Last week my car broke down on the side of the Interstate 5 and suddenly I was faced with having to purchase a new car. I started thinking of the Toyota Rav4 and then all of a sudden for the next week that's the only kind of car I seemed to see. Everywhere. Was that the only car anyone drives?

So, while I'm still stuck with my Toyota Corolla from 2001, I noticed something else. All of a sudden, everyone seems to be gay or lesbian. Now that same sex marriages are starting all over counties in California, I can't seem to find any straight people anywhere. Will the last straight parent please bring the flag? Geez. No seriously, the only people I know that are even remotely thinking about getting married this year are all lesbian or gay and all have children (and in their 30s and 40s). So, it's on my mind more than ever.

One thing I did over father's day weekend was to spend it with a gay father of two. His kids are teens at this point and in a position to respond to questions regarding upbringing. What's it like to have a gay single father in his 40s? Not much different than having a straight single father in his 40s. One teen in question woke his father up at a rock concert to make sure he checked out the hot singer's chest. I choked up when hearing a story of the same father creating a 'manhood' rite of passage similar to a bar mitvah for his son when he turned 16. He felt that just like a quincenera or a sweet 16 party, a boy needs a ritual to cross over into manhood and responsibility. Why do I share these two anecdotes? Because they are precisely what it means to have a gay dad in one's child's life. It means kids comfortable enough in their own sexuality at 16 to tell their dads about a hot looking guy. It means the attention to sweet details for a rite of passage. It means celebration.

For a couple I know contemplating marriage, it's a long time coming. They've already adopted two kids, have the two cars in the driveway, the pets, the mortgage--why shouldn't they be married?! Their son and daughter are also two sweet well adjusted children that have not yet given a thought to having two mommies, though at least one of the mothers admits that playgroups are still difficult and she's heard the snickering more than once from snooty moms that don't seem to want to model getting along in front of their children.

My five year old is beginning to ask what things mean. What's gay mean? What's lesbian mean? I'm not sure what the answer should be other than a type of person. I'll have to come up with something clever for that. Although earlier this week my daughter was yelled at, called an alien and told to go back to Mexico by white kids. She defended herself, called them 'mean, bad, kids' and then came back and asked me what an alien was. I told her it was people from outerspace. I'm looking for a similar response to this one. What's gay? Happy guys that pay attention to detail that like to hang out with other happy guys that pay attention to detail.

In all the hoopla over same sex marriage though the message to our children really should be that they are living in an historic time when all people are recognized in having the right to life and liberty and the many forms that happiness takes.

I think we parents of wee ones in their early formative years won't really have that much of a problem explaining it all. After all same sex marriage is really self explanatory even in name. The real hard thing to explain is that kid who tried to punch my son on the playground or why a bunch of six graders would pick on a three year old and call her an alien for being able to recite her numbers 1-20 in Spanish and English and Japanese. Hatred is really hard to explain to innocent children. It makes absolutely no sense.

Love on the other hand. Unconditional and undying care and committment takes absolutely no explanation. If you are a good parent, they know this one from the moment they are born.