The Vacation Ends…

It’s been a whirlwind of a vacation. I mean, we’ve handled four kids in a small-ish space before, but for some reason this past week was a bit tougher than normal.

The week was far from perfect, and there were a number of ups and down for Sunshine and I throughout the week. We’ve got very different parenting styles and VERY different children (especially my teenaged daughter, who is quite the handful at times), so that ended up creating some tense moments at times throughout the week.

But as we discussed in detail on Saturday during some down-time (of which there was very little of all week long), all relationships go through ups and downs. Not all relationships are perfect and blended families usually have to work a lot harder due to the multitude of layers that each side of the family brings to the table.

When it’s just the two of us, the good is 98% of the time…and that can really spoil us when it comes to tough times and stressful parental situations. You want to tell yourself that things will be smooth, but stress is simply going to be part of every day life…especially during a vacation with “extra kids” who don’t normally hang out with one another.

Thankfully, Sunshine and I have an unbeatable ability to talk and discuss issues without everything turning into a blow-out fight. And because of that, we end up coming out of tense situations bigger and better than we were going into it.

So as the vacation ends, so does the majority of our stress as parents of a blended family. Where my daughter is still visiting until the first week of September and I’m still on the hunt for a job in Halifax so I can actually move into OUR home, stress hasn’t exactly left the building yet.

But it’s on its way…

Dear Hypothetically Gay Son

I was going to write about something completely different today, but I found this article online yesterday that made me stop in my tracks.

A blogger/writer (John Kinnear) was inspired by this hate letter that was posted on Reddit where a father disowned his son just because he was gay. This deplorable act made John think about what he would say to his own son if he were told the same thing.

Honestly, I have thought about that situation myself…so I want to keep this letter handy because it’s pretty darn close to what I’d like to think I’d say if it were to ever happen in the future:

Dear hypothetically gay son,

You’re gay. Obviously you already know that, because you told us at the dinner table last night. I apologize for the awkward silence afterwards, but I was chewing. It was like when we’re at a restaurant and the waiter comes up mid-bite and asks how the meal is, only in this metaphor you are the waiter, and instead of asking me about my meal, you said you were gay. I don’t know why I needed to explain that. I think I needed to find a funny way to repeat the fact that you’re gay… because that is what it sounds like in my head right now: “My son is gay. My son is gay. My son is gay.”

Let me be perfectly clear: I love you. I will always love you. Since being gay is part of who you are, I love that you’re gay. I’m just trying to wrap my head around the idea. If you sensed any sadness in my silence last night, it was because I was surprised that I was surprised. Ideally, I would have already known. Since you were an embryo, my intent has always been to really know you for who you are and not who I expect you to be. And yet, I was taken by surprise at last night’s dinner. Have I said “surprise” enough in this paragraph? One more time: Surprise!

OK. Let’s get a few things straight about how things are going to be.

  1. Our home is a place of safety and love. The world has dealt you a difficult card. While LGBT people are becoming more accepted, it is still a difficult path to walk. You’re going to experience hate and anger and misunderstandings about who you are out in the world. That will not happen here. You need to know with every fiber of who you are that when you walk in the front door of your home, you are safe, and you are loved. Your mother is in complete agreement with me on this.
  2. I am still, as always, your biggest defender. Just because you’re gay doesn’t mean you’re any less capable of taking care of and defending yourself. That said, if you need me to stand next to you or in front of you, write letters, sign petitions, advocate, or anything else, I am here. I would go to war for you.
  3. If you’re going to have boys over, you now need to leave your bedroom door open. Sorry, kiddo. Them’s the breaks. I couldn’t have girls in my room with the door shut, so you don’t get to have boys.
  4. You and I are going to revisit that talk we had about safe sex. I know it’s going to be awkward for both of us, but it is important. I need to do some research first, so let’s give it a few weeks. If you have questions or concerns before then, let me know.

That’s enough for now. Feel free to view this letter as a contract. If I ever fail to meet any of the commitments made herein, pull it out and hold me to account. I’ll end with this: You are not broken. You are whole, and beautiful. You are capable and compassionate. You and your sister are the best things I have ever done with my life, and I couldn’t be prouder of the people you’ve become.

Love,
Dad

P.S. Thanks to a few key Supreme Court decisions and the Marriage Equality Act of 2020, you’re legally able to get married. When I was your age, that was just an idea. Pretty cool, huh?

The original post can be found here and his blog can be found here.

Well done, John. I appreciate the inspiration.

Oh So Close…

There is just so much going on in my life right now. It has gotten to the point where I wake up dizzy at everything that’s going on. I’m on a rollercoaster ride that’s supposed to end soon, yet it just keeps going and going.

I helped Sunshine move into our new home last Tuesday. It was a scorching hot day, we had some friends help out, and we ended up with an apartment full of boxes and bags and no time for me to stick around to unpack. I got up at 5am the next morning and took off for my 2 1/2 hour drive back to my current residence (no longer my “home”). I felt terrible leaving her behind with the mess, but knew I’d be back in a few days for a longĀ  3-day weekend.

On the work front, I haven’t received a phone call for an interview in over two weeks. I have gotten down to a final interview for a potentially great job but I haven’t heard from them on when they want to set it up (they contacted my references last week but I haven’t heard anything since). It’s becoming increasingly difficult to NOT be frustrated at the whole thing. I realize it’s a terrible time of the year to go out looking for work, but I’m not even hearing back on the jobs that I’m applying for (except for that one “Thanks but no thanks” email I got over the weekend).

My supervisor talked to me last week and asked me about when I was moving. I initially said that I couldn’t see myself being there after September 30th, but at this point I’m absolutely petrified that I won’t have a job by then…so I had to say December 31st just to cover myself.

Vacation starts on Friday at 5:30pm. I’m picking up my son and driving 2 1/2 hours to my new home with Sunshine. My daughter flies in on Saturday at 1pm. We’ll have four children (including Sunshine’s two awesome girls) and my Kia Forte for the entire week, which means that we’ll be looking at public transportation for most of our fun. It also means that we’ll probably be relegated to staying in the city for the entire week, which isn’t such a bad thing but it’d be nice to be able to visit my dad or go somewhere that we can all enjoy. Mini-vans are $100+ one-day rentals and practically non-existent at this time of the year, so needless to say we’re pretty much stuck with my small vehicle.

I’m so close to having everything fall into place…sooooo close…yet things seem just out of my grasp at this point. I feel like I’m treading water, and that feeling sucks.

I need to recognize the positivity of my situation, though. My daughter is flying in for a month. My home with Sunshine has a TON of potential. I’m GOING to get a job because I’m too much of an asset to NOT get a job. I’ve got four kids who think the world of me and a fiance who loves me like no other ever has or ever will. I’ve got a lot of goodness going on in my life.

I’m oh so close…but unfortunately, patience is just not one of my virtues.

Explaining News to Your Child

Hey gang! My latest post for Parent Society is up, so please feel free to click your way over to the site and leave a comment with your own thoughts on the subject!

Explaining News to Your Child

(I can’t get the link above to work –> http://www.parentsociety.com/parenting/explaining-news-to-your-child/)