I’ve been saving these photos fer a very special day, mateys… In case you don’t have the internet (and I’m hoping you do, so’s you can read this here post) today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day!
Here’s the whole fam, in full-ish pirate regalia.
Yup, that there’s Papa, getting in on the pirate action at a friend’s birthday (aboard the highly cheesy, but recommended Urban Pirates!). His appearances here on the blog are too infrequent, so he’s getting another shout out in the form of one of JJ’s favorite books, and a rare Papa-centric tome…
I Love My Pirate Papa, by Laura Leuck
Amazon, $12.09 harcover, $6.29 softcover, ages 4-8
JJ loves this book because it’s about pirates, and talks about adventures and treasure and burping. I love it because of the awesome and whimsical illustrations by Kyle M. Stone. But Papa loves this book because it’s all about a little boy and his loving Papa.
Enjoy yer day, ye scallywags!
This post has been a long time in the making, but I’m super stoked to finally introduce “My Two Daddies (Can Beat Up Your One)” — the single, the finished product, the labor of love. And oh yeah, the fundraiser…
Y’see, I had such a blast writing, performing and recording this — yet I know it’s not going Platinum or winning any Grammies (CMA award, maybe?). It’s pretty much a vanity project wrapped in a love letter to my son (with a smidge of me working through my insecurities as a father). But I figured while I’m sharing it with the universe, I’d try to raise some money for a good cause. And I’ve found no better cause that supports other families with Two Daddies (or Two Mommies) than Family Equality Council.
But before I prattle on too much about my own benevolence… THE SONG!
I originally wrote the lyrics as part of a copywriting workshop. I was attending a design conference in the Texas hill country, and our assignment was to write a country song using our own life as the subject. JJ was about 18 months old at the time, and already I was pondering worrying what trials he might face as the adopted son of two gay men. I pictured our little fella getting picked on by some mustachioed, homophobic toddler (I know, my imagination runneth over) and in response, JJ puffs out his chest, chubby fists on his be-daipered hips, the theme from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly playing in the background…
…and thus was born “My Two Daddies” — the mock battle cry of a picked-on kid who’s unequivocally proud of who he is, where he comes from, and that he’s dang lucky to have “the two best daddies that you’ve ever seen.”
NOW ABOUT THAT FUNDRAISING BIT…
All the profits from song sales will go to Family Equality Council, so please mosey over to iTunes or Amazon and pony up your 99 cents. Our family (and others like ours) sure appreciates your contribution!
And if you’re feeling a might more generous, please consider making a donation directly to my fundraising page at Family Equality Council, where I’ll be tracking donations made from song sales as well as what’s contributed on the fundraising page. Since the month of June includes both Father’s Day and LGBT Pride celebrations (for many cities/states), my goal is to raise $500 by the end of the month. But I’d be pleased as punch to raise and/or extend that… READ FULL ARTICLE >>
As spring is finally starting to creep in, I thought I’d share these few (and rare, non-Instagram) photos of JJ watching Papa shovel snow from a couple weeks ago.
I’m not sure why I think posting photos on my blog is filler — I could look at these all day…
I created this disturbing little Photoshop masterpiece on Valentine’s Day, probably the first or second year Papa and I were together. It features my much-less gray (but still gigantic) head on Papa’s bare-assed baby body. We always joked that this would be what our children would look like. Thank God we were wrong.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Okay, so this is the best Christmas present of the year, hands down. My wonderful, long-suffering husband has often complained that I’m impossible to buy for. I wouldn’t say I’m impossible to buy for, but I can be kinda picky. And as a collector of many things, I tend to buy said things for myself a lot. So I understand where he’s coming from.
However, this year Papa genuinely surprised me with this hilarious Superman-ish portrait of me and the kiddo. And JJ was just as excited as me to see us in costume (and recognized us immediately). I admit I teared up a little bit — at both the image and at JJ’s shared enthusiasm. And damn, I’m looking fit!
Want to purchase your own customized portrait? You can get them from AllPopArt.com. There’s quite a large selection, including a bunch of other superheros and even some licensed Marvel Comics characters (Spidey, Hulk, Thor, Cap). However, I think I prefer our Superman knock-off getup, as it adds to the cute/cheesy factor.
Good job, Papa! You’re my hero!
As promised, here’s the Daddy Album. And this one was even more difficult to winnow down than the Designer Album. Again I went for the ones that told the best stories from the trip, as well as some variety. But I cheated a little and included 12 instead of 10 photos. My loophole is that two of these weren’t taken by me, so YAY, bonus pics!
Perhaps as a surprise to no one, the majority of these are of JJ. So WARNING: if you don’t think you’ll like photos of my adorable tyke charming the entire country of Italy, you’ve come to the wrong place…
It took me forever to find the four Father’s Day cards I needed to buy this year. Yes, I said FOUR: one for Papa from me, one for Papa from JJ, one for my Dad from me, and one for my Dad from JJ. I realize I could do some doubling-up there, but being a 2-dad household makes Father’s Day a pretty big deal, and I want to make sure everyone gets all the love and appreciation in paper form that they so richly deserve.
Here are a few things I learned from my quest for the perfect Father’s Day cards…
Father’s Day cards are the most goofy and sexist of all the greeting card industry-created holidays. In my vast multi-store research, I’ve found they generally fall into four themes hackneyed clichés:
4. TIES / BRIEFCASES, AKA: While I appreciate that you work to support our family, please be aware that I spend way more time with the kids, so you’re kind of a second-class parent… Are the burgers done yet?
Keep in mind that ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of these cards were created with the assumption they’d be purchased by women for their husbands, fathers, or husbands’ fathers. So there seems to be (at least in the sampling I’ve presented to make my point) a whole lotta generalization and stereotyping going on here. Where are the cards for the dads that DON’T like to grill or hammer or wear a tie or spend their days in a recliner glued to ESPN?
And if you’re a dad who sleeps next to another dad, forget it. It’s hard enough finding a gender-neutral Valentine’s Day or Anniversary card in anything resembling a mainstream retail store. Try finding a Father’s Day card to a husband FROM a husband. It’s about as common as a department store ad depicting two kids with their gay dads. It’s out there, just not a lot of people are doing it.
Luckily, there are some folks at least trying. Family Equality Council and Children’s Tylenol created some same-sex Father’s Day e-cards you can customize and send for free. This is a great idea and I applaud the effort. My only beef is that they are for both dads together. I’m my own person, and so is Papa. Joint Father’s Day cards might be okay for those freaky couples who share an email address, but not us. Plus, JJ knows us as “Daddy” and “Papa” — he doesn’t get yet that he has two fathers.
On the topic of Papa, I’ve mentioned before the lack of non-grandpa “Papa” references out there. The same applies to greeting cards. Unless I’m mistaken, these cards are not singing the praises of the Spanish-speaking, gay Papas of the world.
I know I’ve done a lot of griping here, so I want to end with how excited I am at how things are changing and becoming more accepting and supportive of families like ours. President Obama, JCPenney, the myriad of GLBT advocacy groups — they’ve all contributed to what’s been an incredible few months for gay Americans. Even so, there’s still an abundance of hatred and violence and plain old ignorance — and lots of work still to be done.
Speaking of work, one of the things I found particularly humorous in the hammock-themed cards is that they all talk about how “It’s your day, relax! Kick up your feet! We’ll do all the work today!” Again, these were intended for men with wives who had their own special day the previous month, and presumably do all the heavy lifting the third Sunday in June. What do you do when you’re both supposed to relax? Let the kid run wild? Maybe it’s just because our kiddo is 2-1/2, but there’s no such thing as a relaxing Sunday in our house, Father’s Day or otherwise. Yet I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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(PS: I did find some pretty great cards for all the wonderful guys in my life, which I will be sharing with them privately. 🙂 However, none of them even comes close to fully expressing how lucky I am to have such a wonderful Dad, loving husband and incredible son. So maybe next year I’ll just design my own…)
As a bonus, here’s one final card, which I think includes pretty much all of the aforementioned clichés:
Last December I was searching for papa-centric gifts to get JJ’s Papa for Christmas, and let me tell you, it was slim pickings. This is unfortunate as a lot of two dad families go by the “daddy/papa” monikers. In addition to the papa stuff being few and far between, lots of it was for grandfathers. And while we may not be spring chickens, we ain’t visiting Grandpa Land anytime soon. However, I did manage to find a few fun things, including a charming book about animal babies and their fathers called “Papa Papa”, as well as this sassy “Who’s Your Papa?” tee shirt…
But the best by far was the book “Daddy, Papa, and Me” which has since become one of our favorite books to read to JJ. It’s a very straightforward, no-nonsense, non-preachy, day-in-the-life story of a child (cleverly illustrated so as not to be gender-specific) and his/her two fathers. It starts off with the child asking “Who wants to play with me today?,” followed with spread after spread depicting things Daddy and Papa does with the realistically energetic toddler. Our favorite is this one, that most accurately portrays our family’s greatest strengths, with Daddy helping to “paint the sky” and Papa helping to bake a pie (our Papa is Italian, and a cook among cooks).
After a slew of other activities (throwing a ball, having a tea party, etc.) the book ends with a sentiment any parent of a toddler can relate to, regardless of the family’s makeup…
What appeals most to me about the book is that it doesn’t try to make a case for this family, or celebrate that it’s “different.” There are plenty of other books for that. What it does celebrate is the joy of a child spending time with his parents — learning, playing, and experiencing life.
For you two mother families, “Mommy, Mama, and Me” is also available from the same author.
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What is your favorite same-sex parent book? Let me know in the comments! Then head over to Facebook and say “hi” on the Designer Daddy page!
At long, long, LONG last, here are my top pics for each photo from Captionpalooza 2011. Thanks again to all who participated — I’m honored to have such creative (and sarcastic) readers!
Photo 1 winner: Ryan W