It’s the Monday night after our first vacation of any length in years, and the re-entry has been a trying one. My day was spent burrowing diligently and deep into the pile of work, emails, and kindergarten-related prep I put off while we were away. While the air is similarly sweltering, it’s minus the lovely Cape Cod views and sand between my toes. All that remains is a sunburn I keep absentmindedly scratching (and then regretting), remnants of sand in everything except my toes, and lots of memories.
Papa, Jon and I attended our first Family Week, an annual gathering of LGBTQ parents and their families in Provincetown, Massachusetts. It’s impossible to encapsulate everything from our week on the Cape (that’s what Instagram and Facebook are for), so I’ll just share the few images that make me smile, think, or feel the most.
The anxiety I feel over my son’s adventurous spirit is matched only by my admiration of it. Stifled at times within the context of school and home, it stretched its wings and flew, ran, splashed and jumped every chance it got.
I joked — with sweaty back and straining neck — that when our 5-year-old wants to be somewhere, he runs; when he doesn’t, he rides. Papa and I both bore a lot of extra weight — wiggly, sandy, soaking, sticky, and tired weight. Yet by next summer he’ll likely be too big for us to boost atop a fatherly perch, so I savored the closeness through the sweat and the strain, and the occasional drip of ice cream in my hair.
Speaking of which. Between the summer sun and a finicky five-year-old, Twisted Pizza & Ice Cream became our second, second home for the week. Pardon me while I wipe memory-induced drool from my keyboard.
Freedom from schedules and work and phone calls and appointments. Freedom to walk around in public, pantless and barefoot, wearing Daddy’s hat, eating a cookie before dinner.
Deepening existing ones, discovering new.
The entire point of the trip — for me, at least. My favorite moment wasn’t watching whales or roasting marshmallows on the beach. It was the one evening we spent together, just the three of us.
A panoramic view, a sea of families. Every size, color, age, and formation in every direction. Images to remind me of the diversity and the ever-increasing number of fellow parents in my community. We’re anything but alone, and becoming less-and-less unique. A good thing.
Images to remind my son that he is also not alone. As he starts kindergarten later this month, he may face old questions from new faces. And pose newer, more mature, more complicated questions to us. I may come back to this a lot.
Caught in these few seconds are everything about a child. About this child. The ability to tune out a clamoring crowd and the entirety of the ocean, while focused on a newly-learned task. Every second his mind evolving and growing beyond the dexterity of his still-childlike fingers. My child. Creating a thing in the middle of all of creation — and I get to bear witness. Then, a stumble, a stomp (and a scream, I think). Then, immediately back into the fray and the foam to try again.
The Persistence of YouthIn the midst of all the chaos, my little man repeatedly attempted to perfect the basics of sandcastle-building… Be sure and watch to the end — dedication, frustration, determination personified. So much life and emotion in so small a package!
Posted by Designer Daddy on Tuesday, August 4, 2015
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Learn more about Family Equality Council (organizers of Family Week), and their work supporting and representing LGBTQ parents and their families in the U.S.
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