by Aimee Genter-Gilmore, PQ Monthly
In three days, I am marrying my favorite lady in the world, and it took a short while to go from “OMG STRESSED SO MUCH TO DO!!!” to “Awww…. all of our favorite people are coming to town to celebrate our love.”
Yesterday, my family flew in. My parents haven’t seen Oscar since he was a week old, and after an initial tantrum triggered by needing a nap and being overwhelmed by so many people who want to give him their love, Oscar turned the cuteness up to 11, and charmed the heck out of his Nana and Boppa and aunt Julie (my sister) who was meeting him for the very first time.
Even cuter, though, was watching Oscar with his cousin Lilli, who is just about 4 years old. The cuteness between the two of them cannot be described with words. Last night, we went over to their hotel to cool off in the pool, and afterward, the cousins just giggled and played and loved all over each other in a way that should be illegal (but I’m glad that it’s not).
There are new emotions experienced every day as a parent, but an emotion that kind of took me off-guard was seeing Oscar give a whole lot of love to my mom and dad. I’m sure that, after I came out nearly 20 years ago, they never expected to be holding my kid. Loving my kid. Adoring my kid. And so I feel so full of love for my family, that I was able to give them another grandkid, and even more full of love for the fact that they love this kid unconditionally, even though they aren’t related by blood.
That’s the rub. They don’t have to love or even acknowledge his existence. If they were like other family members, some of which who are related to him by blood, yet refuse to even meet the kid, they could just sit back and comfort themselves by telling themselves that my family isn’t “real.” But my parents aren’t those kind of people, and for that, I am eternally grateful.
Last night, my lady’s sister flew into town, and met Oscar for the first time ever this morning. And today, more people will arrive. And tomorrow, even more. It’s like a whole convergence of love is coming to wrap us up and raise up our love. And the thing I can’t forget is how radical this act would have been 30, even 20, years ago. Going to this wedding, which seems so commonplace and expected today, would have been a major political statement not that long ago.
Today, I give thanks to those who are coming, from near and far, to recognize our love and our family. And I give thanks to those who blazed the trail, who helped make it so that a gay wedding isn’t such a radical act anymore… it’s just the next step in the circle of life. And mostly, I thank my parents, for showering me and my family with the love and support that they have given us all of these years.
I am truly blessed.