“Does Boobaby have a mommy?”
You think you’ve heard everything a 5-year old boy is likely to say, and it turns out you’re wrong.
H— is a cool kid we see at the playground a fair bit. He’s got a lot going for him: two solid younger siblings, one of those moms that you secretly watch to glean parenting tips from, and most of all, H— has an easygoing, fun way of being with younger kids. As much as a 5-year old can, he seems really thoughtful.
So it threw me off a little when H— asked me if Boobaby has a mommy. Surely he’d known some kid in his daycare or at his kindergarten with a stay-at-home dad?
Jumping carelessly to conclusions, I asked him, “Do you have a daddy?” We’ve only met a mommy so far.
“Well, yeah. He’s at work,” came the reply.
“Right, so Boobaby has a mommy, but she’s at work, and I stay with her during the day.” I thought I was doing a pretty good job of explaining that this whole parenting dealie can work two different ways.
Except, of course, that this whole parenting dealie can work about a million different ways, and I was leaving out some of the biggest.
H— clarified it for me: “So Boobaby has a mommy, not another daddy?”
Oh, hello there, light bulb. Far from expressing his confusion over how a daddy could possibly be the weekday playground parent, H— simply wanted to know how many daddies and mommies Boobaby had been awarded in her little life lottery.
I almost started to tell H— how families can have two mommies or one mommy or two daddies or a grandma and a cousin or a mommy and a stepmommy and what makes a family is love and self-sacrifice and not gender and by the way some of my best friends… But I stopped myself. H— didn’t need to hear it. Some combination of his cool parents and his community and just that we’re finally living in a time where certain families are (mostly) not arbitrarily shunned had taught him the truth already.
So H— asked “Does Boobaby have a mommy?” not in thunderstruck amazement, but the same way Boobaby might ask him if he likes pretzels. And that’s pretty cool.
Sometimes I feel challenged by society, being a domestic dad. Gay and lesbian parents, I suspect, have it quite a bit harder than I do. This Pride weekend, I send much love and respect the way of two of my favorite blogs, Lesbian Dad and The Other Mother, not to mention the many non-blogging GLBT families out there — you’re a real inspiration.