Having Dreams

Today, on the 60th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, I’m reminded of a conversation with Kevin in 2007. Here’s something I wrote about it.

Some of our meals could have been more nutritious. At least once a week, we ate Nathan’s packaged hot dogs and tater tots—a quick and easy-to-prepare dinner. One night in February 2007, Kevin shared a discovery during one of those hot dog meals.

“Do you know who Martin Luther King is?” he asked, chomping off his hot dog’s end.

“Sure we do,” I said.

“It’s Black History Month, and we learned about him in school today. You know his famous speech?”

“I Have a Dream,” I said.

“Yes! That one!” Kevin bounced, psyched. “He gave that speech on my birthday.”

“Wow. That’s so cool,” Danny said.

“Yeah,” Kevin said, “really cool.”

Danny, Kevin, and Abe
Pete and Kevin outside the Lincoln Memorial

Kevin told us more about what he learned in school. After dinner, the three of us found the speech online.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Kevin pointed to the screen. That particular line struck a chord. All of it struck a chord with Danny and me. It wasn’t lost on us that if we had been born in a different era, the love we openly expressed and the child we adored would have been unthinkable and impossible. However, due to the work of so many before us, along with chance and synchronicity, we lived in a time and place where we could be a family.

Danny and Kevin by the Lincoln Memorial
Hugs outside the Lincoln Memorial

From MLK to Milk to Massachusetts and to the tireless efforts of all the outspoken and soft-spoken civil rights activists fighting for and setting an example of equality and the pursuit of happiness, we were the beneficiaries. We’re all connected. One dream on August 28, 1963, leads to another dream the same day many years later.


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