Monday, December 20, 2010

Unto Me a Child

I was working as an Application Consultant at a small software company when I first met Loud. He was brought in by our Engineering VP, who also happens to be buddies with Loud and was an awesome mentor to me until he started hitting on me too frequently. Right from the start I adored him (Loud, not the pervy VP). He was funny, self-deprecating, smart as a whip, well-dressed, and liked to drink scotch at lunch time. It took me a while to catch on that he was gay because I’m just really kind of oblivious sometimes, and it took even longer for him to admit that he had a long-term partner sitting at home while we were out partying and passing out in Mexican restaurant bathrooms.

The first few years of our friendship were a blur of crazy roadtrips, video games, and fast food. I hit it off with his Quiet, funny, smart, well-dressed partner almost immediately, despite the fact he was not the outgoing party monster that Loud was. We went to New York, Ottawa, Myrtle Beach. We attended weddings and funerals and Rocky Horror events (not all at the same time), devoted weekends to City of Heroes and Final Fantasy Online, drew straws for who had to run to Wings to Go. It was a fun time. We had money to burn, crazy stressful jobs, and annoyed pretty much everyone who knew us.

I’m not sure what came up first, the idea of asking one of them to be a donor or us slowly starting to live together. We lived in neighboring cities bordered by massive snarls of commuter traffic, and I was spending over three hours a day just getting to and from work. It simply made sense for me to stay over at their place once in a while to save the almost 2-hr drive, as their place was just a few miles from our office. It was easier for them to stay over at my place on the weekends, where the food was better and the house was cleaner (I know, can you believe someone could be dirtier than me?!). We settled into a comfortable routine, but my Baby Plan, first considered in my 30’s then laughably tossed into a drawer when I looked at diapers and daycare, was always at the back of my mind.

I knew that while Loud would be more than willing, he was not the ideal candidate. Too much like me in all the bad ways (stubborn, crazy, Type A, covered head to toe in furry black Italian hair) and too erratic, I had my eye on Quiet. Rational, artistic, sensitive, and with totally awesome hair, Quiet seemed like the perfect baby daddy. However, he immediately said no when asked. As you know from the second sentence in this paragraph, I am nothing if not stubborn. I mounted a ‘Make Me a Baby’ campaign that eventually wore him down. I promised no strings, no involvement, no commitment, no financial or emotional responsibilities of any kind.

If I knew then what I knew now, would I have done things differently? I don’t think so. I still wouldn’t have listened to all the good advice I ignored. I wouldn’t want to give up the great times the three of us had together. I think a lot about what I’m going to tell Jellybean about her biological father, and how she’ll feel about him. I wonder if, years from now, enough time will have passed that Quiet can be in a place where he can take her calls or write her letters or send holograms to see her, or whatever the heck it is we’re doing in the future. I still have dreams where we’re friends. I still have nightmares that we’re trying to sell the The House. This is only my third Christmas since moving out, but it feels like much, much longer. There’s still a lot of hurt, and anger, and bitterness, but three years ago right around this time I learned that I was expecting a girl, and I have never once stopped being grateful for that. You know I’m not religious, and certainly don’t believe in miracles. But I am a woman who did not lay with a man nor did I give birth, yet I have a child of my flesh and blood dancing around my house at all hours STILL singing Frosty the Snowman. And that is a Christmas blessing, plain and simple.

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