December 15, 2012

Because this is my space and I can.

This is my blog, my space.  This is mine, so I will empty my guts here.

In the middle of my last class, my husband texted me asking if I knew what was going on in Connecticut.  When I replied I had not, he filled me in.  And in that moment my heart broke.  But it is not as broken as the parents of those babies.  My will seal itself up, but their's will forever be cracked and smashed and black and empty in a way I can only hope I never have to understand.

It is sad that we lock our children in buildings everyday so they can safely learn. They should have open windows and freely move through the space with no fear.  It is deplorable that we even bother with trials of these people, and yet I respect our judicial process enough that I understand why we must.  We're falling apart.  I feel as humanity is slowly stretching itself at the seams punctuated with the abrupt tearing and slicing and shattering of us.  Yet, we continue accepting behaviors and trying to explain them away...

Leaving school today, a beautiful sunny day in December, I saw a window opened in a classroom.  All the students are gone for the day, so only the teacher remains.  My first thought was how accessible the room would be to someone wanting to hurt people inside the school.  That's screwed up on so many levels. My second thought was how nice I bet it was inside the classroom with the breeze and fresh air.  That should have been first.  Viewing an open window as an opportunity for crime is just bullshit.

This is not a God issue or a gun issue.  It is a people issue.  To turn it into anything else is ridiculous.  But it will be.  We love to take a tragedy and try to make sense of it by finding something to blame other than ourselves.  It is never us.  No, never. We make concessions for everyone for every reason.  Divorced parents, mental illness, bullying, bad music, bad video what point do we look at ourselves as a culture and point the finger back?  When does it become our responsibility to take care of each other?  I'm not a liberal by definition, but I do believe it takes a village to hold us together. 

It has been mentioned there is a possibility of mental illness playing a role in this tragedy.  That said, does that make it okay?  Someone posted on a news site this should be a wake-up call to how we are dealing with mental health in our country.  While we certainly don't do the best job, to use this as evidence for the failure of that system is not acceptable.  There are plenty of people with mental illness who function everyday without violence, and we don't know enough yet to make that call in this case.  Besides, I can accept (in some twisted way) mental illness for murdering your own mother, but there is no sense when you then leave and drive to a school and murder innocent babies.  There has to be a line, and I draw it there.

I have no point here, really.  I'm sad. I'm angry.  I'm scared.  I'm pissed.  I want to cuss and hit things and hug my babies and pray. Don't make this the Calvary Cry for your personal goals.  Don't tarnish the memory of these untarnished souls by making them a statistic for your political motivations.  Do look around you and see what we are evolving into:  a culture of instant gratification and "Imma get mine, by God!"  Do ask what you can do because we can all do something...even if it's just telling our own children 'no' sometimes.  

Beyond all of our religious and political differences, there is one basic human rule:  Don't harm others. Is that so hard?

December 8, 2012

Chapter, Song, and Verse...Or Whatever That Saying Is...

First, I would like to say "You're welcome!" to the gentleman who drove past me and smiled as I was performing my personal rock concert in my car.  I was alone, a strange thing for me, and an old mix started playing in the CD player.  I started off strong with Liz Phair...But if you're tired of looking at my face, I guess I already am...(Divorce Song. Go now and listen to it.  You'll thank me, too!)  After some Union Station and Beth Hart, I finished with Purple Rain.  There was air guitar.  I might have been louder than the speakers.  Well, probably.  However, there is no way to quietly sing this song.  For the love, he only wanted to see her laughing in the purple rain. Sheesh.

So, that's how I rolled today.  Just me and my thoughts...alone for several hours in the car. Yep, me and my thoughts. (taps foot softly)

Yeah, so my thoughts are like a gaggle of preschoolers after about 12 boxes of Oreos with 72 ounces of chocolate milk chasers.  Anxiety makes your brain a little, um, fast sometimes.  My Better Half refers to it as Conversational Turrets because my brain jumps from one place to the next with no reason.  I counter, however, that it makes perfect sense to me and that's all that really matters.  I can explain the 6 degrees of separation between our vacation destination and getting a spanking in Kindergarten for spraying milk on my teacher.  (Vacation was in Florida where I also went for vacation when I was in third grade with my aunt and uncle who lived in Atlanta and my best friends used to go with me to visit because they had been my best friends since we were two when our dads got to be friends and we'd even been in school together since Kindergarten but I started school with one sister and on parent's day we had milk but the teacher couldn't get there fast enough because she was talking to another parent and ignoring me so I stabbed the milk with my fork because we still had those then and the milk was frothy from me jostling it so it sprayed all over the teacher who happened to FINALLY make it over to me.  See?  Perfect sense.  Might be a step more or less than six, though.)

I got to spend some quality time with my daddy the other day.  We took J to Shriners for a check-up.  All is well.  New braces for his legs are being made currently, and I eventually caved and let him get the ugly-ass 'Blue Snake' pattern.  Kids becoming independent sometimes blows.  All of a sudden they think they have a sense of fashion...but they don't, which is why I am looking at Hurricane C in her hot chocolate shirt and spring green capri pants. I digress.

On the way home, my pops and I talked about random things...just a casual conversation, really.  There were things we talked about, though, that I didn't know about him.  Parts of his childhood.  Why he's claustrophobic.  My nana.  He's always been my daddy, the fixer of all things broken:  cars, toys, air conditioners, stereos, hearts...whatever needed fixing.  It sort of dawned on me in that "duh" kinda way that I knew him as how I saw him, but less so as how he was shaped and molded into that person.  The stories that we all have about growing up?  Yeah, our parents have them, too.  Believe it or not, they are real live people who did things before they had kids.  Who knew?

That day was long.  The appointment was almost 3 hours behind and we didn't get home until after bedtime.  It was not one I'd like to repeat....except.  There will be a time when my daddy will be like my nana....a whisper in my ear, a voice I still hear clearly in my mind.  But he won't be here...HERE with me to share the stories of how he grew up and why he is, to me, the most wonderful daddy ever to bless the Earth and possibly several other planets.  I wouldn't trade those long days for anything in the world.  They gave me memories.

It's the time of year when we all rush around with our brains on overdrive.  I swear I don't know how we make it all happen, but shortly there will be gifts around the tree, food on the table, and lights galore.  We will head to church on Christmas Eve to sing and light the candles.  It's my favorite part of the tradition we have.  Plus, Hurricane C informed me Baby Jesus (you have to pronounce it "BaaayBee Jaysus". She's twangy.) needed a big birthday party and she was concerned he wouldn't have enough people show up so we had to go.  Bless her.  

If you are having one of those "oh, shit!" moments where you have no idea what to get someone, consider giving them some time.  Lunch.  A walk in the park.  Just time to talk, tell stories, and share a part of your life with them. Let them share their life with you. Turn off the cell phones, iwhatevers, and give them attention.  Look into their eyes, listen carefully to their words.  You'd be amazed.  Promise.  You're welcome.