Monthly Archives: June 2016
Last week when I picked Gus up from daycare I chatted with the owner/lead teacher for a bit. I wanted to see if she was concerned with some things that kind of bug me in the back of my mind – mainly Gus’ attention span. Y’all are stressing me out with your pictures of littles at movies. Gus would NEVER NEVER NEVER tolerate a movie. When the TV is on I think his interest record is about 3 minutes and that was when he was sleepy. As I watch other kiddos we know go to the movies I was starting to wonder if we should be concerned. Her verdict was no, not even a little bit.
Anyway, that’s not the point of my story. In chatting we were talking about all the things we love about him which is, of course, my favorite topic of conversation. I’m not going to say Gus is the daycare favorite but he might be the daycare favorite. She said, in a sheepish voice not sure if she should tell me her secret, that she jokes that Gus is going to be president.
I laughed. We’ve jokes about this for probably the last year. President Gus. Senator Gus (D. Oregon). Between my love of politics and his personality it could very well be his fate. She jokes that even his name, August, sounds presidential. While the hyphenated last name may throw some even if he took one of our names as an adult he sounds like a president. August Ya.tes. August Poll.ard. (This is big news if you don’t know my last name. I think most people we have friends with now have no idea.)
Gus has so much personality. I know I talk about it a lot and you can see it in pictures but there is so much of it. He is sweet and caring – when people are crying he notices and asks about it. He has started adding to his apologies – Yesterday he told both the dog and one of the cats, “Sorry, didn’t mean to.” He is loving and considerate and is a stranger to no one. He’ll be great on the campaign trail.
He’s also smart. I know at this age things are going fast and it might even out but boy, is he smart. He can sing the ABC’s and count some (It’s pretty sporadic but he can do it!). He is starting to learn colors and shapes. This morning Lesley was writing his name on the tag of his clothes (we’ve lost a few things to daycare recently) and she told him was she was doing. He said, “G-U-S. Gus!” This kid.
We’ve reached a weird point where most of the development stuff I knew is done. He’s walking, running, talking, ect. ect. ect. Of course there are more things but I feel a bit sad that most of our big “milestones” are passed. But then I think about watching who he is becoming and that is such a joy. There is still a lot to see between now and his Inauguration Day. 🙂
And now, a sampling of old pictures that show his presidential side:
It’s been a long, hard week. I know that is true for all of us as there is so much silence in this space that is normally full of noise.
I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the darkness. When does it lift and how? When is appropriate? When are we ready to discuss other things and when does it feel okay to laugh? I think this is what a lot of people feel like when experiencing any kind of grief but it’s different here because (most of) the outside world doesn’t understand the grief the LGBTQ community feels. So while there are good moments and there are bad, moving forward seems like it is minimizing how we feel – folks aren’t getting that the laughter and tears are both very present.
I’m not sure if any of that makes sense. There is still so much healing to be done. There is so much needed. I feel the need to organize and act and feel frozen. We couldn’t attend local vigils (late, other transportation complications) or a fundraiser (at a bar) and I don’t have much to say that hasn’t been said. So I’m here. Breathing, thinking, feeling.
Light shines through. Wednesday night we had new friends over for dinner. I realized that lesbian mamas with a small baby lived near us and constructed an elaborate plan to meet them. It worked and we had them for dinner. It was great and lovely and felt like the right thing at the right time. We are traveling to the big city this weekend to Pride and seeing our queer family there. Friends have reached out (often times after I have been vocal in various settings about how LGBTQ folks need support right now) and I am reminded that we are building a loving community. Slowly, but it is building. These bits of light remind me that we are building a world that is changing. This is why we march on.
And yet it still hits me. The fear, the sadness, the worry. I wonder if we have done our son a disservice by wishing so desperately for his existence. Was it selfish for us to have a child whose family is hated? How do we teach him to be proud and safe. And then I think about communities of color. I listen to stories of black moms talking to their black boys. I think about the Latinx queer community – a community feeling more pain than I can imagine. I remind myself that my child will be raised to make the world better in whatever way he can. I remind myself that conversations with him will never be as difficult as conversations other folks are having with their kiddos. He will learn this. He will make the world better. He is always the light shining through.
I don’t know when it will feel better. I do know there is still work to do. I haven’t read about the victims much. I can’t. Lesley and I decided to pick a time to sit down, light candles, and listen to Anderson Cooper read their names. I’m not ready. I have a lot of reading to do about race. I am struggling a lot with the idea that as a white person I need to not center my sadness here. I understand that but don’t know how to speak as an anti racist ally. This has taught me where I need to grow. I am looking for ways to do more and be more and I am finding them.
Today I put one foot in front of the other. I actually do some work while at my desk. This weekend I take my child to Pride. I hug my friends tight. I move with a heavy heart and a spinning mind – forward.