There were only a few minutes at a time today that I wasn't thinking about the same-sex marriage ban upheld by the California Supreme Court today. How could I not? Twitter and Facebook updates were explosive in response and I felt emotional all day to see how vigilant we must be to ensure that all people have the fundamental right to marry.
Then I wrote about it, knowing I would get the all-caps responses that I indeed got (and am getting). And wanting, in spite of the hate or ignorance or just ill-informedness or shelteredness that might be revealed in comments section, for the conversation to be opened.
After I picked up Lil E, we went over the details of other things present in our day -- how he ran to the sink to wash his hands in the bathroom, slipped, knocked his head pretty hard on the floor and had a goose-egg still swollen on his noggin;how the Spanish teacher wasn't there but really was there but by the time they realized she really was there, it was too late, and so they played on playground instead of having class today; how we would not be eating pizza on the floor in a picnic and would actually have to talk at the table together.
We did talk at the table. We shared our usual Four Things About My Day and the favorite parts of our day. He asks, as he usually does, what I'd been blogging about, and in the most age-appropriate language I could find, I told him.
We've discussed this all before. This time, I gave him the context of the November elections and the California Supreme Court review of the proposition. Then I asked him what he thought. I grew up having a valid voice over such issues at the kitchen table, and he has that, too. Even at four. Especially at four.
He listened. He made a pouty face. He shook his head. His eyebrows framed a wrinkled nose.
"What do you think?" I asked. [The whole convo after the jump.]
"I think," he said slowly, pausing for a moment before continuing on. "I think it makes me both happy and sad."
"Happy because the judges thought about it. But sad because of what they decided." He was very serious as he explained himself.
I told him I my opinion -- that love, not laws should decide who can get married -- and he nodded from across the table, his mouth full of pizza and a spoonful of yogurt hovering in the air.
"I agree." He was decisive. "I really agree, Mommy."
Then he made the leap he often makes now, relating our once-family to the issue.
"When you and Daddy went down to the courthouse, you could get married. Right?" His seriousness did not change.
"Of course. Why do you think that is?," I asked him back.
"Because you are a lady and a man. But if you were a lady and lady? NO. Man and man? NO."
"That's right. We have to keep trying to change that, I think." I was calling him to action. He knew it.
"I agree, Mommy." His response was muffled by a very full mouth.
But it was OK. He got it. Or he gets it as much as he can or wants to in those moments. That makes me happy on a sad day, hopeful in a time of so much inequity.
If you haven't already, please watch this video by The Courage Campaign. Divorce should be chosen, not legislated. I am grateful the 18,000 same-sex marriages in California continue to be valid and there are many more people who should have the right to be wed.
And do read this as well.
Lastly, tell me what your kids are saying about all this. I want to know. And I imagine Lil E will, too.