Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Our Table

Sunlight danced like diamonds on the swimming pool. Mia was doing this crazy nose-and-mouth above water thing as she traversed the pool, Jakey was all love and jumping in and splashing around. Deb's kids and my kids and Marie's kids were in the malay too, shouting and cheering each other on as they made up games on the fly. We women (and one man) sat around the edges of the pool sipping the most divine gin and tonics with extra lime made by the fabulous Lisa while Lynn's spicy concoction of meat sizzled on the grill. It could have been a scene from my own childhood...the savoring of occupied and happy children, the mellow buzz of a perfectly made cocktail, great friends and a beautiful summer day. I think back on this day, and so many days like it, with total relish.

I think of another day, a day that I remember so well because the beauty of it hit me in the moment. Lynn and Lisa and Jake and Mia were over for dinner. Crowded around the table theirs and ours were quite a whirl of animation, amazing food, great wine and fun. Our children were deeply entwined with Lisa and Lynn's children telling stories, arguing, laughing. Nick and Lynn were talking gardens, Lisa and I talking shop. I remember catching the moment, it freezing for a second and thinking "My kids know this as totally normal. My kids see Lisa and Lynn and their partnership as no different than their dad and myself." Huge tears sprung to my eyes as I looked at Lisa, my friend from so many journeys who grew up in a conservative oilfield environment like I did in Oklahoma, and thought "In a generation we've changed things, just a bit, just in our corner of what we can change. But it's something. It is."

I'm pausing here because I just don't know what to write next. I want to talk about how wrong it is that we systematically discriminate against gay and lesbian families in this country. I want to rail against the hetero community for believing they own "marriage" when we do such a tremendous job fucking it up. I want to ask why people feel compelled to mandate how other people live their lives. I want to ask all of those folks that point to passages in the bible for their bigotry to bring me proof that they follow all of the bibles other statements or "laws" and then we can talk.

My children are surrounded by loving families in this community. Their best friends are bi-racial, many of our closest friends and family members are lesbians. As much as my children know that there are many places to feel at home in this world, they know that a loving community is built by enabling people to love who they were meant to love, to partner with the individual that they choose without fear or condemnation. I hold in my heart that this "normal" for them will give them the power of their convictions. That they will have high expectations of the world. That their current shock and disbelief at laws they see as "stupid, mama, just stupid...that makes no sense at all" will propel them to tidy up what will, ojala, be a relic of a past we are eager to leave behind.

North Carolina's new constitutional ban is every indication that this is not going away any time soon. But old ways of thinking die, literally, with the passing of generations. I'm investing my time, love, energy and money in what is to come.

Lisa and Lynn and Jake and Mia, our table is set for you always. It's one of joy and love.

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