There is an extra man in our relationship. I don't think about him too much, but every once in a while I have to or I want to or I forget something about him that I want to remember. So that's when I usually ask my wife to help me out.
"Do you have all the information about our sperm donor downloaded on our computer?"
"No, but I can look him up on the site," said Pam.
*Logs onto web site*
"He's not here," said Pam.
"What? What happened to him?"
More confusion ensues, including me speculating that he might have died, committed a horrible crime or gotten in a bad fight with his wife about being a sperm donor. I will spare you additional drama.
But Pam is a rational one, who keeps track of details, like the date of my birthday, for example, so she calls the clinic the following day. Then, she reports back.
"The first question they asked me is if our children are OK."
"That's creepy. Why?" I said.
"Because someone reported a child born with autism from this donor," she said.
We are silent while we both contemplate whether our children might have autism. If they do, I haven't noticed, which either makes me a really bad parent or extremely confused about the signs of autism.
"The person on the phone said that if our kids have autism, they probably would have exhibited by the time they were two."
I desperately try to remember how old our children are. My memory works. *Small win* They are 2 ½ and 4 ½.
"Marlo (2) thinks she's the mayor of the day care, so I think that disqualifies her as a possible autism candidate, don't you think?"
"Yes, I agree," said Pam.
"Ok, well, enjoy your lunch. I'll see you when we get home."
And we both go back to work and chalk it up as just another conversation that we probably wouldn't be having if we were a conventional family, who hadn't used a sperm donor, a fertility clinic and modern science to bring this whole life into being.
And honestly, I don't mind any of it because it's a constant reminder that I'm grateful to have my children in the first place. So this holiday season, I am thankful that my children are healthy. And that someone, a long time ago, decided that it would be a good idea to take sperm and freeze it in a jar, so more people could feel grateful for their family.