As most of my friends and family know, I volunteer a lot at my children’s school. That is an opportunity afforded to me by my husband since we both decided that I would be a stay-at-home dad and take care of our children. So, I became very involved at their school. Now, how involved, well a lot! I served as a board member on the Executive Board for the non-profit group that supports the elementary school. I am a committee head and a member on several committees as well. Anyhow….as I was saying.
So I was volunteering in my daughter’s class one day and overheard a conversation she was having with one of her classmates, Lily. Her classmate was talking about how she has two dads. This kindergarten girl went on to talk about her daddies and how one does this and how one does that. Janette was listening intently to Lily’s story. I could tell she was really interested in what her friend had to say.
Now I was thinking to myself, how awesome that another child has a ‘Two Dad Family’ and that my daughter Janette could relate to her classmate. Finally! Another example of a same-sex family. A lot of her classmates have a different family makeup so to hear this now was intriguing to my daughter.
They both laughed at the story that was being told by Lily. I could see the common bond of laughter and how they each agreed on what was silly about Lily’s daddies. Innocent laughter over innocent things. My daughter proceeded to tell her story of how I always dance, sing, laugh, dress up with her and I am overall silly. Clearly I’m fun but more so over-the-top! I have a joie de vivre. That’s me…..okay back to the story. So she was going on and on. Lily listened intently and asked a question here or there. One was about farts….
Now I perked up and looked in their direction. They didn’t know I could see their faces or that I was listening. This was a moment that clearly I was privileged to witness. So my daughter made the cutest scrunched face I had ever seen, a new one. She giggled and said yes. She also admitted to letting a fart out here or there herself. Lily stated her dad has farted too and it’s STINKY. Laughs ensued, again. There was a moment between them that was honest, conversational and there was a relatability between them that was evident.
My daughter was having a conversation about her family, her two dads, and her life. It was a moment. A brief look into her process of her family, her two dads, and what she experiences. I was just the audience at a moment that I replay over and over and over again. Now the best part of all of this was still to come. Yes, there’s more!
Lily asked my daughter, “You have two dads too!?” My daughter said yes. Then she asked Lily the same and Lily nodded yes. My daughter said, “That’s so wow!” Then she said, “I love my daddies.” My daughter is telling her friend that she loves her daddies. She enjoys the quirks of the stinky farts, the silly dancing, the singing of songs I know I don’t have the range for, the jokes, the laughs and more. My daughter thinks it’s all ‘Wow!’ All of it!
I was a proud father at that moment. I give her love, nurturing, learning, understanding, moments of reading books, mani/pedis and more. What she remembers is the farts, its stink and that she, too, has farts. She loves her daddies for who they are. She loves me. She has a friend who has two dads as well. She knows there are families out there that resemble her own. She knows there is a dad out there like her own. Lily validated that for her.
I knew in that, ‘That’s so wow!’ statement/moment that me being a stay at home dad was beneficial. I am being the dad that my daughter needs me to be. I am present. I am there for her. I cherish every day of every moment that I am able to father and parent my children.