My husband and I watched Parenthood last night. It is one of my favorite movies. It was also the first time I fell in love with Diane Wiest, who does a great job of showing the difficulties of being a single parent with unconditional love for her two children. The movie does a fantastic job of showing the tensions, troubles, and triumphs of being both a child and a parent. While I still loved watching the movie, I was also quite mournful. As a middle aged gay man, I had always wanted children. I always saw myself as a parent before I saw myself as a spouse. I was quite comfortable not having a husband and thought I would just adopt a child and live my life out as a parent.
My world changed about 15 years ago and I fell in love with a man who is nothing less than wonderful and amazing. He is so amazing that I chose being married over being a parent. Of course, there are times I still break down in tears that I don’t have children. in fact, a short time ago, my husband and I were at a restaurant and I saw this young child with dark skin and really curly hair and thought, “this could be my child.” I started to weep over my hamburger. While my husband was quite supportive, he did not feel the loss I was feeling.
Sadly, while watching the movie, Parenthood, I reflected on how neurotic I would have been if I had children and how overly involved I would have been. Fortunately, we have some very dear friends who allow us to watch their four children — we love them dearly!!! However, I am able to observe my neurosis even while spending time with the kids. For example, when one of the kids wants to show me her head stand, it takes everything I have not to say “please don’t do that,” for fear she will hurt herself.
I am so elated that same-sex couples have children. The same-sex couples I know who have children love them so dearly. Regardless of sexual orientation, children need structure, guidance, and most of all love. How sad that Justice Scalia and his merry little band of homophobes try to justify their homophobia under the guise of bearing children. Where does that leave all of my heterosexual friends who either choose to be childless, or are unable to bear children? Again, we see Scalia and his fellow haters on the wrong side of history.
Finally, I am also grateful for all of the children (now adults) that I have had the honor of teaching. It is an amazing honor to see students grow up as adults and still keep in contact with you. While I don’t have biological children, I am very lucky to have generations of kids in the past 25 years.