There are a lot of things to be grateful for on Mother’s Day -- of course, our appreciation for our own moms, and we also celebrate all the women in our lives who are moms.
But for me it is also being grateful for the woman who brought our son into this world. We don’t know much about her or her story, but without her we would not have the joy of parenting. Without her, we would not have the special little soul (currently sleeping above me upstairs) we named Jacob. I’m sure if we did not have Jacob we would have another kid or another story, but I truly believe that the universe brought us together and that “he and us” were meant to be a family. So for this I say very loudly, “Thank You!”
Lots of little things arise out of the fact that Jacob has two dads and I have to admit I did not expect them so early - he is only 2.5 years old. For example, every time I pick him up from daycare he gets a big smile on his face and yells, “mama, mama”. I am used to it by now and reply with a smile and say, “Yes, Papa is here!” I’m okay with this because I know Jacob is discovering the world around him, noticing differences in other kids. And this no doubt is just a phase that will eventually pass, but sometimes I do get embarrassed, especially in front of the other dads.
This morning both Philip and I drove Jacob to daycare because we were on our way to Denver to buy a travel trailer (which is another story I will get to another time!). I put Jacob in his car seat and noticed a magnet that he sat on. I picked it up and saw it was an illustration cartoon of two grooms (one blond and one brown haired, both with big smiles). Jacob saw it right away and had to have it. As we were driving, I could see Jacob having some kind of recognition in his eyes. I turn and say, “Jacob, that is Daddy and Papa!” He continued to look at the magnet, then back at us, and then pointed - “Dada, Papa”. That moment was very special to me because even if he is going through a stage where he realizes he does not have a “mommy”, he still knows he has two parents who love him to the moon and back.
The past couple years when Mother’s Day came around I got a little emotional. Each year I know it will get a little harder for Jacob to deal with, but I think it is a healthy emotion and I want to be sure he knows there are all kinds of families. This Mother’s Day, I want to focus on the women who are in his life: my mom, Philip’s mom, and several aunts. Each has a special place in her heart for Jacob, and that is more than I could have ever asked for. So as Jacob grows and another Mother’s Day comes around I will remind my sweet boy that “you may not have a mom, but you have two grandmas, several aunts, and two awesome Dads who love you and because of you our lives are full of happiness!”
So to all the gay dads (and future gay dads) out there, I know it is not always an easy time of year. But I encourage you to focus on the women in your child’s life to show him/her the many things that he/she has to be grateful for, and then I know Mother’s Day will be a day we all look forward to!