As is family tradition, we have the extended family over for Father’s Day. We have made an extra special deal about it for Dad, FOPOB and ULOB because of their enfeebled states. I think we are over-compensating for our anxiety about losing them, no matter how nuts they make us.
In the midst of a conversation with Dad and SOB about Father’s Day, I overheard SOS say to POB, “but I don’t have a father.”
[Yes that gag you heard breaching the silence was my heart leaping into my throat and cutting off my breathing.]
I forget that we are not like every other family. But SOS doesn’t forget. He has two moms, and not a mom and a dad. I know he misses not having a dad because we have talked about it.
HOSOB, Cousin Gentle, CB, ULOB, Dad and FOPOB will be around the table next Sunday. All have been role models (after a fashion) for SOS. But no one is “dad”.
He knows that POB was never going to settle down with a man and have children. He knows that I am not replacing anyone because either he would have two moms or he wouldn’t exist.
But he is a pre-adolescent boy and this isn’t about societal norms, social/sexual movements or equality. He is starting to experience that his family is different in ways that sometimes matter.
SOS sees what is around him and he sees the differences. I understand how hard it is to be different but, when I was a pre-adolescent/adolescent, no one knew that I wasn’t straight (except me). My son can’t hide us, and he has to deal with it everyday. I know he loves us and our family. But still . . .
It was POB’s and my decision as adults to have him and it is now his reality to carry into adolescence.
But most devastating is that I forgot his feelings in my fixation on giving the elders, especially Dad, events to look forward to. I am his mom and I didn’t have his back.
And, really, I should have been thinking about a boy — my boy — and his feelings on Father’s Day.
Because this is really about a boy — my boy.
I am sorry, buddy. I can’t change things — I will never be your dad — but we will talk about it and I will try not to cry.