It’s funny how I fit into the straight parenting world. I’m not comfy with “the moms” but it’s not like I feel totally in sync with “the dads.” Again, I cannot help but ponder on the differences, albeit slight, in being butch.
Take my son’s t-ball practice. I took him to his first one and my fiancé joined me – a family affair with his sister, too. I was very excited. I have a not-so-secret desire for my kids to excel at something. I don’t really care what – school, sports, the arts – just something (although if I were to pick one, definitely school). In addition to being great, kind, loving people, I hope for excellence in something. T-ball is the first opportunity for this excellence to peek out from where it might be hiding.So, I was excited to take him. He was excited. His uniform is so cute, all baggy in the butt! (This is the mom in me.) We headed out to practice all suited up, but I forgot to bring him water. (The dad in me.) Of course, every other boy on his team had a lovely mom there with him – and his very own bottle of water. Great job, mom! I felt so dumb. I had a soda on me by chance and so, at each water break, my boy got a nice refreshing sip of pure … diet soda.
Anyway, there I was (when it wasn’t a water break) taking pictures of my boy all over the field and standing near him watching for any signs of skill – a dad move, right?
In the meantime, my beautiful fiancé is in the dugout chatting with all of the boys’ moms. When I came back to sit down, she carefully introduced me to each mom, describing their sons as well. (I made notes, by the way, to keep everyone straight – so to speak).
She was very comfortable in their world in the dugout. I was comfortable on the field – kind of in between. Not coaching or talking to the dads, but not sitting down with the moms. Of course, it was worse because I felt so lame forgetting the water.
It is not that I am shy, believe me. I just notice sometimes that I can let myself be apart because of being butch – neither stereotypically feminine or masculine.
Note: This only really applies to bigger groups of folks. I am comfy talking to anyone one on one or in a small clump.
Obviously, I cannot give in to this hesitancy to join in. I don’t. I just stop to ponder it every now and then.
At the end of the day, we are much more similar than different, you and I (no matter who you are). But there is nothing wrong with honoring those small differences – as long as we don’t let them divide us.It’s butch to join in. Be butch.