Gay Dad Life

5-Year-Old Forces Gay Dad to Play With Trucks

My son loves trucks. Large trucks, the bigger the better. School buses. Fire engines. Big rigs. Snow plows. Delivery trucks and dump trucks. Telephone line repair trucks. Forklifts and bulldozers. And especially garbage trucks.


He doesn’t have many, but he keeps them all on shelves in the closet in his bedroom. He asks me to take one or two out each night, so he can play with them before he falls asleep.

My relationship with trucks used to be one of peaceful coexistence: I don’t bother them as long as they don’t bother me.

I don’t remember ever playing with any trucks when I was a kid. My brothers played with them all the time. Clearly, I must have repressed some bad memories. (I do, however, remember owning a Ken doll, Barbie’s boyfriend.)

 

Ken and Barbie, c. 1970

In the past few months I had already shown considerable fake-it skills. I blinded him (and everyone else) with science. “Papa, what’s the fastest train in the world?” “Well, that would be the magnetic-levitation Shanghai Maglev, with a maximum operational speed of 430 kilometers per hour!”

How do I fare with aircraft? Glad you asked. Thanks to my prodigious web search skills, I know my planes. I even know how to distinguish planes by ear: “Why, that’s a Bombardier Q400 Turbo Prop, of course!” Thanks to Siri (“What’s flying overhead?”) I have all the answers: airline and flight number, altitude, angle, slant distance and type of aircraft.

Helicopters? Toy prototypes were invented before Leonardo da Vinci, thank you very much. My son and I have watched hours of footage of rescue, transportation and firefighting helicopters and even some Apaches (until he told me that it was “inappropriate” for him to watch an Apache attack).

Leonardo da Vinci's "aerial screw," suggestive of a helicopter

I knew I had to get involved with trucks. I had started to read up on the topic, because if there’s something I’m good at, it’s studying. Last weekend he asked me to join him in truck play. That was a curve ball, truck play. That wasn’t something I had prepared for or could prepare for. “Just be cool,” I told myself, “just play along and all will be fine.”

In a classic bait-and-switch, he informed me that the trucks would be buses. I knew this about buses: A bus is something you take when you don’t have a car. And we have a car.

With a “I’m the 30, you’re the No. 7, Papa,” we began. I made him go first. He moved his bus along the road he had marked on the wooden floor with Scotch tape. I moved mine too, but a little too fast, apparently. “You just kind of speeded, Papa,” he remarked. “Sped,” I corrected him instinctively. He wouldn’t have any of it. “It’s dangerous.” I slowed down.

He stopped his bus at the first imaginary bus stop; I stopped right behind him. He picked up some Lego passengers. So did I. “Actually, Papa, people go in at the front and leave at the back.” Is that so? I wouldn’t know. I decided not to question his knowledge; after all, he had taken a bus a few times with a babysitter. He made me repeat this particular episode a few times, until I got it completely right.

He stopped at the next corner to pick up some more passengers. I pulled up right behind him. “Papa, the number 7 doesn’t stop there on Sundays.” How did he know? Was he bluffing? “This is not about you,” I had to tell myself, “it’s about him.”

Despite my good intentions, I was quickly losing interest in this pretend play. I ignored a stop sign. I forgot to make the bus kneel for a passenger in a wheelchair. And, most damningly, I ran over a dinosaur.

My son’s last comment summed it all up: “You’re not very good at playing with trucks.”

No sh*t, Sherlock.

Show Comments ()
Gay Dad Family Stories

These Dads Had 'Twins' — Just Four Months Apart

Angel and Dan's wanted twins, without the complications of a twin pregnancy — so they worked with two separate surrogates at once.

If you have ever been out late on a Saturday night, you may have high hopes of meeting a handsome stranger, but you probably wouldn't expect to meet your future husband. Angel Mario Martinez Garcia, 45, surely didn't when, five years ago on a very early Saturday morning in Barcelona, he casually approached Dan's Mouquet, 40, and asked him, over many gin and tonics, what he wanted out of life. The nightlife setting notwithstanding, Dan's told Angel he ultimately wanted a quiet life, with a partner and children.

Keep reading... Show less
Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Just Like Dad: Ways My Kids and I Are Alike

Joseph Sadusky recounts the ways he and his adopted sons are cut from the same cloth.

Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of excerpts from Joseph Sadusky's new book, Magic Lessons: Celebratory and Cautionary Tales about Life as a (Single, Gay, Transracially Adoptive) Dad. The book contains many stories about my life as a dad, as well as lessons learned, and we're excited to share several excerpts from the the book over the course of the next few months. Read previous installments here!

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

10 of Our Most Popular Posts Featuring Single Gay Dads

Happy Single Parent's Day! To celebrate, we rounded up some of our most popular articles featuring single gay dads.

Did you know March 21st is Single Parents Day? Well now you do, and you should mark the occasion by checking out our round up of some of our most popular articles featuring single gay dads!

Keep reading... Show less
Politics

Gestational Surrogacy Legalized in New York State

The Child-Parent Security Act, which legalizes commercial surrogacy in New York State, was included in the 2020 New York State Budget signed by Governor Cuomo

Yesterday, a years-long battle about the state of compensated gestational surrogacy came to an end in New York when the Governor signed into a law the Child-Parent Security Act in the 2020 as part of the state budget.

The effort stalled last year after opponents, including several Democrats, successfully argued that the bill didn't go far enough to protect women who serve as surrogates — even though it included a surrogate "bill of rights," the first of its kind in the country, aimed at ensuring protections.

"Millions of New Yorkers need assistance building their families — people struggling with infertility, cancer survivors impacted by treatment, and members of the LGBTQ+ community," the Family Equality Council said in a statement about the victory. "For many, surrogacy is a critically important option. For others, it is the only option. Passage of the Child-Parent Security Act is a massive step forward in providing paths to parenthood for New Yorkers who use reproductive technology, and creates a 'surrogate's bill of rights' that will set a new standard for protecting surrogates nationwide."

Opponents, led by Senator Liz Krueger, had once again attempted to torpedo legalization efforts this year by introducing a second bill that would legalize surrogacy in New York, but also make it the most restrictive state in the country to do so. "A bill that complicates the legal proceedings for the parents and potentially allows them to lose their genetic child is truly unfortunate," said Sam Hyde, President of Circle Surrogacy, referencing to the bill's 8-day waiting period. He also took issue with the bills underlying assumptions about why women decide to serve as a surrogate. The added restrictions imply that "they're entering into these arrangements without full forethought and consideration of the intended parents that they're partnering with," he said.

The bill was sponsored by State Senator Brad Hoylman, an out gay man who became a father via surrogacy, and Assemblymember Amy Paulin, who has been public with her experiences with infertility.

"My husband and I had our two daughters through surrogacy," Holyman told Gay City News. "But we had to travel 3,000 miles away to California in order to do it. As a gay dad, I'm thrilled parents like us and people struggling with infertility will finally have the chance to create their own families through surrogacy here in New York."

"This law will [give intended parents] the opportunity to have a family in New York and not travel around the country, incurring exorbitant costs simply because they want to be parents," Paulin said for her part. It will "bring New York law in line with the needs of modern families."


Expert Advice

4 Tips for Single Gay Dads Raising Daughters

Here are some ways to create a safe space for your daughter to discover who she is, with you by her side.

There's nothing quite like father-daughter relationships, and when it comes to single dads, your little girl likely holds a very special place in your heart. From the moment she's born, it's as if you can see every moment of her life in front of you, from her first steps to walking her down the aisle at her wedding. You'll be the first man she'll know and talk to, and you'll be her biggest example of what a loving man looks like. She'll come to you for advice on how to navigate challenges, be independent, treat others and grow into herself.

Your relationship with your daughter may be shaped by your personal history, whether you've been through a difficult divorce or breakup, you've transitioned out of a straight relationship, or you made the courageous decision to pursue surrogacy on your own. Whatever your situation is, studies have shown that children with involved fathers excel more in school and have fewer behavioral issues in adolescence.

Keep reading... Show less
Change the World

After Suffering a Violent Homophobic Attack, This Gay Dad Turned to Advocacy

After Rene suffered a brutal homophobic attack that left him hospitalized, he and his family have turned to advocacy to heal

Guest post written by Rene and Nejc

We are Rene (35) and Nejc (29) and we come from Slovenia, Europe. I was an avid athlete, a Judoist, but now I am an LGBT activist and Nejc is a writer, who published a gay autobiography called Prepovedano. He was also a participant in a reality show in Slovenia (Bar) and he is an LGBT activist too. Nejc and I met by a mere coincidence on Facebook, and already after the first phone call we realized that we are made for each other. Nejc and I have been together as couple almost one year. We think we have been joined by some energy, as we have both experienced a lot of bad things with previous relationships and now we wish to create and shape our common path.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

What's Life Like as a Single Gay Dad? These Guys Sound Off

We checked in with some of the single gay dads in our community to see what life is like while parenting solo

March 21st is Single Parents Day! To celebrate, we checked in with some single gay men in our community to sound off on what life is like while parenting solo — the good, the challening and everything in between.

Keep reading... Show less

Fatherhood, the gay way

Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse