I waited my whole life to have a child. I dreamed about being a parent as a teenager. I always loved kids, I remember taking my little neighbor kids to the Bronx Zoo for the day, way back when.
I was almost 30 when my little brother had his first child, and I remember looking into the nursery and thinking how much I loved my tiny, new nephew. I knew then that if my brother could do it, I would have to find a way to do it as well. I wanted to be a dad.
At the ripe old age of 33 I met the man who would be my husband. I distinctly remember, during our second week of dating, being in a toy store in Soho and hearing my boyfriend say that the saddest thing to him about being gay was that he couldn’t have kids. I told him I fully intended on having kids, I didn’t know why he thought he couldn’t. That strengthened our bond 1000%, that desire we shared to be dads.
My spouse comes from a huge, close family. His mom is the oldest of seven, and he is the oldest of four. His mom and three of her sisters live within 7 houses of each other in a development on Staten Island. My spouse has 18 first cousins, most of whom are fairly close, and between them there are already over 30 kids in the next generation.
I feel that his family is too co-dependent. And now I want to be! When my husbands siblings got married, they moved into the basement of their parents house before they bought their own houses locally. None of them went away to college. When my husband moved out of his parents house, his father went to his mother and asked what they did wrong. They didn’t know he was moving in with his love at the time, they just thought he was leaving them.
And now I get it. I worked towards the goal of becoming a parent for over a decade, after wishing for it my whole life. I was 44 when my son was born, we adopted him at birth. We are very close. We still spend most of our weekends together, I have always participated a lot at his various schools, all the staff know me! We still have fantastic vacations together even though he is a mood swinging tween! He has also very recently said that we are the fun family, and he also hugged me and said he loved me the other day. I am sure he wanted something after that, but I am OK with the buttering up!
Why should I be expected to “give up my kid” just because he goes to college. I didn’t spend my entire life to accomplish this dream, only to see hi, move away. I get it now, I get the relationship my in-laws have with their kids. It is selfish. And why not? I love this kid more than anything else, why shouldn’t I be selfish, and why shouldn’t he have parental support at the highest level as long as I am alive to give it?
In my own family, my brother never moved more than a town away, and now that my parents are older, they live in an apartment in his house. Again, why not? I already have a deal where I will live in my son’s basement and he is going to get me one of those electric chairs to carry me upstairs when I am too old to walk.
But what about the in between time, the college years? Did I do all this work for him to just step out of my life, to move away, to have an entire life without me? Oh, I don’t think so!
Originally I thought I would move to the other side of town if my son went away to college, this way I would be nearby if he needed me. (And he better always need me!) I mean, my husband has direct deposit, I can just send the rent check in for him and leave him some money for food, maybe see him every other weekend. But taking care of my college age, grown child, that is my primary function in life!
And then it hit me! I could matriculate! Is there an age limit on dorms? Why should he room with a stranger? It’s perfect! I will become his college roommate!