Dear future son (or daughter),
It’s your dad. I can’t wait to meet you! There’s so much I want to do with you. I’m looking forward to the day when I can let go of your bicycle and watch you ride; to our regular Friday-after-school routine, when we stop at Baskin-Robbins to get some ice cream; to holding you tighter than the time before as you sleep serenely on my chest. I hope that you look like me, so everyone will look at you and say “you are your daddy’s child!” I hope you inherit some of my mannerisms, like cracking your knuckles when you get nervous and not being able to hide your facial expressions. But there’s one experience of mine I hope we never have to share.
As Father’s Day approaches, I’m reminded of how I seem to have disappointed my dad (and your grandpa) over the years; I was average, at best, to him. I wasn’t very athletic, I wasn’t very popular, and I wasn’t very into girls. Never was. And, to his dismay, I never would be. When I told him I was gay, I distinctly remember his reaction. Dripping with sarcasm, he said, “Shocker! Anything else?” I didn’t know whether to feel relieved because he seemed to have known long before I told him, or feel like even more of a failure because I hadn’t met my dad’s expectations for me yet again. He’s since come to terms with it and accepted it, but we’d never talk about it again until you’re born. That’s when he’ll tell me, for the first time in my life, that he’s proud of me.
Baby boy, I want to you to be whoever it is you want to be; whether you like women, men, both or neither. I hope that you are able to do so with no fear of anyone judging you or hurting you just because you’re “different.” And that goes beyond your sexual preference. You could be a hippie or a businessman, a jock or a cheerleader, the class valedictorian or the class clown; be you, and no one else.
Though you won’t really understand until some of your classmates tell you otherwise, your family is not the traditional American one. No, kiddo, you’ll have two daddies; two daddies who love you just as much as your friends’ mommies and daddies do, but two daddies nonetheless. You’ll get a lot of strange looks when we pick you up from school, and you’ll hear a lot of whispering behind you when we go out to dinner together – trust me, your daddies are used to it. I’m not going to tell you to ignore it, because contrary to the popular adage, words can hurt more than sticks and stones. What I will tell you, though, is that I will never let you lose sight of the higher road; that those stares and whispers are trivial and not at all directed to you; that if you see daddy step outside of himself to put some ignorant people in their places, to do as I say and not as I do!
The good news is people like that are becoming less and less common. Soon, there will be a new “normal,” where people won’t care about what’s going on outside of their own bedrooms and households. You’ll be in a world where society won’t hold you to some unfounded, unrealistic expectations. You’ll be able to jump in the bed between your other daddy and me and we won’t be scared that you’ll ask which one of us is “the woman.”
Soon, kiddo. I look forward to that day.
(Your future) Dad