July 1, 2013

Pride and Prescriptions, or I Haz All the Feels

"Awesome Gay Son" "We Love Our Awesome Gay Son"
Yesterday, Chicago hosted it's 44th annual Gay Pride Parade.

Now, considering that this came just a few short days after the supreme court knocked down DOMA, I'm pretty sure you can guess what kind of turnout there was.

A drag homage to the supreme court
...it was about a million people. And five of them were the SuperMommy family.

I'm a huge supporter of marriage equality. (I hate the phrase, "gay marriage." The only way a "gay marriage" is different from a "straight marriage" is that nobody is whispering behind their backs about premarital sex as they walk down the aisle. So, I'd call it an improvement.) (Yeah, I had one relative call me two months after the wedding to ask if I'd had the baby yet. I wasn't pregnant/planning to get pregnant. Way to make me second guess my wedding dress once it's too late.)

At any rate, I'm not for marriage equality because I'm gay, or because Aunt Green is gay, or because I grew up with a (totally awesome) gay aunt, or because I have gay friends, or because I trust Dan Savage more than I trust Dear Abby.

No, I'm for marriage equality because I'm just plain for equality.

And so, as our attempts to paint rainbow t-shirts for pride was horrifically derailed and then abandoned with mush shouting, many tears, and sudden nap time enforcement, I told the girls that they could just go ahead and wear whatever the hell they wanted to Pride.

"Really." I said. "Anything! You can get your feather boas out of your dress up box, wear tutus..."
"I want to wear my fancy princess dress!"
"Me too!"
"Great! Go put 'em on!"

Now, when the girls say "fancy princess dress," what they really mean is "Flamenco costume brought to us by friends and family in Spain."

My kids were dressed pretty much exactly like a pint sized drag show. It was awesome.

And everybody LOVED IT. As the whole three hours of the parade went by, our Mayor ran by, gave me the sweatiest handshake of my life, and quickly cooed at the flamboyant children. Every drag queen on foot stepped over to compare gowns.

As just about every float in a parade is handing out something, the kids were progessively more and more weighed down in beads, hats, backpacks, lollipops, stickers, buttons, signs, and fliers.

A spunky twink in very little clothing compared suckers with DD.

"What's that?"
"A lollipop!"
"Mine's bigger."

And then ran off again.

A man standing next to us hoisted DD onto the rail of the barricade and held her up to see the entire parade. All three hours of it.

Basically everyone marching with a camera had to come over and take a picture.

Or at least kvell at the sight of them, waving their signs and high fiving people and generally being adorable and not caring in the slightest about anybody's sexual orientation.

This is the look most people had when spotting my kids
We met up for a while with my friend J, who's sort of moving down to Austin (where it seems there is a magical honing beacon for all the wonderful people that we love, dragging them down to live in Texas and away from us). RH latched onto her necklaces and decided pretty much instantly that this whole parade thing was actually going to be okay.

But poor M...

I had absolutely failed in my planning for the day, which left M trying to find parking as I traipsed off with the kids to find a spot along the route to watch the parade. M missed the entire first half, as he drove in a towering fury all the way down to his old alma mater on the south side and then took the train all the way back up again.

He ended up trapped on the other side of the street, watching and waving to us as we all watched the parade go by.

Find M! He's in a Northwestern hat!
Remarkably, the kids were on their best behavior all day.

SI was utterly in shock that this gentleman's underpants showed his bare bottom.
Remarkably, they didn't complain or scream or cry as we hiked around Lincoln Park for a few hours, waiting for the crowds around the train to thin enough for our entire crew to make our way down to the south side again to find our car.

RH slept through that part
And remarkably, DD didn't even mention how horrific the condition of her skin had become.

Unbeknownst to me, DD was having a pretty severe allergic reaction to... something. I had noticed the rash the previous night, but she said it wasn't bothering her. By the time I was giving her a post-Pride bath, it was everywhere, and really nasty. Plus, it looked oddly bruised underneath. I called the doctor to find out whether or not I should be concerned, and immediately found myself putting DD back into her shoes and taking her to the ER.

She thought this was the best part of her day.

Just the two of us, reading books and drawing pictures and showing EVERYBODY the spots on her tummy. She couldn't have been more delighted or cheerful to be in the hospital. Because she is three, and everybody loves her, and as it turns out she's just fine- just having some weird allergic type reaction to something that they can't identify just now. I'm supposed to give her some Benadryl.

I didn't know that, though. When your pediatrician tells you to take her to the ER because this might be the sort of thing that can really awful if it's not evaluated within, like, an hour of finding it... oy vey. I sat on a blue plastic couch as she hugged me and said, "Mama, I love you. I love you so much, I love you so so so much, mama. I love hugging you..." And I thought to myself, "OH MY GOD I LOVE YOU TOO PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DON'T DIE!!"

And so I learned a valuable lesson of parenting yesterday...

If your kid wants to run in circles around the hospital waiting room while dancing and jumping and singing about how awesome she is, she's probably not knocking on death's door.

Despite making it home before midnight, it took me two hours to decompress and sleep.

I was wired and happy from the incredible non-stop bliss-fest that is Chicago's Pride Parade.

I was frustrated from fighting with M over something as stupid as parking.

I was physically exhausted from being on my feet either walking or hoisting children literally all day.

I was emotionally drained from spending several hours waiting to find out if my child had some sort of parasite that was going to burst out of her chest.

And I was sad because M has been working overtime and seven day weeks a week for nearly a month, and even though we had been excitedly talking about having "alone time" since yesterday morning, the first chance we had to actually spend several hours in each other's company was preempted by the need for me to take DD and drive off into the night.

On Wednesday, we'll go to Guppy Lake, and then we'll have plenty of time together. In fact, it will be the first fourth of July weekend we've ever actually spent up there, despite how much of a connection the two things hold for us. Until then, I'll just have to keep looking at the THOUSAND plus pictures I took at Pride, and seeing if I can spot him in the crowd across the street.

Yes, you can catch a glimpse of my husband behind this hotdog wearing a condom.

Happy Pride, everybody!


  1. this is SO awesome. I wish I could do crowds b/c this definitely looks like a blast. and I bet our girls would get along splendidly well in their crazy attire. :)



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