and family. The announcement was guided by storytelling which everyone was a part of. Our wedding was also filled with symbolism and rituals in our own style. You were dressed in Hindustani clothing and we had pie from Limburg. We always choose the mixture that represents us.
With my whole heart I look out to a ritual-filled life with you and Ravi. Entirely in our own way. The freedom to feel what fits us every time is a gift to ourselves. I look forward to raise Ravi with stories, songs and life celebrations. What a good idea to write a bedtime song for Ravi together. Filled with love we can sing them to sleep. If we are lucky and we will have more children, it would be really cool to give each child their unique song in life.
What I want Ravi to know is that we want to have the space and freedom to fill our lives with songs, stories, rituals and celebrations. This can happen in a traditional way but also with our own creativity in an original way. I also think back to the small celebrations in my youth. I was raised with celebrating my birthday and celebrating ‘a lucky day’:, a special day for me as an adopted child. On that day I got to choose what we ate and we would remember our families’ origin story. Our birthday was also magical as our mother would decorate the house while we lay in bed that night. Everything looked beautiful the day it was our birthday. We had breakfast together and unpacked gifts.
Enough joy to also experience with our Ravi.