Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Family Tree

Morrigan had to make a family tree for school. It was pretty basic, generally only covering direct lines which is a good considering my Dad has eleven brothers and sisters and the director's cut is infinitely more complicated. Anyway, we went through and put in all the relevant info, some of which she found interesting, like great grandfathers sharing a name (Bernard), some horrifying, like the fact that I had lobbied (hard) to name her Wilhelmeina, after my grandmother. [We would have called her Mena - it would have been adorable.]

When we came to her Uncles, she questioned how to list them. I told her to put them as Uncle Dominick and Uncle Chris and link them as married.

"But are they married?" she asked.

"No, not legally since Wisconsin hasn't legalized gay marriage. But they consider themselves husbands and that is more important to me than the stamp of approval from a bureaucratic state office."

That was enough for her and she completed her project.

So then we are at the pool today as her brother and sister were swimming and I asked how her day went. "Fine," she said, "except when I presented my family tree everyone made fun of me. They laughed because I have two Uncles."

"What happened?"

"My teacher made everyone stop being mean and talked to us all about how that was ok. And she talked to me later to make sure I was not upset."

"Are you upset? Do you think they are right?" I asked.

"No, but I don't like being made fun of." she said.

"Would your life be better if Uncle Dominick had a wife instead?"

"NO! Then I wouldn't have Uncle Chris! I love them both."

And then she and I had a nice talk about not giving a rat's ass about what other people thought. [Just for effect, I really did use the term rat's ass.]

But the whole thing made me more than a little sad. Y'all know we are just about as conservative as it gets. Really, George W. is considered a squishy moderate around here. But a child raised in that most right wing of atmospheres is wholly accepting of an "alternative" lifestyle while the vast majority of kids in her class, from homes on both sides of the political aisle, were happy to mock and make fun. Maybe I am just overly optimistic in thinking we had all moved on from that. I hate that I am wrong.

But you know what did make me happy? That when we were discussing rat's asses Morrigan told me how she doesn't care if people are mean about her Uncles because those people are wrong and she loves them both.

And I do too.

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