When I first came out, I had decided not to tell Noah for a while. I didn’t know why, if I’m being honest. Maybe I wanted him to be a little older. Maybe I wanted him to make friends who had two dads or two moms first so that it was easier for him to wrap his mind around. Maybe I wanted time to write out a three-act play with music and dancing and anything else that would make the big news a little more cool.
The age thing, maybe. I mean, five-year-olds can understand a lot, but they also can’t understand a lot. It’s as if he’s on the brink of deep cognitive understanding ability, but he’s not quite there.
The friends with other-than-straight parents probably wasn’t going to happen, either. I mean, we’re in Utah, but he goes to school in a place where the population is literally something like a 98% religious, white, married, non-gay norm.
As for the singing and dancing and the three act play, the best I could do is make up my own tune to chopsticks and hope that I hit half the notes.
Anyway, I was at my family’s house talking to one of my siblings about coming out, and apparently Noah was listening (something else I sometimes forget he’s very capable of doing). On the way home, he asked, “Daddy, what were you saying at the house?”
“What do you mean,” I said.
He started giggling and buried his chin into his chest like a turtle trying to retreat into his shell. It’s something he does when he’s nervous. “You said you could love a boy but I know you were just kidding.”
I think that was the first time I literally felt my heart skip a beat.
Which is when I realized the real reason I hadn’t wanted to tell him yet. I hadn’t thought out how to tell him yet. It was as simple as that.
But the moment was there, whether I liked it or not.
“You know how most boys fall in love with girls?”
“Well did you know that lots of boys fall in love with boys and not girls?”
His giggle intensified. “WHAT?! Dad. that. is. not. true.” He said each word as if it was its own sentence. “You’re. making. that. up!”
I couldn’t help but chuckle at the way he currently was reacting. He was feeling vulnerable, but in such a dang cute way.
“It’s true!” I told him. “Lots of boys fall in love with girls. Lots of boys fall in love with boys. And, some boys can fall in love with boys or girls. Sounds kind of silly at first, huh.”
At this point he couldn’t even talk. He was just giggling uncontrollably.
“But you wanna know what?”
“Daddy is one of those people who likes girls or boys.”
“NO YOU DON’T! That. is. not. true!” Now his curious giggle sounded a lot more concerned. Which concerned me.
“Yeah. That’s just how some people are and it’s normal and okay. You know how I go on dates with girls?”
“Well, I still like girls a lot. But sometimes I go with boys and I like boys sometimes too.”