Thursday, May 28, 2009

Parental Longings

I’m noticing a trend these days among gay men, young and old. One I never really thought about. They have a parental longing…a desire to care for and nurture a baby and go on that life long grand adventure of being a father. The older I get the more I think about this. Up to this point I never wanted children being as I have eight nieces and nephews. I’ve done my duty with doody so to speak. Yet…as I age and mature, the idea of having kids doesn’t scare me as it once did. I suppose there are a number of contributing factors that have influenced me and swayed me towards the notion of considering being one of the paternal units of a beautiful baby. I’ve been spending a lot of time with Molly, who is quickly growing to be right up there with John and Skiboy on the friend level. Molly is a mother of three wonderful children. An oldest daughter and two sons with the youngest being four almost five. I see the joy in her and her husband Bill’s eyes as they care for their family. The fun that can be had while raising a bundle of joy and helping shape them into an upstanding functioning member of society. I’m particularly fond of her middle son who is one of the brightest young men I’ve ever met and whose potential is boundless. I look forward to seeing where he goes in life and the heights he will reach when he spreads his wings. It is this family and talking with friends and men who want to have kids, that sways me towards wanting children of my own. There are several men I know who can’t wait to have the SUV, loaded with ballet, hockey, and soccer gear to be piled into on a Saturday morning and then off to the races so to speak to get little Suzie to her dance recital, Billy to his hockey practice, and Johnny off to his soccer game. Constantly on the cell phone coordinating with their partner to get the kids picked up from one thing and off to the next and discussing what is to be made for dinner when they finally arrive back home or if they should just order a couple pizzas and put the kids to bed early so they can spend some time cuddling watching a movie.

The more I think about this scenario, the more it appeals to me. I’ve always wanted the perfect suburban life with my partner but never really thought about children until now. I hope that you, dear reader, will have some input here for me. If you have children, tell me your story.

I asked my boss, who is perhaps the coolest right wing republican straight guy I know, what he thought about gay couples adopting or having kids. His response was interesting. He said that he doesn’t believe a child by two fathers or two mothers, will have the growth benefit of having a heterosexual couple as their parents. At the same time, he said that there are lots of kids out there who need loving homes to be raised in and that he would rather see a child brought up by two loving people, be they straight or gay, than the situations they are currently enduring.

Having said that, it begs the question, a child of my own or to adopt? While I am sure a child of my own would be a wonderful thing, I’m undecided. Each comes with it’s benefits and downfalls. Will they have my charming personality (feel free to guffaw) and my dashing good lucks (again, feel free to chortle) or will they saddled with my genetic defects? It’s a roll of the DNA dice. With adopting there is the complete unknown but I may have potentially saved that child from a worse fate than my cooking.

Something to consider also is the psychological effects of being raised by two dads would have on a child. What ridicule would they face in school because they don’t have a mom? Instead of having Betty Crocker for a mom they have Billy Crocker making the cupcakes for the class Valentine’s Day party. The more I think about this and the more the world comes around to being accepting of gays, the more I believe that these things will not be an issue. Also how does one answer the question that will inevitably escape a babe’s lips, why don’t I have a mommy like Austin? “Well you have two daddies who love you very much and that’s better than….” Than what? Is it better than having a mommy and a daddy? Probably even keel there. It’s got to be better than having only a mommy or only a daddy right? It’s definitely better than having no mommy or daddy at all. What if little Austin has two parents who are as happy and loving as Molly and Bill? I’m not sure I could top that one since they are amazing parents.

As I write this, I think about who my partner will be…what will he want? Invariably it seems if there is a mutual interest between someone and myself, he wants children someday. It goes without saying this is something we will have to discuss at great length.

Who knows though. Maybe someday I won’t just be Auntie Preston, but I will be Daddy Preston.

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