September 26, 2003: Episode 309Monday
Breakfast in our house isn't normally what I'd call
quality family time. Pete eats his cereal standing
wearing his backpack, watching TV. Dan usually grabs
an apple or banana as he's going out the door, and I'm too
busy with Pete to eat anything. This morning was
dramatically different. Carmen had bought us a bag of
homemade granola from the Whole Earth restaurant and
prepared a fruit salad last night. On the bowl she'd
affixed a yellow Post-it note suggesting we save it
for this morning's breakfast. She also programmed the
coffeemaker so we'd have hot, fresh French roast
first thing this morning.
So instead of our usual frantic force feeding, we
actually had breakfast like a family today. Just when
I thought it couldn't get any better, Pete asked
whether Dan could be his father.
"What do you mean exactly, honey?"
"I want Dan to be my real father," he said, stammering
a little. Pete had given this a lot of thought and
apparently had waited for the right moment to bring up
the question. "I want to be his son. And have the same
last name as you. I already started telling my friends
to call me Peter DeLuca." He paused. "And I want to
call you Dad."
I looked over at Dan, who was quickly wiping away
tears. "You know I already consider you my son. That's
never going to change. But to make everything all
legal, your other dad would have to sign some special
papers. And we don't know if he's willing to do that."
Pete swallowed hard. He obviously hadn't considered
the possibility that Roger would obstruct his plan.
"What if I ask him myself?"
"Don't say anything to your father just yet. Let me
talk to our lawyer and figure a few things out, okay?" I'm
thrilled by Pete's suggestion but can't imagine
Roger giving up his parental rights without a fight.