We were watching a promo for Caillou this week in preparation for Father’s Day. Out of curiosity, I asked O “do you have a daddy?” He paused for a second, shrugged then said no…so I asked him what DO you have to which he smiled and replied…a Baba!
Ever since our first (and underwhelming) joint-Mother’s Day, I decided that we were going to divide up the parental holidays from then on. G takes Mother’s Day (which is more fitting) and this year, I eventually settled on Father’s day. This is because A) we found it too complicated (and not enough fun) to fete and be feted at the same time (it’s like sharing the same birthday and no one knows who’s in charge of planning the party). And B) because there is no official Baba Appreciation Day and I wanted O to have something to celebrate with his classmates in June (how do you make a card for a sperm donor?).
At two and a half, I don’t doubt O sees Babas and Dads as interchangeable. He knows his friends have a Mom and a Dad but he has a Mama and Baba. When we read stories, we name some nondescript cartoon creatures as Mommies, some as Daddies and others as Babas. We change songs about Mommies and Daddies to Mommies and Babas. Some ducks at the park are Moms and Dads and others O points out as “That’s a Baba” (no telling what or how he distinguishes one duck from another).
This will be my first year celebrating the third Sunday in June and I’m pretty breezy. In fact, if we hang around the house, spend some fun quality time together and maybe order in pizza, I think I’d be perfectly satisfied (thought I don’t hate the image of me reading a book in a hammock with an adult beverage).
For this year, I don’t think O would miss a beat in making me a card or celebrating Baba on Father’s Day. It will be interesting to see how it progresses as he gets older, not only because his family dynamic and lack of male patriarch will become more obvious to him but also to see how he chooses to handle it. Thankfully, I think the evolution of the “traditional” family (if such a thing ever really existed) and the cultural and generational shift towards embracing diversity will go a long way. For many young people, they don’t see any issue or conflict with non-traditional families – it doesn’t blip their radars.
I hope that’s the case…right now, O hasn’t even noticed that our cat only has three-legs…which is something that gives me hope. There is no “normal” and three-legged or four, we’re all just in this together.