By: Chris Coyne
Modern family, Mommy, babies,
When you hear the term “modern family” I am sure it evokes so many images. First of all I think of The Next Family website. However, most people will think of the ABC show The Modern Family. We love it. It is so funny it hurts. My face aches when it is over. My sister-in-law texts me when it’s on so we can laugh together over funny parts that sometimes mirror our lives. According to Aristotle, art imitates life. This is so true in this case.
The ongoing conversation in our extended family revolves around the gay couple. One is a gay man vying for his macho father’s acceptance and one channels his mother’s persona, mimicking the quintessential flamboyant gay man. Some story lines parallel our lives to the point of a bit creepy. It’s like they have a spy recording moments of our life.
There was an episode last year where Lily, the adopted Vietnamese baby repeatedly says “momma”. At this point we were in conversations on how to deal with this if it happened. I joked saying he could just call me momma because I was the stay-at-home dad and let’s face it: I do all the day-to-day mom duties in CJ’s life. I was not prepaired for the reality.
Two weeks ago CJ learned the word “mommy” at the park. He saw a little girl walk up to her mommy and put her arms up, repeating “mommy”. The mother picked her up and hugged her. Of course CJ started yelling mommy right away and jestered to have me pick him up. So mommy means “up”. It also means, I have learned since, “no let me do it.” Our amazing nanny says it means “doma” which means “give me” but I think she might be trying to protect our feelings. My mom friend always chuckles when he belts out mommy. Now when I am at the park and he screams mommy I look all around with a confused look, to signal that I am looking for for CJ’s lost mommy. Most moms at the park look at me a bit confused. I have even seen them asking each other if CJ had a mom because I sure look the part.
A couple of episodes back the awesome gay couple announced they were starting another adoption. As you have read we are in the middle of adopting an unborn baby girl. So we will all have one boy and one girl.
The heavier of the two, who is also more flamboyant, is so freaking funny. The family game previously mentioned makes me Cam –afterall, I am the arty stay-at-home dad who listens to show tunes. Jon is more like the uptight successful professional who uses big words that most of us have to look up.
I am so glad our children are growing up in a world where more positive gay role models are the feature of shows like The Modern Family. I do not know if these characters help the greater cause. I hope one day one’s sexuality will not just be used as the butt of a great joke. I know the humor helps ease the stress of everyday living as a gay man. It forces us to be a bit less concerned with what our outer persona emulates. I am proud of who I am and I hope my children will not be bullied because they have two loving dads.