When Maria Bello fell in love with her female best friend, Clare, she had many concerns, but she was mostly worried about how it would affect her young son from a previous relationship, Jackson.
"He trusted Clare. He loved her," the "Coyote Ugly" actress wrote in a New York Times essay. "He had never met most of the men I had been in love with and had no idea I had been with a woman as well."
So, after consulting with a therapist, Bello, 46, who called Clare "my best friend" and "a person who is like a godmother to my son," waited until Jackson asked her about the relationship. When he did, she wrote that she, "took a deep breath, knowing that my answer, and his response, would have an impact on our lives for a very long time." She confirmed that she was in a relationship with Clare.
"He looked at me for what seemed like an eternity and then broke into a huge, warm smile," she wrote. "'Mom, love is love, whatever you are,' he said with wisdom beyond his years."
Now, Bello said that she and Clare co-parent with Jackson's father, and the four have become their own "modern family."
"So I would like to consider myself a "whatever," as Jackson said," she wrote. "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."