Before I begin, I first have to say is this: You totally shouldn't be watching shows like
"Modern Family" with your 4-year-old. I'm not an uptight parent at all, but come on… it's not age- appropriate.
That being said, I was watching "Modern Family" with my
child the other day. (OK, I was
watching and my son was playing in the vicinity. But you know as well as I do that our kids
are sponges and they totally absorb everything and blah blah blah…) I notice my kid looking up at the television, and realize
that it's a perfect teaching moment. The
scene is of Lily, the daughter of Cam and Mitchell, and she's with her dads. She is an adorable little girl, born in
Vietnam and adopted at birth by two wonderful men.
Since our son is adopted, we make a habit out
of pointing out other children who are adopted whenever we can, so it opens up a
conversation and it's part of the everyday normalcy of our little one's life.
I say to my son, "Lucas, look! That little girl was adopted too!"
He smiles and says "Cool. She was adopted too!" (He loves the kinship.)
It didn't occur to me that the conversation would go on from
there. But it does.
He then said something that I absolutely wasn't expecting. He said, half enthusiastically and half quizzically, "That little girl has two daddies?"
I froze for a few seconds. And I am terribly, horrifically and incredibly embarrassed that I froze
for even a millisecond. However, I did.
"How do I explain to my child that a little girl has two daddies?" I thought. "What am I going to do now?"
I froze because I didn't know what to say. I wasn't prepared for that observation.
"How do I explain to my child that a little girl has two
daddies?" I thought. "What am I going to
Then I unfroze. HOLY
CRAP… did I really think that? Did I
really just freak out that I would have to explain this to my child?
After those few seconds (that seemed like minutes) I simply
looked at my kid and said, "Yup. She has
two daddies. Some children have two
daddies. Some have two mommies. Some have one mommy. Some have one daddy. Some live with their grandparents. There are many perfectly normal scenarios."
He looked up at me, having easily taken this information
in. "Cool. Like I have a mommy and a daddy."
Then I flipped to Doc McStuffins—not because of the shame of
the conversation. but because Doc is just more appropriate.
I have often heard the argument against same-sex marriage (or same-sex adoption) as "How can I possibly explain to my child how a child has two daddies?"
I can now tell you from personal experience: It ain't too freaking hard. Just tell them. I guarantee they're a lot more human than the idiot
parent who feels it's inexplicable. And frankly, if you're against same-sex
marriage because YOU feel inconvenienced, then that's a whole different issue.