“Thank you for being here.” He caught my eye, smiled my way.
My family stood by his, our shadows criss-crossing.
The morning’s crisp gave way to daytime’s warmth. The sun glinted, circling us, reflecting against sunglasses and signs and tiny silver pins connecting our numbers to our shirts, branding each one of us Present.
The breeze blew his graying hair, he lifted his sunglasses, revealing his eyes,
Touching his partner’s arm with one hand, he pointed to our kids, our shirts, our Here with the other.
“We’re happy to be here,” Jason answered, shaking his hand, patting his back. He’s always just right in these moments.
With his eye crinkles and crooked smile and the chin tilt that he saves for his sincerest of times, he speaks his heart with ease.
And I, stand by his side and Teary Smile.
“We are. Happy to be here. Thank you.” I stumble, displaying my own heart with the only wrapping and ribbon I have, the only ones I know.
“Thank you,” He squeezes my hand; his ribbon.
Our family did The Big Gay Race this weekend.
I TearySmiled my way through it.
I TearySmiled when Chloe jogged ahead and when Kayli met my stride and when Jason and I passed Brody hand to hand just like we did when he was the right size to pass and when my sister-in-law finished the run with better chops than she thought she had in her.
Because when you stand shoulder to shoulder with so many people who think like you and feel like you and wish with every fiber of their being for HappilyEverAfters like you, that’s what you do.
You put one foot in front of the other, and you TearySmile.
“I don’t want to go.” Chloe said the day before the race, skating the edge of whine and sass, but not quite slipping into it. “I want to go to soccer.” Shoulders back, chin up, mouth set.
“That’s not a choice.” I said, uncharacteristically calm. “We’re doing this one as a family.”
“But why?” Her arms crossed, she meant business.
I matched her gaze, I meant business, too.
Reaching over the hum of music and the stream of sunshine and the safety of comfort, I told my girl what she already knew – that our family believes that love is love, and that people should marry who they love.
And then, I splayed what I’ve kept from her. What I’ve held within my mothering hands, closed tight, shielded, untouchable.
“Not everyone believes that.” I tucked a single strand of hair behind one ear, my voice wavered.
She sat up, met my eyes, and listened, really listened.
What I told her is what I want my children to know.
We stand for what’s right, because it’s the only thing to do. Because if not us, then who. And because not standing up, is the same as pushing down.
So our family did The Big Gay Race this weekend, and we were all (truly) happy to be there.
- Alison and I will be giving away a Signazon product of your choice in this month’s Memories Captured! Signazon offers decals like we used in our girls’ tween room, window decals, yard signs, car magnet signs, and congratulations banners, so mark your calendar for October 15th, and make one of these, yours!
- Buy a book, fight cancer. Find out about Write for the Fight here.