grandkidsA pretty common refrain from a parent, usually the mother, of a child who has just come out as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. That was the reaction of Meri Brown of Sister Wives after her 21 year old daughter came out as gay.

I totally relate. I always wanted grandkids too. When my son told me he was gay, it was one of my first thoughts even though I have another son. Meri’s other response was that she always wanted a son and thought having a son-in-law would fulfill that desire. Another dream squashed. I always wanted a daughter and felt the same. When my son married, I’ll finally have the daughter I always wanted.

As parents, whether we know it or not, we have dreams and ideas of what our child’s life will be like when they grow up. We wonder who they will marry, how many kids they will have, what their career will be. It’s pretty common. So when our child comes out, those dreams are instantly shattered. We need some time to mourn those dreams and create new ones.

What we eventually learn is that our children create their own dreams and follow their own path. It was never our dream they were meant to fulfill anyway. Many of our straight kids don’t give us grandkids. Many of our gay and transgender kids do give us grandkids. I learned that it was not my children’s responsibility to make me a grandmother. That didn’t mean I didn’t want grandkids, it just meant it was totally out of my hands. They would have kids if it was right for them. Turns out my gay son did not choose to have kids. My straight son and his wife, did. I can still be sad that my son never became a father. I think he would have been a great father. But that was never my decision to make. I’m happy that he is happy and has a good life. Both my sons have good lives, lives they created themselves with their partners. That is enough for me.