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?