Parenthood: Childless

9 Sep

ParenthoodMy 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.


16 Responses to “Parenthood: Childless”

  1. Central Oregon Coast NOW September 9, 2013 at 7:18 am #

    Reblogged this on Central Oregon Coast NOW.

  2. Jueseppi B. September 9, 2013 at 7:28 am #

    Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat™.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt September 9, 2013 at 7:32 am #

      Thank you for reblogging this, Jueseppi. Many thanks. 🙂

      • Jueseppi B. September 9, 2013 at 8:55 am #

        Thank you for sharing this.

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt September 9, 2013 at 8:59 am #

        Thank you for your support and sharing your comments, Jueseppi.

  3. Naomi Baltuck September 9, 2013 at 7:49 am #

    I do believe that family is more than just blood relations–it’s a privilege we earn, and I’m so glad that you have a loving husband, and that you have formed family bonds and have children to love and be loved by. I have to tell you–recently saw a photo on one of the signboards in front of a church. It said, “Jesus had two dads, and he turned out okay.”
    Best wishes,

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt September 9, 2013 at 7:51 am #

      Naomi, thank you for your wonderful comments here. I love the signboard you saw. I wish I had seen that. 🙂

  4. dykewriter September 9, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    yup. having dogs and cats was enough.

    I think if I had had a kid, I would be dead now from trying to cope with the work sitution

    instead of being on disability and recovering

    7 billion people

    we really need to get to a zero population growth

    the problem is the movie Idiocracy

    the people who should have them are not

    • dykewriter September 9, 2013 at 8:55 am #

      and I probably wouldn’t be divorced now

      so childlessness saved my life

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt September 9, 2013 at 8:58 am #

      Nina, I wish more same-sex couples were allowed to adopt, thus helping reach 0 population growth.

      • dykewriter September 9, 2013 at 11:15 am #

        sure those that want them.

        I am just glad that I did not

  5. Tama Seavey September 9, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    OK, Michael – you did it to me again – the tears just came. I’m so happy for you that you are in love and have a partner in your life. This is a wonderful gift in life. The longing for a child in your life – is very deep. I cherished every insane, crazy, memorable, painful and joyful moment of parenting. And still do – even to my grown up children and grown up grandchildren. Parenting isn’t for everyone – this is true and it comes down to respecting the choices made in life and fighting for the right to have the opportunity to make the choices we want. All things being equal – there would be some gay people who might not excel at parenting just like there are straight people who don’t excel at parenting. The whole point is no matter what is there should be the option to chose. Any child would be lucky to have a dear man such as yourself and a loving couple in its life.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt September 9, 2013 at 11:01 am #

      Tama, Thank you for your constant and consistent support! Your comments here are very meaningful to me. I’m so grateful that you do Diversity and Inclusion work as your job, for you make the world a better place just by being here!

  6. Tim September 11, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    Auntie M,

    Know that you’re loved, and that I see you as family. You’re a wonderful mentor, and anyone who knows you or has you in class is lucky to have that opportunity.


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