The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Four

Our son is four years old today.

Four years ago today, we were on our way to becoming dads, and we didn’t know it yet. Our son was born, and waiting to meet us. It was a few days later that we learned his birth mother had chosen us, and just four days after he was born when we carried him out of the hospital. I remember what it was like, holding him in my arms as we walked down the hallway and towards the sliding doors, to step out into the world for the first time as a family of three.

I was a little hesitant. It had felt so safe to be in the nursery with him, getting acquainted while the friendly nurses showed us how to bathe him, change his diaper and give him a bottle. (We’d taken two infant care classes before, but it was nice to have a refresher.) But eventually it was time to go, and as we made our way towards the exit, I got my first experience of being a gay dad as I watched the faces of the people smiling at us as we came down the hall, and retaining their smiles while I could see them “doing the math” regarding our family. I looked down into the incredibly tiny little bundle in my arms and … well, I can’t adequately described what I felt. But something changed in me.

I think something changed for both of us that first night. We stood an watched him sleeping in his crib, unable to speak. I know we both got up at least a few times to make sure he was still breathing. We became dads. We, the three of us, became a family.

Last night we made strawberry cupcakes with strawberry icing (Parker’s choice) for him to share with his classmates today. Parker watched them go in and out of the oven, standing far enough away to be safe, but close enough to smell the strawberry scent. Tonight we’ll give him the toys his grandparents sent for him. Tomorrow we’ll have another celebration with friends. And the next day we’ll have dinner, do laundry, wash dishes, read stories, play with trains go for a nature walk, and have bath time. And the day after that we’ll get up in the morning, have some yogurt, watch Bob the Builder and Clifford the Big Red Dog before heading out for another day. And then we’ll come home, have dinner, read stories, play with trains, and get ready for bed.

And the next day…

Well, you get the picture. Today is special, because it means Parker was on his way to becoming part of our family and we were on our way to becoming a slightly bigger family. So, today is a celebration.

And everyday we’re becoming a family. So some part of every day is a celebration too.

Happy birthday, Parker. And thanks.

Daddy & Papa love you. Always. Forever.

14 Comments

  1. Happy birthday Parker!

    May you all be blessed with many years!

  2. Gosh time flies!

    Hapy Birthday Parker!

  3. Gee, it seems like all the cool guys are having birthdays this week! 🙂

  4. How does he measure up in the brat stakes T?

    Does he know everything yet? Does he think you know nothing?

    Do you have unholy rows with him?

    Happy Birthday little man, and many more to come.

  5. Does he know everything yet? Does he think you know nothing?

    More the latter than the former, though that may change given how often I answer “I don’t know” to his many questions. 😉

    Do you have unholy rows with him?

    Surprisingly few, I think. I mean there’s a certain inevitability to melt-downs, but usually after a particularly rough spot the hubby and I talk about what we think might have helped bring it on (Was he too tired? Were there too many activities packed into one day? Did the surroundings set him off if they were particularly noisy and crowded? Was it just a matter of him not liking some limit that we set? Or was it just inevitable?)

    And if there’s something we can reasonably change to avoid things in the future (schedule some “downtime” at home during the day, plan one less activity in the day, actively help him adjust to new or challenging surroundings, etc.) then we do. It’s it about a limit that we’ve set and aren’t going to change, then we just try to be firm-but-gentle, and Parker usually adjusts pretty quick.

    One thing we know is that Parker is happiest when he has both of us with him. So, we also keep in mind whether we’ve been so busy that he hasn’t gotten as much of us as he needs, and then we try to make up for it. Doesn’t happen much, though, because we’re both at home most nights.

    One thing I’ve found helpful as a parent: try to see things from the kid’s point of view. It goes a long way towards helping you respond in a more constructive and compassionate way.

  6. Happy Birthday, Parker! And best wishes to two proud dads!

  7. MB is smiling down from heaven.

  8. Happy Birthday. All of you.

  9. Happy Birthday, Parker!

    Congratulations, T and R!

  10. Happy Birthday, Parker!

  11. Happy belated birthday Parker.

    I had no idea that Kristin was older than Parker. I thought you were a parent and blogging about it long before me.

  12. What a lovely slide show, and such a beautiful story. *hugs* Here’s to the next four being even better!

  13. These pictures are darling … you’re lucky men, indeed, and Parker is lucky to have such wonderful dads caring for him and loving him …

%d bloggers like this: