by Tim Fisher
© 1996, Tim Fisher
On Valentine’s Day, my three-year-old son, Fritz, came home from Nursery School with a slew of Valentine’s in his lunch box. At the kitchen table, we opened them and read them together. At the bottom of the pile was a beautiful Pocahontas Valentine from Fritz’s good friend, Erin. On the back, Erin, who’s already writing simple sentences, had scrawled — “Will you marry me?”
I thought this was adorable — his first proposal. Fritz smiled, thought for a minute, and said, “When I grow up, I want to marry Erin — or Zack.”
Zack is an 11-year-old boy who comes over after school once or twice a week and baby-sits the kids while I’m upstairs working. He happened to be there that day, and heard what Fritz said. His response — “Gee Fritz, that’s nice!”
This little interchange put me in a sunny mood all day. I called Zack’s house and told one of his moms the story. She laughed and said “And of course, you’ll be writing this one up for your next newsletter.”
I did pause for a moment though, before running to my keyboard. One of the myths about the children of gay and lesbian parents is that they’re confused about their sexual identity. Does this vignette play right into that fear? Could this story be used against us?
No, I reminded myself — Fritz is right! He’s a lucky kid, because at only three, he knows the truth. Marriage is about love. He can grow up to marry Erin or Zack, or someone else. He can marry the person he loves — no matter what their gender. And he may choose not to get married.
Fritz isn’t confused — he’s well informed. He knows that there are all kinds of loving families. Living with two fathers, Fritz would be confused if he didn’t realize that this was one of life’s possibilities.
Sometimes there is one parent, sometimes two, and sometimes even more — Fritz’s good friend, Jordan, even has two moms and a dad all happily living under the same roof. And he knows couples, who don’t have children — Aunt Debs and Uncle Brian leap to mind — and knows they’re a family too.
By the time Fritz is ready to be married, his marriage will most likely be legally recognized — whether he marries a woman or a man. His other father and I have to wait a short time longer for our marriage to be legally recognized — we hope.
Of course, wise little Fritz has my blessing. When he grows up, he can marry Erin or Zack. They’d both make terrific in-laws. And in the meantime, we’ll keep singing our favorite bedtime lullaby, “Everything Possible,” made famous by The Flirtations.
© 1996, Tim Fisher.
former Executive Director,
Gay Lesbian Parents Coalition International
(now Family Pride Coalition)
Note: The song “Everything Possible” is written by singer/songwriter Fred Small and contains
the line “You can be anybody you want to be, you can love whomever you will.”
The song was used in the video “The Right to Marry” which was produced by Partner Task Force in 1996.