By James Muscolino
Everyone asks me what has changed in the months since becoming a father. Such a hard question to answer given the fact that the short answer is “everything”. Certainly, I am a bit more tired. I’ve become grayer, although I had already had a head start with that one for the last 10 years. The mid-section has gotten softer in the last 6 months. This morning I woke up with this pain in my back…I am getting older! I guess in retrospect, a good answer to that question is…what has changed is I don’t care nearly as much about all that insignificant stuff as I use to. Having a child has freed me…
Tomorrow, Reagan will be 6 months old. She has blossomed, advanced, and smiled her way through this past half-year and every minute has been an absolute joy. I watched her this morning bouncing away in her jumper and I swear I caught a glimpse of what she is going to look like years from now. “Stop growing up so damn quick, whats the rush, you have it made!” She’s not listening to me though. She just bounces away, smiling, drool coming down from her mouth, happy as can be. The top parenting advice I have received is to cherish each and every moment and I have most certainly been doing just that. Truly, there is not one instant that goes by that I do not let soak in.
Being originally from New York, it has taken me a long time to find a good group of people to call “friends” and bond with. Since having a child, its quite amazing the friends you suddenly make…simply by talking about the color of your kids poop! As social as I like to consider myself, it has not been easy to be the “primary” parent and have to be the one to walk into Gymboree or a parent group alone and force conversation amongst strangers. Nevertheless, it has been absolutely wonderful…and it has certainly freed me in many ways. These people that I have met have become my allies in so many ways and I look forward to my weekly get togethers with them. Since becoming a father, my social life has certainly changed.
I am far from a political person and I hardly ever mention or talk about anything political-especially over any social media. Nonetheless, I would be remise to neglect to mention that one poignant part of me that has changed since becoming a father has been just how brutally stinging the words/actions of the anti-lgbt community movements are. Every hurtful commentary has become much more personal. Those words use to be annoying static in the background…but now they attack straight at my family like the targeted rhetorical missiles that they were always meant to be.
Take the group like the National Organization For Marriage for instance. Over the last half decade or so, they have turned their fight to protecting marriage to a “fight to protect children” and going after same-sex couples who do, in fact, have kids of their own. They state that my partner and I are creating a world that will cause my daughter “great harm”. Furthermore, they state that children of same-sex couples will grow up to “resent them.” Reagan is “wounded”. “incapable of ever achieving her dreams” (or at least not as easily as kids of opposite-sex couples).
Now, I don’t listen to all of that and turn to my daughter and think “oh, look at this un-spoiled, un-loved, ignored, miserable, wounded child! What have we done to her!?”. I look at her and I say, “The National Organization For Marriage should concentrate on the 51% divorce rate of their opposite-sex couples and think of whatthat is doing to their children.”
Nevertheless, I am a big believer in everyone having a right to their own opinion…no matter how sorted, prejudice, biased, wrong, hated it may be.
A new study has once again confirmed that same-sex couples are just as effective at raising children as opposite-sex couples. Focusing specifically on children adopted at an early age, the study compared gay and lesbian couples to straight couples who were all becoming parents for the first time. None were affected by their family type. Statistically, it showed that gay couples were further ahead in their preparations for parenthood than straight couples. It also showed that the majority of these children are welcomed into these new found families by everyone as if they were “blood-related” and never considered anything otherwise.
Blah, blah, blah, I can sit here and go on and on. My daughter, and all 6 months of her, is proof enough that she is a happy go lucky kid who is quite well adjusted with her Daddy and Papa. Granted, she has a long life ahead of her. Will she turn out to be a bitter, angry teenager who despises her gay fathers and wishes she had a “normal” life. Highly doubtful, because she does have a normal life. I make sure we do everything “by the book” and its mixed in with the utmost of love and care we can possibly give. There is no room for error with love and all parenting (whether your straight or gay) should have that philosophy.
The last 6 months has been the journey that we have anticipated it would be and its proof enough to anyone who doubts the legitimacy of our “family” that we are indeed a family. In fact, we’re more family than many of the families that I know. My partner goes to work. I lose it when he leaves his shit out and I have to clean it up lol. We’re fairly boring and normal and I see nothing different other than we’re a same sex couple.
A very happy 6 months to Reagan! We can’t imagine how we never had her in our lives and can’t ever picture it without her. She has brought nothing but sweetness, laughter and smiles into our home and I am thankful everyday for the difficult journey we took to get her and the magnificent one it has been having her.
Article brought to you by From The Stork.