Friday, July 8, 2016

Clearing the cobwebs...

Once again I sit at my computer as Americans wage war against each other.  I have written before about gun violence, and policing, and the unnecessary, tragic deaths of young black people due to fear and racism. I find I'm running out of words. Tears come easier.

My own black child is 10 now, and he knows. He knows without me even telling him, even though I turn off the news when he comes into the kitchen. He knows; he sees my face; he sees my fear.

Yesterday we were walking through a peaceful, multi-racial neighborhood on a very hot day, on our way to eat at a Senegalese restaurant (which had its windows and doors open, but its AC off, because it's always this hot in Senegal, what is everyone so stressed about a little heat!?) My child sees another black boy his age carrying a big plastic water gun, on his way to the park probably, to cool off. He says, "I hope the police don't kill him."

Gallows humor, from my 10 year old black son.  He knows enough now to joke.

I asked him if he was afraid. He said, "nope."

My son, my Ethiopian lion. Thank G-d for his strong spirit. Mine feels crushed under the weight of all this; mine feels hopeless. I grasp onto his strength today...

Maybe, maybe when he has reached my age he will not fear for his children. Maybe we will fix this.  Maybe we will not be killing each other 30 years from now.

500 people killed by officers already this year; how can this be happening!?!

I meant to write about other things today- I meant to try and clear the cobwebs off this blog and see if I can breath some life into it. It's been a while since I wrote about birthday parties and trips to Sesame Place and how much the end of the school year saps my strength (so much, so very much happening allatonce. This post says it all, perfectly.)

Those things are happening too- we fight over screen time and we celebrate milestones (we made it through a difficult school year, phew!) we bake cakes and we take our water guns to the park too. It happens, all of it- life in great piles - heaps of love and struggles and chores and homework and dishes to do. Sometimes it feels too difficult to sort it out into a short blog post- here is what happened, here is a cute photo to illustrate my point. It's all happening at once- the shootings and the election (Good G-d this election!) and the laundry and the work and the birthday cake.

Now it is summer. The great gift of my career as a teacher is that I get 2 months each year to breath. Really breath. Sit on my front step or my parents' porch at the beach and breath deeply. Slow it all down, try and sort it all out. See all the glory and G-d in the messy heap of our amazing lives.

(I wish everyone had this gift of time off- time is the most precious gift we can receive. Yes, I've been listening to Hamilton obsessively... haven't you?!)

So here we are. Here is a cute picture to illustrate my point- the kids are growing up, fast as rockets. I'm growing up to. I turned 40 this week. Phew. It was scary- like turning the page in a terrifying book - I'm not sure what will be on the next page. I'll see if I can write to keep up...

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