What I Want For My Son And The Daddies Who Adopted Him


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I want my son to know that families can look like anything. Families can be a mommy and a daddy, one parent, four parents, or — in our case — they can look like an interracial gay couple and a birth mother who visits every couple of months, not to mention all his godparents, aunties and uncles, and grandparents. I want his concept of family to exist independently of any gender norms or expectations.

I want my son to have male role models, which he fortunately has in spades; his daddies are kind and brilliant. With a surgeon for a daddy and a papa in theater, he’s growing up with both art and science in his home, and truckloads of love.

I want my son to have female role models — also covered. The two men raising him have plenty of sisters and friends, all of whom are warm, hilarious, and accomplished badasses. And I’d like to be one of those role models. I’m working hard to be someone my child can be proud of, even though I’m not raising him.

When my son has his own kids (not for a while — he’s 3), I want it to be intentional. I want him and his partners to grow up with awesome, comprehensive sex education and free birth control. I want them to be able to enter a Planned Parenthood without being harassed. And if their procreation is unintentional, I want them to have more options than I did. I had no money, no partner, two roommates, and no desire for an abortion. How was I going to live with a newborn without leaving behind the life and community I’d spent the previous five years nurturing and fighting for in New York?

I want my son to grow up in a world where paid parental leave is a given. I never want my son, or his partner, to do the same mental math I did when I was pregnant: calculating how much unpaid time I could take off from my job, wincing because even two weeks would cost me dearly. And if his partner is a woman, I want them to live in a world where nobody expects her to take on the bulk of child care.

I want my son to graduate college without the debilitating student loan debt his mom had. As a writer, I want him to be able to pursue an artistic profession without accepting poverty as his default. I want him to enter a workforce where the women make as much as he does. I want him to know single mothers who raise their children with nary an eyebrow raised in their direction, free from slut-shaming or single-mother-blaming. I hope some of those single mothers are artists and that they don’t live below the poverty line.

I want my son to know that I love him more than I knew was possible to love another human. I want him to know that him having the best life possible was more important than my getting to see him every day. I want him to know that I couldn’t come up with an equation where one loving parent made more sense for him than three loving parents. I want him to know that relinquishment is not abandonment and that I will always be there for him, no matter what.

And, of course, I want a million things for my son that have nothing to do with the circumstances that led me to place him for adoption. I want him to know he can love anyone, be anyone, change his gender identification and his pronouns and his name if he wants. I want him to follow his dreams, to live a life that is exactly as exciting or stable or weird or conventional as he wants.

Mostly, what I want for my son is a shiny, loving, explosively happy life. Just like any other mom.

Mariah MacCarthy wrote this article for “Gender Justice,” the Summer 2016 issue of YES! Magazine and is reprinted under Creative Commons license. MacCarthy is a playwright, producer, curator, storyteller, burlesque dabbler, rapper, birth mother, immersive-party-play-maker, and creatrix-of-all-trades. Her work has been featured everywhere from The New York Times to Upworthy.

See also:
Why Gender Matters — It’s About Every Student plus LGBQT Glossary
The Kids Are All Right (And These Surprising Statistics Prove It)

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May 26, 2019

During the wee hours of the morning the Moon arrives in Pisces. Moods grow fickle and sensitivities increase. Imaginations are also fertile as a lunar sextile to Uranus implores and inspires curious souls to explore new horizons. The uneasy Last Quarter…
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May 2019

Sunday afternoon: 3–4:30pm at Hillside Herbals Healing herbs for women's health part I: tonic herbs for hormonal balance—normal cycling and aging. Rachel has created a 10...

Cost: Drop in Fee $10 includes all materials and handouts.

Where:
Hillside Herbals
Jefferson, MA


Sponsor: Hillside Herbals
Telephone: 508-847-8615
Contact Name: Rachel Ross
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Sunday Reiki treatments with Reiki master and practitioner Linda Simons in Brookline, MA. Start your week off on a more balanced note with a Reiki treatment on a Sunday afternoon. Please join me...

Cost: Sliding Scale $25-45

Where:
233 Harvard Street
Suite 36
Brookline, MA  02446
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Telephone: 617-304-2205
Contact Name: Linda Simons
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This is a light fun evening to help get you going into the summer season. This evening we will be discussing and working with Geraniums and Pelargoniums. We will be discussing the plants, their...

Cost: $ 20 includes material, pre-reg required

Where:
Brookside Farms
8 Mammoth Rd
Sute #A
Pelham, NH  03076
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Sponsor: The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey Smith
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Instructor: Pam Driscoll Wednesdays, April 17, May 8, 22, June 5, 19, 6:30pm–7:30pm Join us for the Mid-Week Meditation Sampler at Creative Spirit…an opportunity to pause,...

Cost: $20 per class

Where:
Creative Spirit
80 Washington Street
Marblehead, MA  01945
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Sponsor: Creative Spirit
Telephone: 781-797-0389
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Be An “Eat to Thrive” Graduate This Summer. Come to an introductory class for the summer session from June 6–August 15 in Point of Pines, Revere, MA. Congratulations to the...

Cost: Free—all are welcome!

Where:
Point of Pines
Revere, MA


Sponsor: Eat to Thrive
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Activists and artists will create inspiring chalk imagery encouraging kindness to animals On May 31, people around the world will gather to create colorful chalk imagery promoting compassion for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Worcester City Common
Worcester, MA  01604


Telephone: 617-5430189
Contact Name: Melissa Scher
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Experience the process to a past life. Learn why it is beneficial and potentially: Clear emotional trauma and physical issues Calm feelings of stress and/or sadness Get insight into...

Cost: $50

Where:
Voice of Clay
16 Meetinghouse Hill Rd
Brookline , NH  03033
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Sponsor: Voice of Clay
Telephone: 603-672-2626
Contact Name: Wendy
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You do not need any musical background but please be sure to register early! Class is limited to 16 students. 6-hole flutes in G are provided for use during class. You are welcome to bring...

Cost: $35

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street, Suite 1-A
Methuen, MA  01844
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Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
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Learn an intro to the magick and science of dowsing. Tools, techniques for information, clearing, balancing, healing, and more. Bob will introduce you to dowsing and basic radiesthesia,...

Cost: Class is $45

Where:
The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
68 Stiles Rd
Suite #A
Salem, NH  03079
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Sponsor: The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey Smith
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In celebration of ushering in the Strawberry Moon Cycle and we will be doing a new moon planting. This is a great opportunity to literally sow the seeds for some of our other upcoming workshops...

Cost: Pre-reg $35, $40 at the door, materials included

Where:
The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
68 Stiles Rd
Sute #A
Salem, NH  03079
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Sponsor: The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey Smith
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June 1–2 Join other like-minded seekers as we take a journey through the concepts of the new Earth paradigm, higher self and soul sovereignty, ascension mechanics, and spiritual alchemy.

Where:
Chester, VT


Telephone: (617) 366-6042
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Using Lessons from Music to Harmonize Your Life You know how you want to show up in the world—expressing yourself through your essence, centered in your heart, effective in your life and...

Cost: $90 prepaid by May 30th, $100 at the door

Where:
Center at Westwoods
590 Gay Street
Westwoods, MA
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Telephone: 617-784-4426
Contact Name: Janet Kessenich
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May 4–June 8, 2019 Saturdays 10am–11:30am Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) is a healing martial art using breath and movement. It is just one way to stay young and healthy. It...

Cost: $120

Where:
Metta Wellness
679 Pleasant Street
Paxton, MA  01612
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Sponsor: Metta Wellness
Telephone: 774-245-5487
Contact Name: Rick Rocha
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