Thursday, February 12

A Fear Turned to Fantasy

Before I had kids I got OCD on research: What are the psychological ramifications of a sperm donor child (known versus unknown donors); what are the potential future pitfalls; How much should I put aside for therapy; Is having a sperm donor child a selfish act; morally wrong?

I spent 11 months running scenarios, reading research (I kept a huge box of research in my garage until about a year ago), investigating options. I would run an idea for weeks on-end. What if I had a boy? Who would teach him about boxers versus briefs? What if I had a girl? Who would take her to Father/Daughter dances at school?

Both of these topics became reality in the past couple of months. I took my son to Macy's with the giant underwear-clad mannequins and went through them one-by-one, talking about the differences in a snug Willie fit versus a loose Willy fit and whether or not his male family members wore boxer-briefs. The fear I'd had was nothing more than a pack of SpiderMan tighty-whities a pair of stripped boxers.

Perhaps more sensitive for me was the upcoming Father/Daughter dance. When I saw the sign go up at school, I felt my face get hot. Immediately, the Things were asking what it said, and before I could tell them, they read it themselves. I didn't have time to catch my breath or get my much practiced replies about "Father/Daughter" stuff I'd simulated years ago. My daughter was jumping non-stop and blurting out, "I can take Granddad! I can take SuperH! I can take Uncle R! I can take Thing 1!" The entire way home in the car, she weighed which of her men would be the best suited for a Western Ho-Down in the school cafeteria. It was decided before I pulled in the driveway: Granddad, it was.

After so many years of fear -- the kind of cold fear you can't shake -- of how my daughter would tackle these kinds of events, it was her smile popping out of the car that turned my fear to fantasy.

"Mom!," she screamed while jumping and leaping and bouncing out of her cowgirl outfit, "Granddad and I had a BLAST!!!!!!"

Fears turned to fantasies in the hand of my children.

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David said...

Yah, kids are awesome, aren't they! ... and remarkably resilient! ;-)

I have a niece adopted from China, and I've been the "Uncle" at those events a few times. It's great fun for the "guy" -- whoever he is.

And my own kids sometimes beg for grandfathers to join them at their own father-daughter events (since my being around isn't novelty it used to be)