This post is by K.
Sitting in the driveway in my car, early autumn, W in the passenger seat, engine off:
Me: “I think [having kids] is going to be a super interesting project. Like, probably the most interesting project I ever take on.”
W: “Uh, K…you can’t call kids a ‘project.’ It’s weird.”
Me: “But it is going to be a cool project. I mean, really. Because, you know…I’m not necessarily excited about having a kid. I mean, about actually HAVING a kid. That part sounds kind of horrible. I’m interested in, like, how we would raise a kid together and being openly queer parents and how to raise a kid through a feminist lens without being ridiculous and supporting you in being a primary parent as a dad in a mommy-centric world. So it will be an interesting project–a really interesting project.”
W: “OK. I get that, but if you say it that way to other people, you’d better be prepared. They’re going to look at you funny if you talk about kids like a ‘project’.”
Me: “Yeah, I know. People are going to want me to say, ‘OMG, I can’t wait to be pregnant!’ or, ‘I’ve always dreamed of having a baby!’ or, ‘I’ve always wanted to be a mommy!’ But none of that is true for me. I’m not going to lie.”
W: “Well, you don’t have to lie. Just…try not to be weird.”
When we first made this decision, W wasn’t sure how to react. He tiptoed around me for a couple weeks until I finally asked him why he was being strange. He said he was waiting for me to back out; that he couldn’t believe I would ever, ever be OK with this; that it was more than he imagined was possible; and that he didn’t want to get hurt when I changed my mind back.
As W says frequently, he “knew what [he] was getting into” when we started almost a decade ago, as did I. We were great friends, but poorly fitted in terms of long-term relationship potential. Continue reading