This is one of the saddest blogs I’ve read in a while.
A gay dad is trying to understand why his daughter would cry for a mother, even though she’s never known one. The answer is obvious- she is made for, and craves, maternal love.
“Mama” is both the near-universal term for mother as well as children’s oft-spoken first words. That’s not coincidental. It’s indicative of the primal yearning that children have for
just any adult, someone nice, a care giver their mother from infancy through adulthood. Yet this man, who from every indication is a caring father, cannot bring himself to admit the possibility that there is something he cannot give to his child. The hardest part of this blog is that the dad seems more concerned with his daughter validating his choices that he is with validating his daughter’s deep-seated emotional needs:
“Mommy,” my daughter cries when she’s hurt or upset. “Mommy, mommy, mommy…” She knows I’m daddy and my partner is papa, so where is this mommy business coming from?
She’s three and has lived with us since she was nine and a half months old; I figure she doesn’t remember anything prior to her life with us. She has a good command of the English language, even using sophisticated adjectives and adverbs well, as my mother recently pointed out, so shouldn’t she be more aware of what she is saying?
My partner points out that she is mimicking the other children at the daycare who cry out for their mothers when they’re dropped off or after an accident, seeking comfort and reassurance. Is our daughter associating the need for comfort and reassurance with the word “mommy”?”
Of course she is. Children are made for the love of their mothers.
It should come as no surprise that the conditions within which children are made- between and man and a woman- are also the ideal conditions within which to raise children. Children need and long for both maternal and paternal love.
No one is arguing that a gay man cannot be a good father. But the reality is that no matter how loving, nurturing, or committed he is, that man can never be… a mother.