Like many other gay dads out there, I’ve often daydreamed about what father’s day would be like when I became a dad. I fantasized about breakfasts-in-bed, homemade cards and crafts that barely made it back from school in one piece. As my 30s crept up on me, these images started to grow a bit blurrier as realism set in and doubts began to form about how, or even whether, fatherhood would happen and what it would look like for me.
Now as my very first father’s day as a father is approaching, I can’t help but reminisce a little about Father’s Days past. Growing up, Father’s Day was all about spending the day with our dad. Whether it was a day trip to Centre Island or a gathering of families for a huge BBQ, the time spent was special since our dad worked 6 to 7 days a week and long hours. As an adult, Father’s Day was agonizing over finding a gift for the hard-to-buy-for-father whose only interest is gardening and who never wears the clothes we’d bought for him over the last 10 years.
Fast-forward to just a few years ago and the meaning of Father’s Day took a unique spin for me. About 5 years ago, I decided to help a lesbian couple with their own family by becoming their “known donor,” a journey that resulted in Tobin.
Tobin is a delightful and beautiful little girl who loves to joke around, dance to Katy Perry’s Roar, and can recite all songs from the musical Annie (yup, most likely the result of my “fairy dust”). Since Tobin’s birth, my husband and I have regular contact with the family and are known affectionately as Uncle Frank and Uncle Norm. In fact, we’ve grown very close over the last few years and we consider them an integral part of our own family. We are also currently planning to give Tobin a sibling. My heart melts when Tobin tells me her very imaginative made-up stories, how much she loves it when I push her on the swing, how she understands that “Uncle Frank helped make me”, and how she enjoys looking after and playing with our son.
Each Father’s Day weekend, Tobin’s moms host a special event for us at their cottage near Owen Sound: Donor’s Day Weekend. We all gather to celebrate our friendship with delicious food, music, and an abundance of beverages.
This year will be the first year we celebrate Donor’s Day AND Father’s Day together and I couldn’t be more excited about it! Tobin is looking forward to splashing around in the wading pool with our son, my husband is looking forward to a relaxing weekend away, and I am personally looking forward to being surrounded by several adults eager to share baby duties (while I sip on my sangria cocktail)!
As Donor’s Day weekend is quickly approaching, I am finally able to fine-tune the focus on the image of my very first Father’s Day… and it is nothing short of absolute perfection.