My little grand daughter, Delilah, and her parents are staying with us for a short while. It’s strangely pleasant. Keith and I worried it might be awkward, given the tight quarters (two bedrooms, 950 square feet), but it’s been rather enjoyable. It’s temporary, we know this, but there’s ultimately one reason why it isn’t a bother in the slightest…
Because Delilah is the cutest fucking angel on the planet.
She’s a doll. She’s two years old, including every virtue and vice that comes with it: stubborn, adorable, fierce, beautiful, funny, determined, energetic, cranky, fussy, girly, and brilliant. Yes, I said brilliant. Why? Because I’m her god damned Papa, that’s why.
Before Delilah was born (that’s her name, Delilah, isn’t it perfect?), my affection for children was tepid at best. Don’t misunderstand, it’s not like children made me cringe. I tolerated them, I suppose. In my early 20s, my nephew was a large part of my life when he was a toddler. I babysat him every Sunday for almost 3 years. But I was young, naive, and I didn’t appreciate the genuine marvel that is Children. I was too busy being hung over to realize that I was missing out on my nephew’s formative years.
Fast forward 18 years. I’m almost 40. I’m at a time in my life when I’m beginning to reflect without being prompted; I look at my past for what it is, but I also understand that I have complete control of my future if I so choose.
Having Delilah is here is the strangest, most glorious thing to describe. I’m used to seeing her once a week, when Keith and I would drive south to visit. Now she’s here, babbling, learning, playing, making noise, rushing into my arms when she sees me, giving me twenty-minute-long-hugs in the morning, just hanging on my torso, her head rested wearily in the crook of my neck and shoulder. Unconditional love. No strings.
I have, at times, wished I’d had my own children. This is probably the only detriment to being gay. Yes, yes, there’s adoption, I know. But Keith is 53 and I’m 40 (almost!), and though we’re developing a more comfortable financial future, having a child just isn’t in the cards. What I love about Keith is if I were to come home tomorrow with a brand new baby (because, you know, that happens), he wouldn’t even flinch at the idea of raising it. He’d embrace it. Then, of course, reality sets in: he’d be 71 when this child graduates high school. Even worse, I’d be 57.
So for now we just enjoy having Delilah around. Even when she’s screaming at 1:30 in the morning. Even when she doesn’t want to eat her “bites.” Even when she dumps a monster-sized poop in her diaper. Why? Because she’s fucking adorable! And she just loves her Papas.
Even the cranky old one.