Kids! What’s The Matter With Kids Today?


I always thought that when I got older, I’d get all cranky and huffy about kids. I figured I’d become just like the Dad in “Bye, Bye, Birdie.” I’d wonder what was wrong with the next generation.

I assumed I’d think that my generation was SO much better than the little hooligans running around now.

When I started teaching, way back in the dawn of time (also known as 1981), I heard lots of middle aged people moaning and groaning about both parents and kids “these days.” You know. You’ve probably heard it, too.

Parents today let kids get away with murder! Kids today are rude, disrespectful, selfish, entitled!

It took me a long, long time to realize that the exact same comments I heard in 1965 were being repeated in 1985. And 1995. And 2005….

So I kind of ignored most of them. I slowly came to the realization that kids haven’t changed. It’s adults who change.

Of course. We go from being the little kid who wants just ONE MORE cookie to the parent who can’t understand how kids could be so hung up on sugar.

As time went on, and I raised my own kids and taught hundreds of other kids, I started to understand that no matter what anybody said, I actually prefer the company of children to that of adults.

Call me immature, and I’ll shake your hand.

I just really like kids.

And here’s how I know that I’m right about the basic goodness of children.

Last weekend I was with my almost two year old granddaughter at a local playground. Her dad was playing men’s league softball, and her Mom and baby brother were there, as was my husband. Ellie and I walked away from the game after a while and went to the big wooden playground structure.

It was huge.

It was a little daunting, even for Nonni. We saw the slides, but we didn’t know how to get to them. This was one of those play structures that’s built like a castle, with steps and tunnels and swinging platforms and little hidden corners.

I looked at Ellie. “Ellie slide down?” she asked.

“Um. I don’t know how to get there, honey,” I replied.

And before I could even blink, a sweet little voice piped up, from somewhere inside the maze of wooden pathways.

“I can help you.”

I looked up over the wooden rail to see a lanky little girl, big gray eyes framed with soft blond hair. She was gazing right at us, intrigued by the sight of a gray haired lady and a tiny toddler stumped by the maze. Beside her sat an even smaller little boy, his freckled cheeks flushed from the heat.

“Well, thanks!” I said. “Would you really help us?”

“Sure!” she called, and scampered over the benches and walls and walkways to appear right in front of us like a miracle savior.

“Hi”, I said, “Thank you! I don’t know where to go.”

For the next twenty minutes, seven year old Cassidy and her cousin Jacob guided Ellie and I through the playground, chatting the whole way. They were curious, kind, and completely open. I learned that she was heading into third grade and he into first. I heard that they had a cousin going into second grade that year. They asked all about us.

“What’s her name? How old is she?  Are you her grandma? How old are you? Where do you live?”

At one point, little Jacob called out to us, “Hey, Grandma! Come this way cuz its easier!” I heard Cassidy, more polite at her advanced age, hiss at him, “Oh, my GOD! Did you just call her Grandma??”

He wasn’t bothered in the least.

“Yep” he said. “She told us she’s the Grandma.”

It was fabulous. We followed them all around the big structure, eventually ending at the slide. Ellie slid down, and my only choice was to follow her. I felt ridiculous, stuffing myself into the narrow tube that lead to the slide and zooming down into the dust at the bottom.

The best part? Those kids were completely unimpressed by my feat of Nonni athleticism. They had looked me over, judged me to be OK, and accepted me into the pack. That meant I’d slide. And I did.

I love kids.

I love their honesty. I love their ability to accept the unusual and the odd. I love their lack of judgement and their ability to offer their best selves without a thought.

Kids. What’s the matter with kids today?

Nothing. Not one single thing.

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Ah, Romance. It’s Not What You Think, Youngsters


I fell in love with my one and only when we were only 17.

I had travelled across the world to spend a summer in Tunisia, a place never heard of by my middle class New England friends and family. My life was changed, and the endless vistas of the world were shown to me.

I watched a camel caravan crossing the desert from the window of my rattling old bus, for God’s sake. I had left my old world behind.

When I came home, nobody understood how profoundly my foundations had been shaken. They were happy I was home, but they didn’t really grasp where I’d gone.

But my High School classmate Paul asked me all about it. Cute, blue/green eyed, gentle Paul asked me all about it. He asked me how I felt. What I thought. What I had learned.

I tumbled into love at 17.

Paul and I went to college together. We got married at 22, on a gorgeous July day. Our families were there, our friends were there. We danced, we followed old Italian wedding traditions. People were thrown into the pool in their formal clothes. A lot of drinks were enjoyed.

We started our life together.

And here we are, on July 8th 2017. Thirty nine years after that wedding day. Still together.

There have been bumps in our road, believe me. There was a summer of separation. There were fights we weren’t sure we could survive. There was therapy, and pain and the tears of infertility. There was a move out of state for graduate school, and new friends to be made and new relationships to sort out.

We’ve had our health issues, and our mental health issues. At times we were so poor that we had to grocery shop with a calculator and stop precisely at 35 dollars spent.

One of our worst fights ever was over a sausage. Seriously.

But somehow we’ve stuck it out.

Because eventually we started our careers and we had enough money to survive.

Best of all, eventually we had children.  Three beautiful and healthy children.  And as Paul said to me shortly after the birth of baby number three, “Now we’re too damn tired to fight.”

He was right. And that’s part of life, too, I think. You get too tired to keep thinking about yourself the way that you do when you’re only 25. Work, mortgage, kids’ health, hockey practice, laundry, we need new tires…..All that stuff takes up the space that used to be occupied by “What do I mean to this world?” and “How can I find myself?”

Honestly, for me, I finally stopped looking for myself after my children were born. I realized as I rocked a sick baby and made a grocery list and planned my lessons for the next day….I was never lost in the first place.

So.

Here I am.

Still married to cute, blue/green eyed, thoughtful Paul. Who still asks me what I think and how I feel. And now we have three adults to whom we gave birth and who constantly impress us.

And we have two grand-babies who have have started the whole cycle of loving insanity all over again.

Tonight is our 39th anniversary. We planned to go to a very nice upscale restaurant about an hour away to celebrate. But it’s closed for the holiday weekend. And we’re tired.

So we decided to go to a local place that we love. But…we’re tired. And I vetoed the idea of makeup and nice clothes.

We’ve decided to stay home, open a good bottle of red, and eat a pile of leftovers. We’re going to eat at the coffee table, a decadent treat we rarely allowed the kids. We plan to open our laptop and plan a fabulous trip to Germany, Austria and Italy for next summer.

To celebrate our 40th.

And you know what? Sitting on the couch in an old Tshirt and listening to the dogs snore sounds like true romance to me.

To all of the young folks in my life: romance isn’t flowers and champagne. It’s hanging in and being happy with a sunny afternoon at home.

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My honey and I, back in the day.

 

THESE are the terrorists


I am enraged. I am fuming. I am disgusted, upset, angry, irate, weeping, frustrated, demoralized and fired up.

The National Rifle Association, those money grubbing gangsters, have put out an ad on Facebook and YouTube that is so appalling I can’t believe that it isn’t the top story on the news.

The ad calls for violent action on the part of gun owners toward an unnamed “Them.”

It is urging NRA members to use guns against “them.”

“They” are people who opposed Donald Trump.

“They” include Barack Obama.

“They” are me, and my sons, and my friends who attended the ENTIRELY PEACEFUL woman’s march. “They” are all who have used the word “resist.”

The ad is a blatant call to arms. It is fanning the flames of division in this country. It is full of lies, full of hate, full of anger.

Just listen to the voice of the woman who narrates. She couldn’t be more bitter, dismissive, hateful or vicious.

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How is this legal? How is this not considered to be hate speech?

How is that our national news tonight is full of Donald Trump’s latest nasty boy tweet toward a media person (Ho fucking hum) instead of looking at THIS.

I don’t even know what to do with the fear and rage that this piece brings out in me.

I hate the NRA. I hate them. I hold them personally responsible for ALL of the young people in this country who despair and kill themselves with guns. I hold them responsible for every baby and child who is killed because a gullible parent bought into the lie that owning a gun would keep the family safe.

I hate them.

If I had to list who I fear the most, Islamic terrorists would rate way below NRA leadership.  They’d fall below my anxious neighbors who decide to carry guns into Walmart.

Please watch the ad. Please share it with thoughtful people. Please contact your representatives and your local media and tell them to label this what it is: a criminal act of hate.

 

Oh, Those Millennials


I keep reading about the “millennial” generation. I keep reading that they are lazy, that they expect to be given things they haven’t earned. I have read that they are self-obsessed, that they can’t look away from their phones. I have read that they just do not want to work.

Huh.

I’m the mother of three millennials, so maybe I’m a little bit biased.

But I’m here right now to write about two young men who are not my own. I don’t really know either one. I think, though, that they are a great representation of the so-called “millennial generation.”

The first young man is someone that I casually ran into at our local farmer’s market. I was there to buy early vegetables, but as I passed the table where he stood, we made eye contact. I smiled, he smiled back.

He was a young man, obviously slightly nervous to be talking to total strangers. He stood behind a long table that held what looked to me to be compost bins. He had a few piles of papers in front of him.

There were no veggies, so I started to walk by. But his earnestness caught my interest, so I stopped.

“Hi. What do you have here?” I asked, not thinking it would be anything of interest.

Well. I was wrong. This young man, no more than 25 if my guess is right, has started a composting business in our area. Good for you, I thought, but “I’ve been composting for 30 years.” I said.

Ah, but. He asked me about my composting (based on worms, limited to greens, egg shells, some paper and coffee grounds.) His business, he explained, would let me compost meats, dairy, bones, fish, all greens, paper, egg shells…..basically anything except rocks. Even better, all I would have to do is put my compost in one of his buckets, and he’d collect it. After six months, I’d be able to get back compost to use in my garden.

Fireworks of joy burst in my old lady brain. Really? No more turning the pounds of stuff in my yard? No more screening out the rocks, sticks, plastic? Now I could just dump the entire leftover plate into the bin?

Yep.

This young man comes to pick up my compost by 7AM, once a week. He does all the work. He charges me such a small amount that I dream of helping him with his marketing.

He. Works. Hard.

He’s a millennial.

And today I met another young man. This time I had gone through the state, asking the MASS SAVE program to come out and to an energy audit at my house. It was great (and free) and it found that there were several areas that needed work. The state hired a contractor, and I had no voice in who they chose.

Today, after having spoken to me once on the phone, our contractor arrived.

To my eyes, he was a little kid. He later told me that he is 30, but I wouldn’t have guessed that.

He was here at the crack of dawn. He was polite, kind, thoughtful, and friendly. He was meticulous about not leaving one speck of dust on our floors (even though I pointed out the two dogs, told him about the toddler who’d be here later, and assured him that dirt is part of our life.)

He was so hard working that he turned down a cup of coffee because it might slow him down.

He is a millennial.

So.

The next time I hear someone complaining about these lazy millennials, I will probably blow up and tell them all about these two young businessmen who are working so hard for their families. I will tell them about my own three millennial kids who work to make life better for the communities in which they live.

No generation is better, or smarter, or braver, or lazier than other.

These sweeping generalizations about races, genders, generations are all pointless and meaningless.

All I can tell you, from the vantage point of my 61 years of life, is that there are jerks everywhere. More importantly? There are wonderful, loving, hard working people everywhere who deserve our praise and our support.

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Ellie and her Uncle Matt.

Predicting Love


Love is never predictable. When we’re young, we think we’ll fall in love with the perfect specimen of boyfriendness or girlfriendness. We think someone we have a crush on will be “the one” and life will be filled with rainbows and unicorns.

Then we meet someone kind and attractive and gentle and BAM. Not expected, not predicted, but there you have it.

Love.

I thought that after having been married to the same BAM guy for 39 years, and after loving and raising three children, that love would be exactly what I expect it to be.

I thought that love would be more predictable.

Two years ago, when my first child gave birth to her first child, I fell head over heels in love well before the baby was born. I intellectually loved her. I loved the idea of her, the fact of her existence, the philosophical meaning of her new life.

But as she grew, and became our funny, smart, loving little Ellie, I have fallen ridiculously, madly in love with her. I love her eyebrows, for God’s sake. I love her toes. I love the skin that gathers salty sweat in the folds of her neck. I love her breath and her teeth and her ankle bones.

I’m insane.  My whole world has been filled with Ellie.

Then, three weeks ago, her baby brother was born.

He is perfect and sweet and sleepy and he smells like a baby. I love the idea of him. I love the philosophical meaning of his life.

But you know what? Even when I held him on his first day, I wasn’t feeling that crazy kind of love. Even when I’ve been at his house to help change and care for him, I have only had eyes for Ellie.

I have been one very guilt-wracked Nonni, believe me. How could I not be feeling the same crazy depth of love for Johnnie that I had felt from the very first moment for his sister?

I didn’t know.  It didn’t make sense.

I knew that I would take good care of him, and would love him and play with him. But would I ever fall in love with him, the way I had with Ellie?

Today my son Tim and his sweet lady were here for dinner. My daughter and her family came, too. We sat outside on this gorgeous summer day, and Ellie played in the pool and picked strawberries with Papa.

We ate, we drank some beer, we talked and laughed and watched the Red Sox. It was loud and hectic and busy. It was fun!

But then, when dinner was over, everyone left to see a concert. Everyone except for me, Ellie and Johnnie and their mommy. Ellie went to take a nap, and her Mom went in to lie down with her.

The house was quiet, except for the whirring of the window fans. The dogs were asleep on the floor. A hummingbird was at the feeder.

Johnnie was in my arms, resting against my chest. One of my hands held his bottom, the other was curled around the back of his warm, silky head. He was murmuring and sighing, making the tiny noises of a newborn child.

I felt my heart beating against his. I breathed in his breath.

The house was quiet. I touched my lips to his cheek just as he touched his to my neck.

BAM.

There it was.

It isn’t rational, or explainable, this love for my grandchild. The words I am wrapping around it are only the faintest echo of the explosion that I felt.

My cells, my DNA, my soul were pierced by his weight in my arms.

I know. I’m crazy.

But love is unpredictable. Sometimes, like the love of a Nonni for her grandson, we know that it will strike us at some point.

It’s just that we can’t always say when.

BAM, little Johnnie. Welcome to my heart.

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Worth The Effort?


What is it that gives a person “worth?” I’m old enough, and self aware enough, to know that worth is not measured by money.

Hey, I was a teacher! I’m married to a therapist. Money has never been our goal.

But what is it that lets us move through our days with a sense of self-worth?

At the tender and transitional age of 61, I’m struggling with this question once again.

You see, I used to find my sense of worth from my work. I have always worked, and had a purpose.

When I was only 22, I was a Russian interpreter. I took new immigrants to the doctor. I sat in therapy sessions, helping patient and doctor to understand each other. I helped with surgery, translating what the doctor wanted the patient to do during cataract surgery and cardiac catheterization.

I even helped to interpret at a baby’s birth. I was valued. I felt my worth.

Later, I became a speech pathologist, a job I held for 20 years. I helped families learn how to communicate with their disabled children. I helped those children to find their voices.  I was valued. I knew that what I was doing was helpful and important.

And after many years I became a teacher. I taught fifth graders. I was a fun teacher. I was funny. I made learning interesting. No matter what, I will always know that I was very good at my job.

I felt so good about myself in those years. I felt worthy.

Then things changed. I lost my teaching job, and moved into retirement.

And this is where the question of worth has reappeared. When I have my granddaughter in my arms, I know that I am the most important person on earth. Ellie needs me. Ellie loves me. I am NONNI.

But it’s summer.

Ellie is home with her Mom and Dad and new baby brother. They are close by. I see them almost every day. I love them all more than I could ever express.

But.

Now I have no role. I have no job. I have no way to measure my worth in this lovely world.

So, dear blog readers, I guess I’m fishing. (Phishing?)

Now I wonder, is a gray haired lady still useful if she isn’t physically able to manage her garden by herself? Is she still worth keeping if her husband works hard every day while she stays home and cleans things?

Does it count that this house has NEVER been this clean? Or that the closets are completely organized?

What do I do with myself on these long days? How do I define myself?

Is it legal to actually have three months of vacation while everyone else is working?

I swear, in September I will be back to working hard. I’ll have both two year old Ellie and three month old Johnnie. My arms, my heart and my day will all be full.

But.

What about now? Do I earn some kind of Donna Reed points for the incredibly clean kitchen cabinets and the very fluffy towels in the bathroom? I was raised by one of the first feminists. I know that just being a “homemaker” isn’t an actual role in life.

But what else do I do while I’m waiting to go back to Nonni extraordinaire? How do I feel good about so many days where nothing is actually accomplished?

Sigh.

I have to admit. I think I’m nuts. I hate the fact that I do this to myself.

On the other hand, if anyone needs any alphabetized spices, come on over.

 

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Poor useless Nonni

It was the dowels


I was at my Mom’s house today.

At 87, she still lives in the house where she and Dad raised me and my five siblings. The house is getting old, but my parents were always careful and attentive, so it’s still in very good shape.

But there are corners, little places, where the effects of time are more obvious.

We used to have a beautiful pool in the backyard, surrounded by a paving stone deck that my Dad built. There were little round tables and wrought iron chairs where we’d sit under colorful umbrellas to have a snack and rest from swimming. There were redwood recliners and little wooden planters that my Dad built himself.

And there was a wonderful “pool shed” in the back of the fenced area. In the summer, my parents would set up a long table for parties and barbecues. We’d line up, in our dripping suits, towels casually slung over shoulders. Everyone would grab a plate and fill it with beans, salad, grilled sausages, chicken, burgers and dogs. There’d be coolers and tubs of ice cold drinks, and my sister and her husband would have huge tubs of Italian ice for dessert.

In the fall, that pool shed would become storage for the pool toys, the water wings, the chairs and the fish shaped placemats. The pool would be covered, the pavers washed, and everything tucked away neatly until the following spring.

The pool has been gone for about ten years now. As my parents got older, and Dad had health problems, the upkeep became too much. And they no longer swam or sat in the sun.

So the pool was taken out, the land was filled. A beautiful perennial garden was planted, with flowers and dwarf trees creating a spot of serenity behind the house. There was still space for the tables and chairs, the umbrellas, the placemats.

And the pool shed remained, its wooden doors occasionally opened for barbecues. We didn’t drip as we stood in line any more, but we still gathered and laughed and ate. We are Italians; we had wine and we still had wonderful food.

But the years have gone by. Dad left us in 2008. The garden is a little overgrown, in spite of our best efforts, with the roses and the lilac fighting for space. The redwood chairs have broken down and are gone. The tables are getting rusty.

And the pool shed has become the home of squirrels, mice and probably a whole group of unknown invaders. It has slowly seen the life vests and pool noodles chewed up and piled into nests.

This spring we decided it was time to really clean it out, once and for all. Big, black, plastic trash bags were filled with chewed up placemats, old citronella candles, chair pads, floats and plastic table cloths. Piles of molding paper, pill bugs, spiders and mouse poop were scooped up and deposited in the bags.

The pool shed is clean. It is empty of the old, the useless, the faded and torn.  It is empty of the past.

Even though I cried as I cleaned it, I was proud that we brought it back to a state that would make Dad happy.

So today I was at my Mom’s. A clean up company was coming to haul away all the old junk and trash that we had piled up. I was standing in the garage, making sure I knew what was supposed to go.

I was looking at the shelves. The rows of paint brushes, arranged by size. Untouched since 1995, but arranged by size. I picked up a roll of old tape, no longer sticky, no longer of use.

I tossed it in the trash with a feeling of accomplishment. Mom came in. We started to look through the stuff in the garage. In Dad’s garage. In the place where I know I can always find my father, although I find his gravesite empty.

We slowly and carefully took down a few small items. A roll of some kind of sticky felt paper. A gummed up, unopenable can of “goo gone”.  I tossed them in the trash.

Then I looked up. To the top shelf. To the highest of the 3 shelves Dad had built for his garage. There were boxes of items, mostly shoeboxes. Each was carefully marked.

“Mom” I said with firmness. “We can probably get rid of the box marked ‘adhesives’.” I knew that whatever was in there wasn’t going to adhere to much of anything anymore.

Mom didn’t answer. Instead, she pointed to the next box on the shelf. “What are those?”

I looked up. It was an old shoebox, closed tightly. On the side, in my Dad’s careful handwriting, was the single word “dowels.”

Who else except my Dad, the world’s more organized and careful handyman, would have a shoebox marked “dowels?” I stood there. Mom stood beside me.

“I guess it has dowels,” I said. Mom didn’t answer for a minute.

“Let’s just leave this,” she said.

I have never agreed with my Mom more than I did right then. I wiped my tears with dusty fingers, then reverently replaced the ‘adhesives’ box.

I think we were almost ready to let some of it go. But we were stopped by that one word. “dowels”

We miss you, Dad. I’m not even sure what a dowel is, but I can’t throw yours away,

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My Dad


My Dad could fix anything. He fixed pipes, cars, broken toys, cracked walkways.

He was a builder. He built shelves and storage sheds. He created furniture and toys and additions on the house. His hands were sure and capable. He frowned when he worked, puzzling over a problem, a pencil always over his left ear.

On Saturdays, he’d work in the yard. He would weed, screen loam, spread grass seed, prune the bushes. There always seemed to be something for him to be doing.

I remember him coming in for lunch, in a white t shirt or a sweatshirt, that pencil still on his ear. We would have Italian cold cuts. Mortadella, salami, capicola, provolone cheese. He’d put hot peppers on his sandwich if he had a cold.

On hot days, Dad would sprinkle salt into his beer. I never asked why, but in my childhood it seemed like a right of passage.

Dad could make pancakes. On Saturday mornings he’d let my Mom sleep in a bit, and he’d sit with his kids watching the Three Stooges and the Little Rascals. He’d sit on the floor, his back against the couch. We would perch on his legs and nestle into each side of him.

He’d laugh. Loud and exuberant, unrestrained, big open mouthed guffaws at the antics on TV.

Then he would make us pancakes.

Eventually, Mom would come down the hall, in her robe. Dad would always grab her and kiss her with the ardor of a teenager. “Isn’t she beautiful?” he’d ask his wide eyed children.  We readily agreed.

Dad was patient. He tried like a saint to teach me the concept of algebra. I never mastered it, but he never gave up.

Dad was generous. He was honest. He had more integrity than anyone I’ve ever known.

When my Father died, the line to get into his wake was so long that it wrapped around the building. People he’d known for years mixed with people he’d met in his job. They came with thanks, and they came with sadness. They came to tell us how much he’d meant to them.

Our Dad was loving. His adored our Mother, the love of his life. He loved all six of each children, and every one of his grandchildren. He made time for us. He listened.

I see him in the dark brown eyes of my granddaughter, and I see him in each of my children. I hear his voice as I walk in the quiet woods. I feel his breath on my cheek as I drift to sleep with a baby in my arms.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy.

I love you.

Why Do They Call This “Political”?


I spent today, like so many others, listening and watching as the news outlets covered the shooting in Virginia. Congressmen were shot, so the coverage was intense and constant.

I have to write down some what I’m feeling. Otherwise, you know, I’d probably explode in a shower of tear soaked sparks.

It was terrible. It’s a terrible, horrible, awful thing for innocent people to become targets for angry, sick, armed lunatics. When I heard the news breaking this morning I cried. I held my hand over my mouth. I shook my head.

It’s so awful. It should NOT be happening.

Now its a few hours later. I’ve been listening to the men who went through the ordeal.

These middle aged men, some of them military veterans, were on TV, fighting tears. They were talking about how surreal it was. How much they feared for each other, and for themselves. How they thought about their families, wanting to see them again.

These men, one after the other, are shaken, upset, angry and filled with the natural need to process all of this.

My heart goes out to them.

But.

This happens every day.

Every. Day.

Multiple times every day, someone in this country is faced with the surreal situation of being in the presence of an angry shooter.

I think about the children living in America’s cities who have been in their very own bedrooms when shots go off right outside their windows. I think about how horrified those little ones must be, every single damn day.

I wonder if those Congressmen are thinking about these kids?

This morning I heard one of the shaken Congressman saying that he felt like he was a “sitting duck” in the first base dugout. His voice was trembling, he was taking deep breaths as he told his story. I heard the sympathetic voice of the reporter, clearly feeling empathy for the Representative.

That’s when I really stared to cry. To sob, with the back of my hand against my lips. “Sitting ducks”, just waiting to be shot and waiting to die. My mind filled with the image of trembling, terrified victims, suddenly faced with a madman and his gun. Knowing that they were about to die.

But I didn’t see middle aged Congressmen. I didn’t.

I saw first graders. I saw kindergarten students. I saw babies, huddling in terror on the floor of their classroom, crying to their terrified young teacher. Asking her to save them.

I saw my students, looking to me for an explanation after Newtown.

I thought about all the guns, the tens of millions of guns that have flooded this country. I thought about all the times a gun has been used to massacre the innocent.

And I thought about those security officers. How they have to go to work every day knowing that there could be a shooter on any corner. In any building, at any event, on any day. They are surrounded by guns. I thought about how they must feel going to work. How their parents and their spouses and their children must feel.

So I am once again thinking, and praying, and hoping that at last we might see our lawmakers address the need to control our guns.

But if I bring it up, or if anyone does, we are told “this is not the time to politicize” this tragedy.

So here’s my question.

What’s political about wanting to be safe in my own neighborhood?

How is it partisan to think people should be safe at baseball practice? Or to want my grandchildren safe at the park?

See, I don’t think that controlling how many guns are out there is political. I don’t think passing laws about what kinds of weapons can be carried around our cities is partisan.

I think its time to question our obsession with outshooting the bad guys.

It’s not political. It’s logical.

 

Sad!


I love politics, as sickening as it is. I generally spend a fair amount of time reading about policy, and about legislation.

I’ve been deeply immersed in the insanity that has unfolded in this country over the past year. I have written about it on LiberalAmerica and here in this blog. I’ve talked, argued, debated, read, shed a lot of tears.

Almost thirty years ago, with my baby girl in my arms, I watched most of the Iran-Contra hearings. I was riveted.

Last week, I watched every single minute of the Comey hearing. It was moving, interesting, powerful.

Now I’m trying, to the best of my ability (cough, cough), to watch the “testimony” of our current Attorney General and for the very first time in my 61 years of life, I must tell you that I am in complete despair for our government and the country.

What I am watching is a room full of people who have been elected to take care of US, to guide the laws of OUR COUNTRY. They are all, Democrat and Republican, sitting in that room because people trusted them to look out for our best interests.

Instead, every one of them is trying to achieve their own agendas.

To watch adults, professionals, highly paid officials, living off of our tax money, engaging in this kind of name calling, finger pointing, griping, sniping and flat out lying is beyond disgusting.

I can’t remember the last time I was this disheartened about the country that my grandparents sacrificed so much to join. I am so sad to see the self-serving arrogance on display from the leaders of this nation that was born out of such high hopes.

I know that the Constitution was written during the age of enlightenment, when educated people believed in the best instincts of man. That Constitution opened with these moving words:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Nobody involved in this mess seems to be working toward any kind of union, much less a more perfect union. None of them seem to want to insure domestic tranquility or promote our general welfare. I sure as hell don’t see anybody in this hearing room who is thinking about the blessings of liberty for our kids and grandkids.

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Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr.

What I see is one giant clusterfuck of a mess. We are watching hours and hours and millions of dollars being spent on people who are still arguing about Hillary Goddamn Clinton, who LOST the election. We are watching grown men and women who are only interested in making themselves and their team look better than the other team.

This hearing was designed to get to the truth about the FACT that the Russian government attacked us.

But that fact hasn’t even been fully acknowledged by the whining little fool of an Attorney General who seems to have a worse memory than my 87 year old mother.

I am so sad for the United States. I am so worried for my children and my grandchildren.

This country is done. Cooked. Stick a fork in us.

If we can’t find a way to form at least three or five new political parties, we’re going to find ourselves mired in more of this knee-deep bullshit.

Meanwhile, in case anyone is interested, our health insurance system is about to be blown up. The world is getting hotter, but we’re not going to do a single thing about it. And our hard earned tax dollars are flowing by the billions to Saudi Arabia so they can continue to drop bombs on Yemeni families who are busy dying of cholera.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be drunk under the back deck.

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