I kept a big secret for two weeks. It was stressful and exhausting. And, so, so worth it.
Shortly after I wrote about C.J. dressing up as Bob The Drag Queen for Halloween, Bob contacted me. I just about died. I couldn’t wait to tell C.J. that his hero wanted to talk to me. But, Bob told me not to tell C.J. because – wait for it – he wanted to try to surprise C.J. by showing up to trick or treat with him on Halloween night. The only thing Bob asked was that he get to see the look of surprise on C.J.’s face. We couldn’t tell C.J.
I’m a realist. What were the chances that Bob would actually fly into town for Halloween? Especially after a huge appearance and video launch that raged until 3 a.m. the morning of. In New York.
No way it would work out, but the offer was beyond sweet. I decided that when meeting C.J. in person fell through, I’d get up the nerve to ask Bob to send C.J. a video wishing him a happy Halloween. What’s the worst that could happen?
I’d never have to find out, because the worst didn’t happened. The best happened.
Bob worked until the early morning on Halloween, hopped on a flight from NYC to LAX and here’s what happened before and after the surprise of a lifetime.
1 p.m. = Our family left Orange County for Uncle Michael’s house in West Hollywood. C.J. loves West Hollywood and was very excited to spend Halloween with Uncle Michael and his friends. But, he was a little worried about the quality of trick or treating the neighborhood would offer given that he doesn’t often see kids in WeHo. Matt, Chase and I were all nervous about the surprise and C.J. was in the dark.
2 p.m. = We arrived at Uncle Michael’s in record time. As soon as we were up in Uncle Michael’s apartment, Uncle Michael and Matt said they had to run to the store for something, but really they were meeting with a producer and cameraman from ABC’s Nightline who were there to capture the surprise.
3 p.m. = While Uncle Michael did C.J.’s makeup while I snuck downstairs to be interviewed by Nightline. View their coverage here.
4:20 p.m. = I got a text that Bob had arrived and was walking up the apartment. I was a nervous wreck. C.J. had no idea that he was about to meet his hero. How would he react?
4:30 p.m. = Bob knocked on the door and C.J. answered. C.J. stared and stared and stared. I was afraid he might pass out and fall over backward. Instead he ran to give Bob a hug. Then he started crying happy tears.
“That’s the first time I ever cried because I was happy,” he said later.
Bob and C.J. exchanged gifts. Bob gave C.J. two t-shirts, a coin purse and a custom made Bob The Drag Queen Doll. They are C.J.’s most prized possessions.
C.J. gave Bob a painting he made that morning and a letter. C.J. thought that we were going to mail the painting and letter to Bob this week, as soon as I found his address (wink, wink).
5 p.m. = C.J. and Bob sat down for some lemonade and pizza. They started gabbing and C.J. got comfortable and attempted to make Bob his new best friend.
5:30 p.m. = Bob touched up C.J.’s makeup and fixed his wig, teaching C.J. every step of the way. C.J. was a quiet and attentive student. He had lots of questions about fake eyelashes and made several attempts to touch Bob’s without Bob noticing.
“If there’s a gay heaven, Bob’s going there for sure,” Uncle Michael said. We all agreed.
5:45 p.m. = We headed downstairs to go trick or treating and stopped in the lobby for pictures.
“Shit! My nail broke!” C.J. exclaimed when one of his tiny press-on nails popped off. We all laughed. He’s not usually allowed to say “shit” but I let it slide because it was Halloween and he was with his hero. And, because it made Bob laugh.
“Can I hold your hand?” C.J. asked Bob.
“Of course you can, gurl,” Bob said reaching for C.J.’s hand.
6 p.m. = We followed Bob and C.J. as they trick or treated. Bob hadn’t trick or treated in years, but I guess it’s like riding a bike because he knew exactly what to do. The two of them held hands and giggled from door to door. They shared trick or treat bag and purse holding duties.
Imagine opening the door to find Bob The Drag Queen and a little Bob The Drag Queen asking for candy.
“Oh, you look great,” one old lady told Bob, thinking he was in a Halloween costume.
“I like your costumes,” one man said.
“Thanks! We are each other!” Bob said.
At one point, one lady was so nice to them that she invited them in to her house for more candy. I had to kick into mom mode and remind Bob and C.J. that for safety purposes we don’t go in to strangers houses, especially on Halloween.
Bob let C.J. have all the candy they collected, which C.J. thought was really cool. (Except the taffy. Bob loves taffy.)
7 p.m. = It was time to say goodbye to Bob.
“Can we have a playdate sometime?” C.J. asked Bob.
“Yes, of course,” Bob said without hesitation.
“My mom will text you,” C.J. promised.
Matt walked Bob to the Uber and told him again how much it meant to us that he rearranged his schedule to make it the most memorable Halloween our son will ever have.
“That Uber driver is the luckiest Uber driver ever,” C.J. said as Bob climbed into the car.
We walked around the West Hollywood Carnaval for an hour and then drove home.
“If Bob’s going to gay heaven, I want to go there, too,” C.J. said when I kissed him goodnight.
“Me too,” I said.
Both boys were late to school this morning.
“I’m just going to tell the office and my teacher that I’m sorry I’m late but I have a fun-hangover from being in West Hollywood all night with drag queens,” C.J. said as we pulled into the parking lot. He still had eyeliner and mascara smudged around his eyes.
When he got home from school he asked me to tell him again how everybody kept it a secret that Bob would surprise him for Halloween. He likes to hear about it over and over again. How Bob read about him, worked all night, flew to LA all the way from NYC and surprised him.
It’s the stuff dreams are made of, except it’s not a dream. It’s real life, and it happened to my son. I will never be able to thank Bob enough.
I read this back in 2016 and because of CJ’s love I’ve finally started RuPaul’s Drag Race. Just got to the end of season 8. LOVE reading this post again knowing more about Bob. I cried because what an amazing experience! Thank you for sharing your lives with starangers.
I’m so glad for C.J and all of you.
I hope that everything is going fine where you are, after the horrible news of the elections. Stay safe. Many hugs.
I’m so glad for C.J. and all of you, that this Halloween was awesome!
I hope that everything is going fine where you are, after the horrible news of the elections. Stay safe. Many hugs and much love from a land faraway.
I’m late to this party but I really needed something to lift my spirits at 3:30am and this did the trick!
Just saw a video here in The Netherlands, Europe, news website (nu.nl) about this little boy and his Hero Bob. It’s good to see that such a little boy learns he can be whoever he wants to be. Freedom is such a precious human right don’t let anyone take it away from you CJ.
I had no idea that I could love Bob more. This totally made me a crying mess!
So ecstatically happy for CJ! What an incredible experience! I was misty-eyed until I watched the video and saw him realize what was happening. Bob, you are a treasure.
I read your post in HuffPo! I love this! I am so glad CJ had an amazing time; what a wonderful story. You have a descriptive, fun writing style which makes your blogs a joy to read. I’m not a FunGUncle, but I do live in OC. He probably has plenty, but if CJ ever needs a friend, wants to throw a RuPaul viewing party, support to ensure safe passage at school or otherwise, I’m happy to help.
You do what you want to do,
If others don’t like what you do,
They can go to H€11
Yes, I’m crying too 🙂 So nice of Bob, so happy for C.J. and you are such a good Mom.
A Queer Halloween Miracle. 😭😭😭
Many blessings for a revolutionary future to our Rainbow Youth & Elders.
Thank you for sharing this story.
❤️I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!❤️I know I’m crying, but I’m laughing because I’m so happy that I’m crying❤️
I saw the news report and had happy tears – reading it from your point of view brought even more! What a fantastic day for them both!
This is an awesome story. You’re an incredible mom for being as open as you are, and are raising a wonderful person. Of course I’m jelly you guys got to hang with a queen of Bob’s stature.
What a fantastic night for CJ. I can’t even imagine just how amazing the whole thing must have been for him (and for all of you). Bob the Drag Queen truly is a special human.
I had tears in my eyes reading this.
Here’s the deal. You’re going to get criticism from people. You are not to listen to a single one of them. Yes, Bob is an incredible person, but you know what? So are you. For a Mom to be so full of love and fun is a wonderful thing for a child and the fact that you went to this much trouble to make your child feel so special is beautiful. It’s what every child dreams of an what many parents wish they could do. It’s amazing and you’re amazing. So much love to you and your family.
love this post..so heartwarming…
What ever happens in the election, THIS is the world I am raising my children in. Thank you for loving your child and sharing your journey.
Wow! Crying while reading your post (glad I am not the only one!). I will have to watch the videos after work so that I am not sobbing at my desk for the rest of the afternoon 🙂
What an experience for CJ. He will never forget this or the way that you made it happen. Good for you Momma!
I keep crying over this! So happy and so wonderful!!!!!
As a teacher, and extreme drag race fan, this warms my heart so much. Thank you for being such a supportive parent and allowing your child to be who they are. You both deserve all the happiness in the world. Stay fabulous and fierce!!
This was just a happy story! I had tears but happy tears. There is good in this world – thank you for sharing. We need to see this stuff!! You are an awesome family and good secret keepers! Getting to meet your idol is something CJ will always remember. Thanks Bob! Thanks Lori – you keep it positive.
You are one FABULOUS Mom! CJ will never forget this Halloween.
What you are doing for CJ is wonderful. I wish all parents had the strength to let their kids just be who they are. Well done, Mom. And Uncle Michael. And most of all, Bob!
I think you are amazing parents loving your son and letting him be what he wants to be even if it’s a little hard out in the big world. You go CJ I hope u and bob have a lot of visits together. You’ll never know how lucky you are to have support because there is unfortunately so many kids and teens that don’t 😘
Love to you, your family and to Bob, the Drag Queen! My heart is filled with hope after reading your and your husband’s blog posts, watching the videos and seeing the pictures. You brought some of heaven to earth with your examples of unconditional love. I can’t thank you enough!
Love, Rob Hrezo
We need more Bobs in this world.
Proof that RuPaul definitely picked the right queen! I was rooting for Bob to go all the way and this just makes me love him even more. Your little guy is very lucky to have you guys as parents. I’m sure this story will be told for many, many years to come. Happy Halloween, CJ! Keep being fabulous!
This really is so incredibly amazing! Dreams coming true are the best.
I cried!! What an amazing gift you have given CJ to love and accept him as is!! You’re a role model for parents everywhere. Go Bob and CJ!!!!
I’ve watched the video over and over, just to see CJ’s expression when he opens the door! What a wonderful thing to do, Bob is so kind!
After reading this post, I logged into tumblr and saw the video is going around with almost 8k notes! How exciting! Glad CJ got the Halloween he deserves!
Your are such an amazing mom! The support and love that you are giving C.J. is the sweetest thing. I have four kids myself, and would give anything to see them happy. Thank You for sharing this experience.
Speechless❤️ So much love and respect for all. CJ will do great things in his life, the love and acceptance that surrounds him should inspire us all ❤️
I am in tears too. I am a 38 year old gay man who would of loved to trick or treat with Bob and or cj! I love that Bob did this for him. I love that you are an amazing mom. And I just love that cj is free to be cj! My biggest dream is that tomorrow can be better than today. You are making my dreams come true! THANK YOU! And thank you for being so kind as to share your family’s story with all of us.
I’m so pleased that I was able to read both you and your husbands articles about this experience.
Wow. Yup Bob will go to gay heaven, so will C.J.
I am in tears! This has to be the absolute coolest thing I’ve heard in a very long time!!! Sooo excited for C.J. and I can’t wait to show this to my son! He will be so jealous! 😉 He’s a huge fan of the show too but doesn’t have a favorite 🙂 Bob is an angel and there needs to be more people like him in this world! Glad you guys had an awesome Halloween!! 🎃
THAT was the coolest thing EVER! And that you shared it will help so many. And I’m sure you reduced the bigot head count as they were exploding all over the country!
I love Bob the Drag Queen, and this story was so sweet it totally made me tear up!!
I don’t even watch RuPaul’s Drag Race and now I think Bob the Drag Queen is the best and for sure deserved to win. It’s always cool when good things happen to good people. Plus, he has the best drag name ever. CJ’s costume was fantastic, too!
Not only are you an amazing mother but you are doing the best for your son. Allowing him to live his life without fear and full of love is what childhood should be all about. We become better adults when we have loving parents. Many of us don’t experience this so to watch and read your story, I can’t help but feel huge tears of happiness coming down my face. Your son is the luckiest boy in the entire world. BTDQ is the sweetest and most genuine person inside and out. I recently binged watched RDR where I saw BTDQ and I knew from the beginning he would win. It’s beyond refreshing to read something positive right now with all that’s going on in the world. THANK YOU for being such an amazing mother and see you in gay heaven gurl!
What an amazing story! And how wonderful that Bob made the effort to come and make CJ’s Halloween so special.
AMAZINGGGG! So exciting… what a cool fantasy come to life! Glad some of his dreams were realized this Halloween. I’m one jealous lady. Xooxo rock on little guy. You are SICKNIN’! And your Momma is one fantastic lady.
Sending love from Jersey
I couldn’t help but choke up as I read this, and then the tears came hard when I watched the video and saw the look on CJ’s face when Bob was at the door. What a happy day, and one I hope CJ holds close to his heart for as long as he can.
that is amazing!
This was awesome, and it goes to show that all dreams can come true, no matter how big those dreams may be.
I cry every time I read this. Thank you for the memories; thank you for letting CJ be CJ, and THANK YOU BOB for being there last night. All the love to you all.
Faith in humanity restored ❤
Thank you, Bob, for making a kid have one of the happiest days of his life. So far. That was sweet. And true character. Well, well done!
So beautiful. So fun. So amazing! 💜💚💙
I’m in tears reading about how CJ’s dream came true!! You are an amazing Mom!
I just laughed till I cried!!! I know that’s clicheic, but it’s true. What a beautiful moving story! Bob is a mensch! How classy & cool for him to take time out of his schedule and not just meet but go trick or treating w/a young person for whom Bob is the young person’s hero! I confess, Tim & I have never heard of Bob the Drag Queen. (It’s ok–he never heard of us!) 🙂 But obviously he’s CJ’s hero and it’s just such a classy, classy, moving thing for him to do. He made CJ’s day, week and probably millennium!!! Tim & I had a good cry–I’m NOT the only sentimental queen in this marriage–he just doesn’t admit it!:) Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story. Go bless you all & God bless Bob the Drag Queen!
PK Miller, Tim Montgomery
I treasure your posts- you are the best parent ever!
Your CJ is an incredible child- and is going to be an amazing adult, I’m sure one day he will be blogging and vlogging, I can’t wait to read & view, I’m sure they’ll be great.
If I was CJ’s hero- I’d have done the same as Bob the Drag Queen- we would all love to have a fan like CJ in our lives. I hope you get to go to NY for that playdate soon!
What a sweetheart Bob is. CJ too. Hugs to both!
BTDQ has forever won a place in my heart for his kindness. What an amazing person! And I don’t even watch or like Drag Race (!!!) but I do follow gay media enough to know about BTDQ. I’ve seen clips and so damn funny. and warm. What a special treat for CJ and your family. Hope older brother had some fun as well.
Such a great story! I love Bob the Drag Queen, too and now even more.
Such a great story! Now I love Bob the Drag Queen even more.
OMG I love his excuse for being late for school!!!
You guys are amazing! Love this story and so impressed that you’re living your truth and undoubtedly helping others to live theirs!
Oh my gosh! So cute! I’m so glad that he got to meet his hero!
this makes my heart so happy
I was tearing up reading this! So happy for CJ. I want to go to gay heaven too.
Oh. My. God.
Beautiful and amazing. I just love this incredible, real life story you shared. Umm..but good luck topping next Halloween? Nevermind mind that, as after this one, I believe anything is possible!!
Go CJ and Mama CJ and Dad CJ and Brother CJ!!! XO
Tears reading this. So happy for CJ and all the love in this post.