Long before I became a parent, my mother always told me that parenting is hard. At the time, I thought she was speaking about logistics: Changing diapers, driving kids around, making meals, talking to teachers about behavior problems and grades…Your to-do list becomes pages long. But after our kids Hailey and Riley came to live with us, I realized how very wrong I was. In my experience, logistics are the easiest part of parenting!
W ith his conservatively cropped hair, rimless designer glasses and unassuming sprinkling of stubble, the year-old man who is thoughtfully sipping a glass of red wine bears little resemblance to the immaculately made-up, raven-wigged confection pouting at the camera from his Facebook profile picture. Alongside typical family snapshots of him with his daughters, Samantha, 10, and Sylvie, seven, sit dozens of candid photographs of his alter ego Stephanie, dazzling in an ankle-length silver gown, sipping cocktails in the Shard in a ruched cobalt blouson and even posing in a matching little black dress with his French wife, Carla. I liked the secrecy. It made me feel special and interesting.
Going from “Daddy” to “Mommy”: What Will I Tell My Kids?
With your body? I told myself I was just being proactive, asking the tough questions my mother should have asked my father. Seven years earlier, when I was a freshman in high school, my father brought me hot chocolate and a brownie and directed me to sit with him at the dining room table.
With a ting, ting, ting, the steel drum begins to chime and Here Comes The Bride rings through the air. I watch my bridesmaids step out in front of me, walking down the aisle two by two, their sequinned dresses gleaming in the September sunshine. My stomach feels full of air. Beside me is the presence of a woman who has been there for me my entire life.