Most of my young life, I dreamt of a large family with many children screaming, playfully terrorizing one another and basically providing loads of love and energy in a semi large contained space.
There were only two problems : I am gay and I could not find another suitable individual who had done the emotional and psychological work that would allow us to co-parent from a position of love and guidance and not neediness.
The more I longed for young ones and fought to become and stay emotionally healthy, the fewer men I encountered who were healthy enough to raise or consider guiding young people.
I have always loved and valued children.
My commitment to children is also a commitment to community.
As a young boy, I had the distinct and memorable experience of being raised in many intergenerational situations.
Whether it was an uncle teaching us the latest dance steps or an aunt sneaking us into Richard Pryor’s concert film and performing Macbeth in the living room, we had many and varied influences who all influenced and loved us in very different ways.
When my parents could not tolerate my daydreams and basement, standing room only performances, my sister and I would head down the street to an always eager audience (our grandparents).
When raising children certain realities will present themselves.
At some point, adults lose their patience. They will say or do something stupid or insensitive.
Bad parenting and making a bad choice are not one in the same.
Many parents, including my own, are obsessively concerned with being perceived as a good or bad parent.
The parenting gestapo is not concerned with supporting parents and communities dedicated to rearing children.
When parents accept the good/bad parent title, they’ve lost the parenting battle and have limited their ability to think and make amends.
We all get seduced into the lies that say everyone is more capable, organized and loving than we are.
When the silent voice of defeat constantly whispers we are losers and have no business raising children, many of us react by criticizing, controlling and frantically attempting to dominate every aspect of our children’s young lives.
We no longer do what’s best for our children.
We do what’s best for us and hope that this lack of thought and future planning will not cause any severe and psychological upset.
The trick to creating new parenting strategies is not focusing on whether a parent is good or bad.
Using our community as a source of support, tough love and inumerable ways to interact with young people, we are able to create new strategies for loving and guiding our young people and give up the concept of good/bad parenting.