“Followers/Friends, I love you, but you can miss me tmrw w/ all that celebrating mothers as fathers for Father’s Day. You may have raised your child, as a single mom, by yourself (and that is awesome), but you. are. not. the. father. #KeepItReal”
On a lot of levels, it’s reasonable for me to think at 43 years old that I may not become a father. I have many friends and family who say I would be a great father and I believe that’s true. I am a proud godfather to three children. I am an Uncle Sam many times over, and I enjoy that role. But it’s simply not true that a man can become a father however and at whatever age he wants. In fact, I’ve come to think of fatherhood as an exercise in not in having control, though many men try. Let me explain.
I also think that the question of having children doesn’t stop at pregnancy or delivery. It really does depend on a heterosexual man’s partner as well. Unless I am fortunate to jointly fall in love with a younger woman who wants and can have children, it becomes more and more likely that I will be with an older woman as a long-time partner.
This means that my partner could be hazarding a high-risk pregnancy. Or it could mean that she may not want children at all, because she either has some already and doesn’t want more or can’t have more. The latter scenario leaves me either looking elsewhere because I may want to have a child more than be with the woman I love. Or I stay with the woman I love, but just minus producing children with her. The first scenario is something I would only hazard with an older woman if it were really, really important to her. If I were dating a woman my age, I’m not so sure I could be selfish enough to request her to risk her life or the baby’s to have a child for me…unless that’s also what she really wanted.
I could also partner with a woman who is younger than I am, but, again, life offers no guarantees with pregnancy for a man or a woman. I’m still faced with the choice of loving the idea of having a child more than having a partner who may or may not be able to have a child. I’m no Henry VIII-like dude, so I’m not interested in seeking some kind of “insurance” for having a child by being with a younger woman because there is none, really.
Of course, many have suggested adoption or foster care, but I’m not so sure about the State being excited about a single male astrologer adopting children or providing foster care. I don’t even want to be a single parent. I never did. I know many women are single parents and that wasn’t by choice. But it was still with a lot more choice than I really have, unless I just want to sire children without regard to any genuine connection to the mother, which, of course, some men do. I am not one of them.
So I really wish people would stop saying, at least to me, that you’re a man, you can have a child whenever you want to. No, I can’t. Fatherhood is a fortunate blessing. Some men impregnate and many men step beyond that moment and assume a role–fatherhood. However, at this stage in our evolution, the key vehicle of birth is through a woman’s body. I’m fine with that as that provides a genuine opportunity for partnership for a man. I may find that opportunity, but I am now beginning to accept the idea that I may not step into that role.
The child I didn’t have would be 12 now. I tend to think she would have been a girl. Perhaps she would be wishing me a happy father’s day today. Perhaps she would be with her mother or we would all be together. But she’s not here. It’s useless to really wonder what would have been as it’s not. I still do anyway. I live with the choices I make and the ones I don’t and didn’t.