Sunday, July 05, 2015

Seeing rainbows everywhere

I was positively giddy. From the highest court in the land, filtered through the black robes of jurisprudence, came a rainbow.

There was cheering in the front yard.

It was the sound of kids being kids that summer promises, but only the wanton use of water delivers. They couldn't care less about the news that day.

The humidity, this early in the season, had been treading on every inch of our humanity.

The boy was facing off on the girl; the girl was spitting it right back. With venom.

I thought a bright, plastic sheet attached to the garden hose would help cool things down.

After wrestling the cling wrap slide from its packaging, and charming the tangle of hose into a nozzle, there was a moment of awe. Thin rivulets sprang up from the slick river that cut a straight path through the lawn.

Sunlight caught the mist, and the faintest of rainbows appeared.

For the better part of an hour they slid and splashed together in a soupy peace.

I knew it wouldn't last, but I wasn't thinking about that.

Dripping wet and towel-less, they scampered toward the house where they would shed water and grass clippings as efficiently as a dog shaking off his bath.

I wasn't thinking about that, either. I was thinking about the rainbow.

As I draped my son's soggy Slip 'n Slide over the steps of the front porch to dry, I joked that it looked like a rainbow rung out from all the excitement.

Today is certainly a milestone,” I said aloud as the kids filed past me up the stairs.

My kids just rolled their eyes and went inside to slosh their spent fun throughout the house.

How could I condemn the absence of tidiness when the presence of justice seemed all around me?

But as I cheered the day the US Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land, my kids were nonchalant.

"What's the big deal," asked my 11-year-old as she tried to wrap her head around "gay marriage."

"Isn't it just 'marriage'?"

"It is now," I answered with a grin.

In fact, she didn't believe me that it hadn't always been so.

To her marriage is marriage, and family is family. The definition is all about function, not form.

After all, she's been around families with "two moms" for as long as she can remember. Our neighbor, Massachusetts, led the way more than a decade ago when it and an Internet network of like-minded moms introduced us to families that didn't look exactly like ours.

We all loved our children exactly the same.

We all wanted them to be happy and healthy and kind and good people.

As friends do, we had get-togethers in person and online. Soon, we all seemed like old friends.

Straight or gay, of color or not, they came from all walks of life and all occupations. They were journalists, and lawyers, and entrepreneurs. They were homemakers and hippies, conservatives and liberals. They were Christians and Jews and atheists. It was as wonderful and eye-opening as it was infuriating at times. We didn't always see eye-to-eye.

The kids were just being kids. They didn't judge. Neither did we.

We were all just people gathered together by some modern algorithm.

Ten years later we are here. Celebrating this national milestone. We've grown past the toddler stage in our friendships, as well.

Some of us have stay married, some divorced. Sadly, we didn't all stay friends. Now we talk about the next stage of trials and losses that visit us as our children and our parents age.

And that is life, too. Even if we end up having to agree to disagree. But a part of me hopes that we will all accept equality the way children can:

People are people. Marriage is Marriage. Love is everywhere. And rainbows always come after it storms.

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