Part three of a six-part series of excerpts from “Confessions of a Lesbian Dad,” originally published in Confessions of the Other Mother: Non-biological Lesbian Moms Tell All (Ed. Harlyn Aizley. Boston: Beacon, 2006).
[Series intro and backstory here.]
I confess: coming up with the name “Baba” for my kind of parent — a kind of Mama-Papa hybrid — didn’t dampen my worries about being expendable, unnecessary, adjunct, optional, and otherwise of lesser significance to the whole baby-hatching scheme. Conceiving of isn’t believing, in other words. Being situated in the fluid space between the massive and massively charted continents Mother and Father, while right for me, gender-wise and parental role-wise, still left me bobbing around in an unmapped sea. I could have used an anchor, which I imagined our child would be. But until the little nipper materialized, I felt easily threatened. And it wasn’t just by my partner’s easy identification as the biomom. I was just as tempest-toss’d by the breezy nonchalance with which fatherly authority could be conferred, by friends and strangers alike, upon our donor chums.