My folks flew in on Wednesday and ended up in the adjoining apartment. I was so happy to see them and shocked, I didn’t know if they really believed their gay sons had a baby! After all it had only been a 6 week gestation for us!
We all just sat around for 4 more days just watching the baby grow! Although my dad did make it to the health club every day. One time my mom had the baby on her lap on his belly. We had been scared silly of the babies sleeping on the belly thing but during the day we were OK. At the 4 hour mark I told my mom the doctor said he should eat every 3 hours and it was now 4 so I had to wake him up or he would be malnourished! I took my instructions very seriously!
Most evenings I would drive 10 minutes to some shopping center and get us all Chinese food for dinner. Now, I am a New York Jew, and I know my Chinese food, and this wqas not it! (They also still owe us an egg roll that they stiffed us on the last night – they must have known!) Although none of us lost any weight!
I had also developed a roll of film at the super market in the same strip mall center and when I picked them up I got my first congratulations! For being a grandfather! No thank-you! Unfortunately that accusation has happened several times since, once by one of my old bosses!
I had also by this time found a BabiesRUs a few towns away and started to learn to buy nipples that were reusable. That was a big step! I also sent out some mass emails about the blessed event, I think AOL read the mass email as spam!
Thursday, the 8th day, was the day of the traditional Jewish Bris. I had investigated this before the baby was born and I had a “Moyel” all set up. He is the person that does the religious/traditional circumcision. Did I mention that he was also a pediatrician? I wasn’t taking any chances! Needless to say, Grandpa and the 2 dads were sobbing throughout, and Grandma held strong. I couldn’t bear to look, but my spouse peeked and has been traumatized since! The baby didn’t really care, he had a cloth with some wine in his mouth – again, that is tradition! Me, I just never thought I would have a child, let alone bring him up in the tradition that I grew up with. I was very proud in between the tears.
This tradition usually comes with a large celebration, usually a big party in your house or even a hall, and since we were out of town we went to a fancy Italian restaurant to eat lunch afterwards. This was my folks first taste of going out with a gay couple, there was no way anyone was going to mistake grandma for the mommy!
The staff at the restaurant could not have been nicer. When push comes to shove, everyone’s love for a baby comes to the fore and nothing else matters. Several staff came over and were nice as can be, and the greeter herself was 6 months pregnant and was getting advice from me!
All the papers were cleared and we left Saturday for NYC! The gate agent was a little snotty (jealous I think) but the airline steward couldn’t have been nicer! He was one of us if you know what I mean. American Airlines domestic 1st class was very nice, I hope it didn’t spoil my 11 day old son! We had to hold him on our laps as they wouldn’t allow him to be in a baby holder as the airlines had deemed that not safe in case of an accident. The airline steward gave him a little gift, a small airplane pin, he was being supportive of his fellow gays!
I relate this whole story to my son almost monthly as he asks to hear the story of his birth. I tell him that we flew home via St. Louis and he pooped in every airport! He totally enjoys that part of the story, I can still see the family changing room in St. Louis and the one in JFK. As soon as we landed we changed him so he would be clean to meet his other set of grandparent, Nanni and Popi! I called them from the cell phone in my daze and it turned out they were right in front of us. I thought there was tighter security at these airports!
We all drove to Manhattan and my spouse’s folks slept over for a few days and then several times a week after that. They were in between houses at the time so it worked out perfectly for them to stay by us as much as we needed – and then some!
After a few days my father-in-law called my spouse at work and said to please let his mother help! We had felt that it was our baby so we should be tortured all night long with the waking up. After 1 week of this and the offer from my mother-in-law, we got over ourselves! I don’t think I slept anyway, I know I haven’t in 11 years and counting!
We went back to work and we both got our baby showers! I was shocked, surprised and overjoyed at mine, the staff chipped in and got me a digital camera! It was the perfect gift and I will always be very grateful for that. Enough of those Kodak disposables!
At the end of June a friend of mine, who was a volunteer at my job, came over to pick me up for an event. I noticed she was a natural with the baby. She had been an emergency room nurse and a police detective. She was retired and single, I thought she would be a perfect nanny until we were able to put our son in daycare! She had my minimum qualifications after all!
There is a daycare/pre-K in our development, privately run and highly recommended by 2 people I knew and trusted. Quite by luck, I called Oct 1 and they said they would have an opening. To back up, Sept 1 there was a waiting list and we were #25. Someone dropped out before the new school year had started and they never got around to calling anyone. Because of their slowness we were next on the list when I called! Everyone else had found alternative placement. As you can imagine, I wanted my son in a place with a whole staff trained in CPR, etc. taking care of him. Typical paranoid first time parent. I also suspected he would be an only child and I thought the socialization afforded him at this center would be helpful. Turns out we are still close friends with the twins we met at 4 months old, and we run into 2 others from that first baby room as well. It is right in our community and has been wonderful through the years and a great anchor. To scroll forward, my son went to public school with 6 of his daycare/pre-K classmates. That was comforting to me. We run into others from there all the time, it has been a great part of our community life.
And as much art work that I have from his first year at “school,” at least I did not save any of the daily report sheets that told me when he had bowel movements throughout the day!
Happy Father’s Day to us!