Rocco: The Kid Next Door
And then one day, amidst the clamor of moving trucks and adjusting to life in a new apartment, we realized that Rocco had been born. Our first day in our new place coincided with the first day in the world for our next-door neighbor’s newborn baby. In the 21 subsequent months since his birth, my husband and I have learned much about interacting with a child, the types of things you only learn by doing.
We’ve bookmarked these lessons, so that we can use them when we have our own child, and are sharing these here, for your entertainment and education. May the force be with you.
Nom nom nom nom nom!
Night Night, Rocco!
Playtime Is For Everyone!
Time To Get Dressed!
Video Killed The Radio Star!
All joking aside, we are so incredibly lucky to have neighbors like Paul and Donna, who’ve let us work on our own parenting skills by spending time with Rocco. They call it babysitting, we call it training. But to allow two gay dads-in-waiting to learn so much from their son is a gift we can never repay. And to allow us to teach him? Amazing.
Moreover, our neighbors are helping to wipe hate from the world by putting their son into a world where love defines a family, making a better tomorrow for all of our children. Hell, for all of our grown-ups, too.
We’ve been able to see Rocco grow from his very first day in the world. From a baby who could only pivot on the floor to the boy who growls like a lion while wearing an elephant costume; from the little baby with the spit-up towel to the bigger boy who can recognize 80% of the X-Men by sight; and from a bite-sized swaddled bundle to a medium-sized sprightly daredevil, we are so, so lucky to have been along for the ride. And have I mentioned that he recognizes Hillary Clinton? I’m doing my job!
By being such a great kid, he has absolutely given us unrealistic expectations about what it means to be a parent, but he’s also softened our hearts with his laugh, brought us to tears with his hugs, and helped us understand that the best way to live our lives is to focus on all the happy minutes inside of a day.
Because of our time together with Rocco, the wonderfully amazing boy next door, we are better and more thoughtful men, we’re kinder people, and we are invariably more prepared to be dads to our own child.
So thank you, Rocco John. Uncle Ant and Unca Dom love you, are so proud of you, and can’t wait to see the type of man your mom and dad are raising you to be. So far, you’re one incredible guy.
Read the next article in Anthony Romeo's series about his adoption journey.