Eight months, two and a quarter inches, a buncha pounds, and a whole new world later. We came to the school grounds for Back to School night last September, filled with excitement and trepidation. So overwhelmed by the sensory overload of it all that we just picked our way to our girlie’s classroom and stayed put the whole evening. Didn’t even know ’til it was time to leave that people customarily floated around and toured the school.
Sitting in the pint-sized, putty-colored kid chairs, we asked ourselves what so many parents have asked before us: In this new, large community — the first of many so big we’d be lucky to know the names of all the people she’d come to know in it — would she bloom? Or wilt? And another question, not unfamiliar to many parents before us, but for us fraught in its own unique way, since our right to our parenthoods and families is far from presumptive, years from “natural.” We wondered: at what point would our difference make a difference to her? One other kindergartener out of 60 at the school has two women for parents; none has two dads. By the luck of the draw, the other kid of LGBT parents was in another class. So this year’s school journey for her would be, at least in this regard, a solo one.
Or so we thought. That was before we came to know her teacher, a rookie with instincts that years in the classroom couldn’t manufacture, and a loving kindness both rare and tailor-made for this work. Over the months our daughter’s schoolmates and their families grew to be fellow travelers — they were bound to be. But as of Back to School night, we hadn’t gotten so far as to realize that along the journey we’d all make friends — not just our daughter.