By: Joey Uva
This past weekend was cloudy, wet, and cold. I decided to spend most of the weekend at home working on the scrapbook that I have been making for Grace for her first five years of life. I had one more year’s worth of stuff to complete and being what the weather was and the fact that Trevor had to work all weekend, it seemed like the perfect thing to do. I gathered the scrapbook, pictures, markers, glue, scissors, paper, stickers and sat down in the living room with the television on but not really watching.
I opened the scrapbook and starting going through Grace’s first year to the point where I needed to continue. I started going down memory lane. I also started thinking of all that I have accomplished so far in my life and the many lessons along the way.
There is a very popular talk show host, her name begins with an “O” and I tend to watch her shows, at least the ones that I find interesting or that speak to me. In some of the more recent shows I’ve heard her ask various guests questions like; “being the person or adult you are now, what would you tell your ten-year-old self?” I have pondered that question every time I have heard it asked. As I sat there working on the scrapbook reminiscing over all the memories created over the past five years, I also started thinking of what I would tell my five, six, or seven-year-old self.
Here’s what I told myself:
You will have a rough childhood but it will not last forever and you’ll be able to make a beautiful life for yourself. It will be very tough to become an adult at sixteen. To support, work, and count only on your self will be an invaluable lesson. You will learn to appreciate what you have, learn to work hard and find stability in your life. Leaving your thirteen-year-old brother when you move out at sixteen will be an extremely difficult and heartbreaking decision. You will forgive yourself for that and your brother will become your role model, and more than a brother –he will become one of your best friends. You will fall in love at twenty and get married at 23. You’ll be a husband and step-father to three beautiful girls. When you come to realize that you are gay, leaving your wife and three step-daughters will be one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to go through. Your relationship with your wife will be that one relationship that shows you what love should be like with a partner and you’ll carry that with you even as you enter the world as a gay man. Being a step-dad to three young girls will become such an amazing stepping stone to your future for when your own daughter comes into your life. You’ll realize the love shared has pulled you to a better place and you’ll still remain part of their lives. Coming out as a gay man in your late twenties will not be easy but it does get better. You will get to be the father you always wanted as you’ll have your own daughter when the time is right. Having your daughter –watching her grow, experience life, and learn will be the greatest thing to ever happen to you. You’ll go through some tough dating ups and downs, it will take over ten years, but you will meet the man that shows you the same love of which you knew existed. He will become an amazing step-father, partner, and friend. He will bring out your creative side in everything you do. You’ll have an amazing family that loves and supports you, your partner, and daughter. You’ll have the best group of friends even greater then you could have ever imagined. You’ll be surprised that creating a scrapbook for your daughter is really much more than scraps from her life or yours, it’s a wonderful reminder of where you are in life today. You’ll write this down one day and smile knowing that life is not always easy but you have learned a lot. You are blessed, loved, and have plenty to be thankful for…even on a rainy day.