Yesterday, when Sir Raven woke up, i served her ribs and rice. The ribs were falling off the bone tender. She said she had been dreaming about taking me to Build-a-bear. She promised to take me many times over the last couple of years. First, the huge two story place closed. When she went to see what was left in Manhattan, she discovered that they were closing permanently on Monday. i was really sad then, because i already knew this location was small to begin with, and expected they wouldn’t have any bears.
Sir Raven agreed to call this morning, and found out they had a limited amount of stuffies. i really, really, really wanted the New York bear. i thought Sir Raven would like that one, but i never got it because i was hoping that she would take me to build-a-bear someday.
We made our way to Manhattan, a long ride of suspense to see if there would be any toys she would like for me. At the end of the block, the very last moment of pride were happening. i begged her to take us down for just a minute, and i was absolutely bowled over at the sheer number of people lining the streets. i’ve never seen anything like it. The news footage, even if you live here and understand the route, can’t convey its magnitude or how emotional it is. Indeed, i started to get emotional, because my life has so often been constrained, limited, hidden by prejudice and hatred. All i could say was, “Look at how many people don’t hate us, Daddy.” i begged for a kiss, the fist time i felt safe enough to kiss her in public, in the light of day. That kiss was the best part of my day.
We have never done anything for pride before at all, unless you count watching parts of the pride parade at home. So this was special. Incredibly special. It was so joyful to just be able to kiss without having to worry. Sincerely, that meant everything to me. Sir Raven took a video of me, and a picture when i turned around, all full of emotion.
Then we went to Build a Bear. True, a lot of friends were sold. No care bears, which i wanted. No New York Bears, which i also wanted. For someone who has never been to build-a-bear before, Daddy had a lot of ideas about which friends were good-or not. i wanted a doll that looks like me: baby pink curly pigtails and dimples. So cute! Daddy said no. We saw the new Nemo Bear, which was a serious contender. He looks like the ocean, which was grand. Daddy vetoed the only carebear in the store, because she was too pink. Another bear got ruled out because she was also too pink. Daddy didn’t like the doll i loved with the light pink hair because her head bobbled. i was starting to think that we wouldn’t find a friend.
Then, Daddy found her. A rainbow cat in the window. We were allowed to buy the display but we got help to look and found the only one unstuffed in the store. She was at the bottom of the bin, hiding and waiting for her forever home. i insisted Daddy do a voice recording for me. That was the promise. i told her to not say that my pancakes were too fluffy but to say something nice.
She started recording before she realized it, then says: “Hi Sweetie, Happy Pride! Four years in, love wins!” and then, “You have failed me for the last time, girl!” (one of the silly movie lines from StarWars she says to me often). It made me happy that she remembered today was the one year anniversary of the Supreme Count decision that gave us all equal rights, for the first time. i won’t ever forget how magical that day felt, or how i couldn’t stop smiling for days.
Then we hustled back home. We were out only 3 hours, and two of them was getting there and back. We took a family pride photo on the train. Meet our new friend-i wanted to name her Sadie, but Daddy said no. i offered Jubilee or Destiny instead. She likes Jubilee but it isn’t quite perfect. Maybe i just need time to adjust to it because Sadie seemed perfect (it means Princess, and she was a pride princess with an auspicious birthday). Anyhow-the whole family of Pride, bringing the joy and diversity on the D train: