We are at a critical point here guys. I have the day off today and Bowie is at school. My half-assed mental plan was to cover all fabric surfaces with trash bags and towels and spend the day with Bix in underwear, diapers gone forever and potty train the shit out of this kid. He is more than three and a half. He refuses, he cries, he screams, he says he’s scared. We have not completely forced the issue because I know, like all rational parents know, that he will not be pooping in his diaper in 5th grade, high school, in his dorm room freshman year at college. But it feels that way now. And the judgment, oh the judgment. Know what? I’m really not super worried. I am irritated, I am so completely over poopy diapers and changing tables and wipes. I am done watching him hide in a corner to poop in his pants and flat out refuse to come sit on the potty. But I am not worried. With Bowie this same thing happened, although it didn’t take quite as painstakingly long. He refused, he would cry for his diaper. But one day the kid just did it. On his own mostly. And he never had a real accident ever again. So there’s that. So today was supposed to be holy-shit-imma-potty-train-this-kid-if-it-damn-near-kills-me Friday. But I don’t think I’ll do it anymore. He’s playing quietly in the other room; I’m drinking coffee and writing quietly in the kitchen. Screw it. Blow up your diaper today buddy. Let’s ride this one out.
I guess I’m changing what I worry about these days. I can barely turn on the news. I can only listen to NPR for about 8 minutes until I reach emotional Defcon 5 (War Games, anyone? Not that far fetched these days.) Facebook is kind of on hold. I moved the icon to page three of my phone so I don’t even see it. As we all know with this shit, if it’s there we will open it. Instagram is fine, pics of kids and cats, no problem. I look at The Weather Channel app a lot more. I text my friends a lot more. My carrier sent me an email that I was approaching my text limit for the month. 1000 texts. I have never come close to this before. We are all stuck in this crazy space of anger, fear, anger, sadness, anger, complete disbelief. A lot of us are taking action. A lot of us are just posting article after article that says the same shit over and over. The ones on this side of the fence, ultimately on this side of history, know this stuff. We agree with this stuff. I, personally, don’t need to keep reading the same thing over and over. It doesn’t help me. Having to constantly filter everything I read is getting impossible as well. What is the news source? Is it liberal? Is it conservative? Are all the facts there? Where can I go for more, trusted facts? It is exhausting. Being informed is more important than ever, I agree. Being correctly informed is even more important. But this shitstorm of an administration is gathering speed and rolling so quickly that I can’t keep up. Maybe it’s a ploy to make everyone so dizzy that we don’t see what’s coming. Maybe it’s going to create such a dissonance between the government and the people that we will be forever changed. I think we already are.
I have never been the activist type- like the protesting in public type. In high school maybe. I volunteered a lot, I had a car full of bumper stickers and I signed petitions. Now I am a little skittish in large crowds, I feel overwhelmed by the barrage of petitions going around the Internet and I don’t know if they change anything anyways. But my husband and I were talking the other night about how we can start to feel like we are helping all of this in some way. We know that communities are breaking down and hate is rising in our cities. How can we, as an entire family work to stop the bleeding in some small way? We talked about hosting a refugee family. We really actually talked about it. It is a commitment we don’t feel ready to take on at this point but having the conversation opened up a lot of possibility about how we need to do more to make shit better. We also talked about finding family-friendly volunteer opportunities in our area that we can take our children to and teach them love and acceptance and humility. These things aren’t world-changing on their own but collectively they make a difference. When you decide to help on a larger scale it’s incredible how much you see. There are so many opportunities just in this town. I live in a beautiful town and take for granted that everyone here has enough. I complain that sometimes we need more money or more free time or more whatever. The bigger scheme of things states otherwise. We have plenty and we have the freedom to choose how we spend our free time. I know I need to do something to combat what’s going on in Washington DC and around the world right now. I have to believe that the small moves, the ground-level attempts to help are what will keep us all human. And it’s easy to get wrapped up in this feeling. I know things are horrible and my sudden commitment to volunteer or donate money is a drop in the ocean. It doesn’t make me pristine and free from responsibility but it helps. Taking care of each other is what we need to do. The country is in a downward spiral and there’s a whole lot of every-man-for-himself up there. Rather than cowering in a corner, swearing at the TV, crying into my beer, I am going to try a lot harder to help. Yes, I know that I have had my entire life to do something. I have spent year after year in my safe little bubble. And for as many people who give this post a thumbs up I am sure there are even more who will say stuff like “Isn’t is nice that you have this revelation now? Where have you been for the past 40 years of your life? Why didn’t you care then?” There is a lot of that going around. There is a lot of judging. There is a lot of preaching. I am a 42-year-old educated, white, middle-class woman in a wealthy town. I get it. I know where I have come from and what that has afforded me. I know that my lens is different from other people’s lenses. But I feel at a loss sometimes. If I say nothing I am just another privileged white woman. If I say something it is nitpicked to shreds. There has to be a starting point for each and every person who is trying to understand and grow and learn more about the world around them. And for God’s sake, there has to be a starting point for people who want to help. Everyone has a threshold. For some, empathy and the desire to help others and protest and remain an active force in their community and the world at large has been there since they were small. For others it comes out later in life. Whatever it is that brings you to a place of wanting to help, a loss, someone in your life who is struggling with addiction, national and international events, these are all valid motivations. Embrace this shit, spread the word.
Here are a couple ways to find things you can do locally. There are family-friendly options here as well.