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The Colorful Flag And The Beautiful Home

September 17, 2019

Apparently I was a clever little kid. At one point my mother and I were flying back home after visiting my grandmother. I was about five years old. I loved my grandmother. We called her Granny.

Like many little kids, I didn’t want to leave.

But, you have to go with your Mom.

But, why?

Because if you don’t she’ll be lonely on the plane.

Granny, is anyone staying here with you?

No. You all are going together.

But, I should stay.

And why is that?

So, you won’t be lonely.

My mother loves to tell that story. There’s another story they tell about me and my grandmother. The two stories may even be from the same trip.

We were driving in the car. I could barely see out the window in the back seat. Car seats with their boosted seat hadn’t yet been invented. We passed a beautiful house. I remember it being one of the most beautiful houses I’d ever seen.

Granny? Someday, I hope you get to live in a house like that.

My entire family laughed at me. They knew something that, as a little kid I didn’t know.

I went to a wedding over the weekend. (Attending a World Event. . .In the Backyard.) Among other things it was a gay wedding. The decorations, were colorful and appropriately specific.

My cousin was getting married. Another cousin came to the wedding. Actually, she’s my 2nd cousin. My grandmother (Granny) and her grandmother were sisters. I never knew what a second cousin was when we were growing up. She was just a cousin.

She flew down from Washington with her young son. He’s seven years old. Technically, he’s my 2nd cousin once removed. He and his mom stayed at our house over the weekend. With most of my kids gone off to college we have plenty of space.

It’s funny with cousins. Especially ones you’ve grown up with. You might not see each other for years, decades even. And yet, when you get back into the same room, you pick up where you left off. My cousin and I talked for hours, cramming years of history into a few short hours.

At the wedding, my cousin’s son was one of only a few children. He had a great time. During the wedding he found an abandoned toy airplane “crashed” into a fence to play with. As he was leaving he took one of the small Pride flags.

He still had the flag when he came to the reception. I’m not sure my cousin’s son understands what gay means. Certainly not what Trans means. And yet, he was happy with his Pride flag. It was a colorful flag. He probably still has it and took it home.

To him, it was just a flag. Even though to others it had more meaning. Important meaning.

And that was the message I got. The differences that seem so important to us as adults are often lost on kids. Gay, straight, trans, young, old, religious, aethist.

To a kid, it’s just a flag. Or a house. The beautiful house that we passed by that I hoped my grandmother would get to live in someday? It was a funeral home.

But, to me, it was just a beautiful house.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2019 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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