Grandma and Grandpa Colorado: What are you going to San Diego for?
Me: Well, we are going to a conference for bloggers, because I started a blog about raising C.J.
Them: What’s a blog?
Me: It’s like a journal online that other people can read.
Them: We’re not on Facebook.
Me: It’s not Facebook. It’s like a website where I can write whatever I want.
Them: On the Interweb?
Me: Yes, the Internet.
Them: Are we blocked from seeing it, like Facebook?
Me: No it’s not blocked, you can see it.
Them: We don’t really go on the Internet and we definitely don’t do Facebook.
The subject changes seamlessly to talk of the weather, cinnamon bears being more aggressive than black bears, and the neighbor up the street who loved his hunting dog more than his wife.
Grandma Colorado: You know, our good friends told us that you were writing inappropriate articles about C.J. online. This must be what they were talking about.
My heart sinks into my stomach, which drops to my knees, which start to shake. My face feels flush as I’m filled with anger and sadness.
Everyday people disagree with my choice to chronicle my adventures in raising C.J. and my skin has grown thick. But, when the criticism comes from closer to home the pain is fresh.
Me: Not everybody agrees with my decisions initially, but if they really take the time to read my writings, they usually change their mind. You know, I actually kind of have a lot of people reading my blog and I feel like I’m doing something important.
Grandma Colorado: Well, I don’t know. I don’t go on Facebook. All I know is we’re going to love C.J. no matter what.
Me: Well, that’s all that matters.
Silent minutes absorb the evening.
Grandma Colorado: I just can’t believe that C.J.’s Dad is so forgiving of C.J.
Me: What do you mean?
Grandma Colorado: I can’t believe that C.J.’s Dad is so forgiving of C.J… and you, I guess. Because your brother is gay and C.J. is the way he is.
Me: Do you mean forgiving or accepting?
Grandma Colorado: Accepting, I guess.
I say nothing, because if I open my mouth I’m not sure what will fly out. I’m not, by nature, an insecure person. But, in that moment my mother-in-law, bless her speak-before-you-think heart, hit on one of my biggest insecurities: that C.J. being gender nonconforming, effeminate and possibly gay is my fault. That I should be thankful that my husband is a big enough man to not hold C.J.’s gender creativeness and possible future sexual orientation against me.
Me: Well, that just means that you did something right.
Later, I talk to my mom about it on the phone.
Nana Grab Bags: Well, if someone has to be blamed then the blame goes on me because I had Uncle Uncle.
She laughs and I try to, too. If fault has to be found, then we are your girls.
Later, Grandpa Colorado sneaks up behind me while I’m on his computer.
Grandpa Colorado: Can you add your blog to my “favorites” tab?
Nothing more was said—or has been since.