Happy Anonymous Donor Day

My children don’t have a father. They have two moms, and an anonymous-for-now  sperm donor.

(They also have amazing aunts and uncles and cousins and neighbors. And I hope one day they’ll have some donor-siblings, but today I’m thinking specifically of their donor.)

The information we know about the donor is a strange mix of intimately detailed and hopelessly limited.

Some of things we know: some basic physiological characteristics and measurements, some resume fluff like education and career, some self-reported interests, a few generations of family health history. One small picture of him as a toddler. Some impressive sperm counts and morphology from a thawed sample.

What we don’t know could fill many a book. We don’t know if he has dimples, or if he needed braces as a teenager, or how much he likes to sing in the shower or dance in the kitchen. We don’t know if he was ever afraid of thunderstorms, or when he got his first passport. We don’t know if he ever thinks of the children that he helped create.

I don’t know how much it matters. The boys are so much their own people — arrived on the scene as completely their own little people — that maybe it doesn’t matter one whit about the meatbags and middlemen that mixed some body fluids to get them started.

I can surmise the donor is pretty smart. I mean, he figured out how to get paid to masturbate, and if that’s not a sliver of the Manly American Dream come true, I don’t know what is.

But half-kidding aside, I can also surmise that the donor is major-league generous. His contribution — however anonymous, or pleasant, or lucrative, or not — made us mothers, the kind of gift that nobody can put a bow on. Not even one of those Lexus-sized Christmas bows.

I can thank KK for making the leap with me, for all the once-in-a-lifetime-ness and the relentless daily grinding of it all. For being brave enough to let her heart burst open, so there’d be room to hold us all.

I can thank our friends and family for the support and patience and love they show us every day, that they show the boys every day.

Sometimes I get a little sad that I can’t thank the donor for his role in the gift, too, for helping me finally find my life’s work.

What I saw of the donor on insemination day - the bag from the lab that held the thawed sample
What I saw of the donor on insemination day – the bag from the lab that held the thawed sample

How old will you be when you’ve spent half your life with your beloved?

(I’m so tempted to write “…with your LOVER,” because that grosses us both out so much, but I’ll refrain. This is a meaningful occasion, if not a somber one.)

Answers will vary, of course. We have no control over when our loves will pinball into our lives, and I’m still not sure how much control we have even over maintaining them once they arrive.

But for the sake of argument, my answer: 32 (33 in a week).

I am 32 years old, and last night I had the pleasure of celebrating 16 years with my wife.

This lady and I can lay waste to some charcuterie and cheese.

(Remember the Charcuterie Towers from our wedding dinner? I can’t find a picture, but they were awesome.)

I liked that when the waiter brought out my (surprise customized) GIANT peanut butter cup dessert, he asked, “Uh…is it 16 or 91?”

I laughed, because it feels like both, in the best way possible.

Here’s to the next 91.

Writing about others (NHBPM 8)

Write about how you choose to write about others in your blog.

What others?! This is MY blog, so I get to write about MEEEEEEE!

That’s the overly simplified version, but there is some truth in it. “Your liberty ends where the liberty of another commences” sounds lovely in theory, but when it comes to the exercise of public privacy, things can get complicated fast. I try to keep it simple so as not to mess up too much.

For the people closest to me (the ones most likely to show up in my adventures), I use nicknames or initials.

  • It’s fair. Just because I want to tell the world about our exploits doesn’t necessarily mean THEY feel the same compulsion.
  • It’s expedient. I don’t  have to ask permission to mention them in a more identifiable way, they don’t have to mull it over, I don’t have to wait for their response, zzzzz…
  • It’s deviously strategic. Savvy Southern waitresses call every customer honey, baby, sugar, or darlin’. When my friends and I are old and gray and have forgotten the details about our earlier adventures, I will be able to claim that “The Very Best Friend in the Whole World Ever” refers to whichever friend I’m talking to at the time.

For the people who interact with me as part of their professional duties — doctors, nurses, bail bondsmen — I use their title or a gentle fabricated epithet.

  • While my friends can choose to hang out with me or not, the people who are just doing their jobs are obligated to interact with me. I appreciate them too much to exploit that vulnerability.
  • Also unlike my friends, these professionals are the people who regularly see me naked and come at me with needles. I want them to stay happy with me and not exploit MY vulnerability.

For public figures who have been publicly named in public elsewhere, I’ll just use their public name. Dullsville.

It’s so tempting to dash off a good rant now and then, using colorful made-up NSFW names, but real problems need to be addressed in real life first. Writ(h)ing about it here would just make things worse: first they pissed me off, and then they didn’t even read my blog about it?!

Yes, best for everyone that we keep it simple. Or as they say in KK’s favorite movie, “Two words, Mr. President: plausible deniability.”

How do you decide to write about others?