One of the reasons we’re winning this stupid “culture war” is that when people get to know LGBT people, they quickly ascertain that the fever dreams the Religious Right uses to describe us are pure fantasy. Indeed, sometimes our lives are exciting, but really in so many ways, they’re just normal and mundane. That applies to parenting as well, of course. Neil Patrick Harris sat down with USA Today and talked about, among other things, his and David’s experiences of being parents:
Harris is in the midst of figuring out fatherhood. “For the better part of 20 years, I was a solo practitioner,” he says. “Then I got David, and that changed my dynamic. I had to be very conscious of another person, but we were still able to jump into a car and go to Vegas or spend three weeks in Italy. Although we were a unit, we were still very free.
“When you have kids, everything anchors to their wants and needs, so you get less sleep and have to be more aware all the time. You have to be adaptable because they constantly keep changing. They’ll do something that blows your mind and then they’ll spit all their food out on the carpet.
“The first year with them was complicated,” he admits. “They were twins, and they were crying a lot. Thank God for David. He is so good at differentiating cries.”
“David is so drawn to parenthood, just in his core, that I suddenly felt I was a perimeter guy,” Harris says. “I was the man who put the cribs together and took the trash out. I tried to balance the equation.”
As time passed, Harris grew into his new role. “The older they get, the more I love being a dad. Now that they’re talking, I’m really loving the camp counselor end of parenting. I think that’s where my strengths lie.
“I’m all about reasoning. If they fall and are OK but crying, David will be the hugger, and I’ll be the ‘Show me where it hurts; let’s talk about it’ one. I come from a family of lawyers, so explanation is crucial.”
Sorry to disappoint the Religious Right, you know? It’s just normal stuff that every new set of parents goes through: figuring out which one of you’s better at this, which is better at that, how to co-parent most effectively. Unless you’re living in some ignorant patriarchal world where every role is set in stone from the beginning, regardless of who you are as human beings, I’d imagine most parents, straight, gay or whatever else, can identify with what Neil is saying.