A picture showed up on my Facebook newsfeed yesterday. To be fair, it was titled “graphic”, however that’s meaningless when the picture shows up at the same time. It was graphic, it was horrifying, it was heartbreaking, and it happened in Uganda. That’s all you really need to know.
I got up from my chair and walked into the living room.
“Jeremy? I really need a hug,” I whispered. He got up and I fell, sobbing, into his arms.
“Mom? Were you reading the news again? I thought you said you weren’t going to read the news anymore,” he chided gently as he patted my back.
“I… didn’t…” I managed to say before bursting into fresh tears. “It… showed… up… on my… news… feed.”
I told him about the picture as my tears slowed. He sighed then shook his head.
“I don’t get it,” he replied as he headed toward the kitchen. “It’s like they think gays have some built in nuclear device and we’re gonna blow up or something.”
“Jeremy, don’t explode. Okay?” I joked. It was pretty feeble.
He turned and smiled. “I won’t”.
The truth is I really don’t read the news anymore. I’ve read too many horror stories and just can’t handle them. My news gets filtered through my Facebook news feed by liberal friends who tend to post positive news or political issues that can be worked on. This usually works well, except when something truly heartbreaking blindsides me.
Once I got my face dried off, we headed out. Our first stop was a favourite store called Bouclair. My grandmother loved it decades ago when it was a fabric shop but these days it’s a decorating store. Both Jeremy and I love it. We started out in the lighting aisle, drooling over the ceiling lights, then moved onto bedroom decor to get ideas for Jeremy’s room.
The first aisle was bubblegum pink with lots of glitter. Jeremy just sighed and moved to the next aisle, which was blue with lots of sports. He rolled his eyes.
“It’s very gendered,” I commented. He nodded and sighed again. I glanced beside me and kept on walking. Somehow I couldn’t see Jeremy wanting ceramic soccer ball decorations or a tennis shoe piggy bank.
Jeremy is a big Doctor Who fan and we did find a bright red London canvas, complete with the British flag, a red telephone box, and a double decker bus. Jeremy insisted it needed a blue police box but, well, wishing didn’t make one appear. He did like it the way it was, and it was on clearance to boot.
Today we had a family dinner, which means going to visit family. Jeremy was his usual ‘around the family’ self for most of the visit. He was cheerful enough but quiet and his hands stayed firmly tucked under his arms. He hung out with his young cousins for a while but didn’t leave the table with them after dinner, which was unusual.
Then he began to talk about something that interested him and Jeremy’s ‘at home’ self appeared. One hand drooped while the other gestured wildly and, if I was writing down what he said, half his words would be in italics. The same relative who made the lisping comment back in December was sitting beside Jeremy. I sat and watched as the relative listened to Jeremy talk, replied to what was said, then patted Jeremy on the shoulder. Then I breathed a sigh of relief. The visit went very well.
And, while I have yet to hear anything about the GSA in Jeremy’s school, I did find out about a drop in program for LGBTQ teens in our area that meets every Thursday. Jeremy has already agreed to go. Hopefully I’ll have a positive update on Friday.