My heart froze in my chest.
It was breakfast.
Joe and I were just finishing up.
A grandfather and grandson came downstairs and sat at the table next to us. Grandson loved Grandpa, that was clear. Grandfather was bragging to someone at the next table, obviously a family friend, about his grandson. How brave he'd been going down the slide in the pool. How strong he was and how much he liked to wrestle and play around. 'No worry this one's gonna be a queer,' he said laughing.
Suddenly I was again little, again feeling the disappointment that my disinterest in sports, my less than masculine manner, my preference for words over fists brought with them. Disappointment never stated - the slow shake of the head, the grim set to the mouth, the sense of desperation in the hope that I'd be a little less interested in Davy Jones on the Monkees. Disappointment that told me that I'd not made the grade, that there was something about my make up that was wrong - it was out of my control, but I was blamed as if I had had something to do with it.
Little boy was looking at grandpa curiously. There was a message in those words. A message that he needed to worry about how he was in the world, who he'd be in the world, a message that Grandpa's love could be lost. And if love could be lost, could it be trusted.
Grandpa didn't notice.
But I did.
But Joe did.
But we don't matter.
His grandson did. I don't think he'll be sure of his grandfathers love, ever, truly again. There are costs to the things we say. There are consequences to the attitudes we hold. We got up to leave and the little boy was back to playing, jumping around, no longer thinking about what he heard. But I know. If anyone knows, I know. He'll remember.
And thus, was the morning of 'Family Day' ... I'd already written yesterdays blog, and, if I'd have had access to the computer right then, I would have erased the post.