The man I used to be
Lately I’ve been feeling a little like I woke up in opposite worlds. Kelly has gone to work full time and I’m staying home with the kids. I know, I really should remind myself to cherish this extra time I have with them instead of obsessing on the fact this arrangement is only temporary.
Actually, I am having a lot of fun, and I’ve gained a new appreciation for all Kelly did when he was the stay-at-home parent. I now understand why the blinds never got cleaned.
But this whole experience has rather jostled my identity as a gay guy.
Let’s face it, gay men have a tendency to categorize ourselves. There are the Gym Rats, the Opera Queens, Twinks, Leather Daddies and dozens of other groupings including one for professionals, A-Type guys like me.
I mean for years before the boys came along, I was a typical guppy: the Brooks Brothers suit-and-tie-wearing professional, who worked out every morning before heading to the office for a short 10-hour day, ran 20-25 miles a week and was on first name basis with the baristas at Starbucks (who knew my order by heart).
This role reversal with Kelly now has me wondering to which group I really belong.
Since my “career change” I’ve worn a suit only a handful of times and those were to church and on interviews. I’m also embarrassed to admit that I haven’t stepped foot inside a gym since my 9-year-old was still in diapers.
The good news is that I am learning a lot about myself during my time at home with the boys. For example, recently I volunteered to chaperone a group from school on a field trip to Tracy Aviary. After about 20 minutes I turned to the teacher and asked, “Seriously, how can you deal with these kids every single day?” So it’s safe to say a new career in education isn’t in my future.
Oh, and another lesson learned from the field trip: No matter what you tell yourself, it is impossible to look hot while driving a minivan filled with a bunch of third and fourth graders.
And not surprisingly, I’ve learned a great deal about the boys as well. Niko doesn’t like the way the collars on his polo shirts fold. Gus can be amazingly persuasive at the grocery store. And neither of them will touch blue corn tortilla chips.
Actually, I suppose that all those years in corporate communications prepared me well for a life as Mr. Mom. After all, what’s a play date but a staff meeting with snacks? And frankly, there’s not a whole lot of difference between a CEO at a billion-dollar company throwing a fit and a 5-year old preschooler tossing down a good tantrum. Well, except for the fact that the worse the captain of industry can do is fire you. The preschooler, on the other hand, can make your life a living nightmare.