Becoming a queer single dad changed my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way
|Toronto Star 20 Jun 2021 at 07:21|
Tyler was three years old when he came to me through a public open adoption; his birth mother helped CAS choose me to be Tyler’s dad.
She partially picked me because I was raised by a single father, as she was, and I would be a single father to Tyler. When Tyler first came to me, I took an eight-month parental leave from work to be a full-time dad. CAS requires this to develop those first attachment bonds.
Over that time, I realized that attachment keeps growing, changing, getting deeper every day.
Initially, I was Daddy Alasdair to help with the transition away from his foster mom and dad, so the first time Tyler called me daddy brought me immense joy. I am his person, and he is my person, no matter what.
Tyler is now eight years old, and the COVID-19 pandemic and months-long isolation in our tiny condo have been breathtakingly hard: imagine being stuck inside for days on end with a pint-sized roommate who talks non-stop, has unlimited energy and asks endless questions. Still, it has grown our bond even deeper.
When we’re not stuck at home, we love going to Grandma and Grandpa’s place just outside of Peterborough. They have a small hobby farm and raise chickens and, until recently, horses. Oh, and they have three cats we both love.
Some of our other favourite activities include playing with Legos and reading books, going to the Centreville farm and amusement park on Toronto Island, and visiting nearby parks (we have three main ones, known as the one-, two- and three-slide parks, respectively). In summer, we swim to cool off, and share ice cream together.
Every night, after bedtime stories and songs, I tell Tyler I love him. “I love you, too,” he replies. “You’re the best Tyler in the whole wide world,” I say. “You’re the best daddy in the whole wide world,” he tells me. Then we have a tight bedtime hug to, as Tyler says, “keep away the bad dreams.”
Recently, Tyler asked me where our cat Mattie came from. I told him that she needed a home, so I adopted her about eight years ago. “So, you adopted Mattie, and then you adopted me so you could make our family?”