It was inevitable that the Dad question would come up at some point. Now that M is at pre-school he is making friends at a lightning speed. We were a little concerned with his ability to form friendships at his old pre-school, but all these fears have disappeared as his key worker assured us he’s a popular little lad and friendly with everyone. Over the last 6 weeks I’ve noticed him come out of his shell whilst we stood at the gates waiting to go in. He moved from watching children play to actively leading the games they played. He’s made a couple of close friendships already and I love overhearing their little conversations.
Today whilst stood waiting for the gates to open, his little friend turned to him and innocently asked “Where’s your Dad?”. M stood for a few seconds and then ran back into my arms saying “Here’s Mama”. I know M isn’t quite at the point of getting into a deep conversation about his parents, but he is quite matter of fact about it all.
At home we talk to M about different families and how they are made up of different parents. Some of his friends have a Mama and a Mummy like him, some of them have a Mummy and a Daddy and some of my friends would like a child which would make them a two Daddy family. He takes it all in his stride and still thinks it’s quite interchangeable. One day after seeing a friend of his having a nice moment with their dad, he turned to me and said “I’d like a dad”. When asked the other day if he’d like a dad he said no, “I have a Mama”. I smiled and said “Can I be replaced?”. He looked at me with his big brown eyes and said “No, Mama can’t be replaced”. Cue watery eyes!
As M grows, we are aware more questions will arise and as he forms stronger friendships I imagine he will be quizzed by his friends. Our job is to help him grow with an open mind and the ability to respond to the questions he feels comfortable answering. There will be questions he doesn’t feel comfortable answering and it’s important for us to prepare him how to respond or give him the confidence to feel he can deflect those questions. We hope that the parents of his friends are just as open minded and raising children to accept families as they are. Because what is important, is a family full of love.