The flu, gay families, and other thoughts

The flu this year is a bloody nightmare. I’ve had it twice now. And no, I don’t get a flu shot. Incidentally, I was totally amazed at how commonplace the flu shot is in the US now (not so when I was a kid), every drugstore has the “flu-shot available”, “get your flu shot” signs out, even the pediatrician asked if my kids had had their flu shots… why does everyone in the US need to get a flu shot? (Also, the chicken pox vaccine… what the hell?)

We have a great family doctor here, who comes to the house and everything, so we saw him this week as we’ve all been felled by the flu, and I mentioned the pervasiveness of flu shots in the US, and he said something to the effect that he’d recently read a study about how, statistically, Americans are less healthy than Europeans, so maybe that’s why. Sweeping generalizations aside though, I don’t get it, in Italy mostly only the elderly, the very sickly, or people who work in healthcare or childcare positions get flu shots, the rest of us just either get the flu and get over it or don’t get it at all. Anyway, I had it twice this year, felt like death run over, survived both times, and am now hopefully done until next winter.

I recently started reading this blog: Mommy Man: adventures of a gay super dad, which, incidentally, is just more proof, if more proof were needed, that a two dad family, or a two mom family, or a mom/dad family, or a just one parent family, or a two parents plus multiple step parent family all really just sound the same when talking about their children. Anyway, Jerry wrote this post: How to talk to your children about gay parents, by a gay parent. It was a good post, nothing earth shattering, just a lot of common sense, which, alas, is apparently lacking in a lot of people.

And I’m not even talking about the far-right, ultra-conservative, don’t believe in evolution and God speaks to me directly whack jobs that we wish were just a figment of an overly-zealous Hollywood writer’s imagination, I’m talking about otherwise reasonable people. This piece has been published in quite a few places, and the comments on it just blow my mind, I don’t know how the author keeps his head from exploding, seriously, exploding brains all over his computer screen. Even the respectful comments, most of them run along the lines of great, I’m sure he’s an awesome dad, but kids need a mom and a dad, gay families are actually harming these children because they’re not giving them something intrinsically, atavically important, which are the biological parents. Or something along those lines anyway.

Really?

Can we all agree, first off, that children mostly just need to be loved? And that, frankly, there are more different combinations of families out there than most of us can even imagine. Cause there are kids being raised by single parents, and kids being raised by grandparents or other family members, and kids being raised by step parents, and by the state, there are also kids being raised by complete assholes whether they be biological or not, and any of these combinations are pretty much acceptable and accepted (even the assholes) but for some reason two same-sex parents is just more than our minds can conceive?

I was talking to the husband about this once and I was surprised to hear him say that ideally kids should be raised by a mom and a dad. But then I thought about it and, sure, ideally, kids should be raised by a mom and a dad, ideally the mom should stay home and take care of the family and be happy while doing so, the dad should make a comfortable salary and always be home in time for dinner, ideally they should all be happy and healthy and vacation at the beach every year. But we live in the real world, not in a sitcom set in 1958. There is no ideal, there’s just several billion people on the planet trying to live their lives to the best of their abilities, and some of them are gay and some of them want to raise families and so some of them will adopt or find a surrogate or a sperm donor and start a family, and this affects me and my life not even remotely.

And it is no harder to explain to a child than a hundred difficult situations, if done with a little common sense.

Personally, I’m not a gigantic fan of surrogacy, because there’s a lot, A LOT, of kids that need families and should be adopted, but adopting is a long and difficult process, even for a “traditional” family, and some people just have a very strong pull towards the biological imperative of genetically reproducing themselves, so who am I to say that they shouldn’t? I did (reproduce myself, that is).

So as long as they’re loving their children, and raising them, and just generally doing their jobs as parents, what do we have to be so judgy of? After all, we’re all going to manage to screw up our kids one way or another, right?

 

And on a conclusive, and completely unrelated note, does anyone else watch White Collar? Because, Matt Bomer is unequivocally hot, but doesn’t Time Dekay also have a little “je ne sais quoi…”? No? Just me?

7 thoughts on “The flu, gay families, and other thoughts

  1. Great post – and thanks for the link! I’ve talked about some of the other stuff you mention in previous posts on my blog — do my kids deserve a mom? (http://jerry-mahoney.com/2012/09/19/fine-rupert-everett-my-kids-deserve-a-mom-but-shut-up-anyway/) and surrogacy v. adoption (http://jerry-mahoney.com/2011/09/27/6-reasonsbesides-the-biological-one-to-consider-surrogacy/) You address the mommy issue very well, and pretty similarly to the way I did. I’d love for you to read the reasons my partner and I chose surrogacy to build our family, because it may shed some light on the process for you. I hear the “babies need homes. You should adopt!” thing a lot, and it’s just not that simple.

    Anyway, I enjoyed reading your blog, and I’ll be back to check out more!

  2. I love you and I love this post. Kids need parents who love them. end of story. Does this world have nothing better to do than to harass parents who are giving children a loving and caring home?

  3. You’re totally right, kids just need love. Sadly we focus so much on this gay marriage/family/whatever issue that loads of kids who aren’t getting it are being ignored. Our priorities are all messed up aren’t they? Talking to my kids about gay marriage and families has been easy for us, probably because we’ve always had a few gay friends and we’ve never tried to hide the fact that they’re gay. It’s a non-issue like why we drink skim milk or why we don’t listen to Taylor Swift.

    Also, dude – you guys don’t get the flu shot shoved down your throat? Amazing! It’s a fairly recent thing here, maybe in the past 5 years they’ve wanted everyone to get it. I refuse, but the boys old preschool required it. Dumb. I am a fan of the chicken pox vaccine though because it protects us from shingles later in life. Shingles suck. Hope you all feel better soon!

  4. I don’t know much about bathroom or kitchen renovations but I do have an opinion about flu shots (I would rather take my chance and get the flu then get the shot) and a wee bit about gay parenting (my son has had a boy in his class for the last 5 years who is being raised by two moms and who happen to live about three doors down from us). I agree that we are all on this planet trying to do our best. And love is love. Kids will drive straight parents and gay parents batty. All parents are sleep deprived, doubt their choices, lose their tempers and love their kids fiercely. Yup, there are a lot of “ideal” situations out there but I have yet to meet one of them head on. I’ll keep looking though! Thanks for stopping by chez moi and leaving your calling card!

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