On Father’s Day we got stranded on the West Side and let T-Bone run around in La Cienega Park before subjecting him to the endless car ride home. His latest thing is that he has no real interest in playgrounds or even in playing per se. He’s on a mission. He wants to walk. Once he picks a direction I have never seen such determination. He will not be derailed without a fight. He walks until he literally drops, then he lies down and smiles at the trees.
To me, this is at the top of the list of the many joys of life with T. I find myself sitting on the ground next to him and watching the edges of the palm fronds shine in the gold light of the sunset. For a minute, the world looks new. Even on La Cienega.
On this particular walk, T took a surprise turn into a baseball field and he and Scott ran around the bases until T was shrieking with laughter. T-Bone has the best daddy (commonly known as Dee-Doo or Dee-Dee). Really, he does.
In March of ’05 I was privileged enough to visit Iran with a group of fellow New College students. The remarkable warmth we, as a group of American tourists, encountered during our travels blasted my assumptions to pieces. The picture above is a group of schoolgirls who mobbed us with hugs and kisses in the seaside town of Bandar Bushehr. I think of them now when I look at pictures of the women protesting silently in the streets of Tehran. I am hoping that these girls will grow to see a more humane world than their mothers knew. I hope the same for my own son.
On Sunday Tariku was reunited with one of his oldest friends, also his namesake. We were graced with a visit from the Caldes, the wonderful family of little miss Lula Tarikie- Tariku’s buddy from the care center in Ethiopia. Tariku had a big time romancing Lula, playing drums for a family Rock Band face-off and then chasing Lula’s older brothers around the backyard for the rest of the evening.
We shared one of the most difficult, amazing and profoundly emotional experiences of our lives with the Caldes. It felt like such a great chapter of the story to just share a meal and relax in our backyard while the kids, now so healthy and joyful, played together.
Tariku attended his first Gay Pride event! We couldn’t make it to the big parade on Sunday, so instead we headed out with Auntie Jo and Auntie Anne to the Silverlake Dyke March on Saturday night. He had a blast drumming along with the djembe and waving at the onlookers. We topped off the evening by staying out until 10, which got us in big trouble with Daddy but what the hell. Sometimes a guy has to stay out and party with queer revelers until all hours, right?
On Friday morning we went to Tariku’s final adoption hearing at the Children’s Court in Monterey Park (though I’ve learned to be suspect of the word “final” with anything pertaining to adoption). The waiting area on the fourth floor was lined on one side with east-facing windows. The clouds were shades of shifting grey and the pretty, filtered light fell on a conflicted scene where a small percentage of adults carried celebratory balloons and the rest sat with bad posture while kids zoomed back and forth between one family member at one side of the room and another family member at the other. A few kids sat and talked with their attorneys.
Tariku toddled down every hallway, tried to get into every door and hugged every kid there who was even close to his size. I felt proud of him. Not for anything in particular but just for who he is, for his sweet, sweet heart and his adventurous soul. I felt proud of myself and our family for coming this far.
Auntie Jo and Auntie Anne were also in attendance. We all sprung a tear or two when the judge declared T our legal son, with all corresponding rights and privileges.
As we walked out we started to argue about whether T would prefer a brother or a sister. Is it so wrong to want a girl just because I have terrible tutu envy every time I walk by the dance wear shop in South Pas? When I decorated T’s room and shopped for his first clothes I was obsessed with gender neutrality. T’s favorite things- buses, trains and airplanes. Though he also harbors deep affection for gender neutral ceiling fans.
“How do you know we won’t get a boy who wants to wear a tutu?” asked Scott, cheerily. That is why I married my husband.
Afterwards, we went home to celebrate with subs and cookies and water toys. Much joyous splashing ensued.