Thursday
Jun182015

Out of Words

I'm out of words. I never thought that would be possible, but here I am without words. None.

I've run out.

Conversation after conversation after conversation ... we all keep talking about race issues and how things aren't quite right. We watch videos that prove things are REALLY not right, and then we talk about it some more. We talk and we talk and we use all of the words.

I use words to explain to one of my children that there is a police officer outside of her school because a bad man did bad things to some kids. I use more words to tell her I don't think anything like that would ever happen here, but those words are lies. I have no way of knowing when or where the next terrible thing will happen.

The words I don't say are the really hard ones. I don't tell her that statistically she's safer because of the color of her skin. I don't tell her that the reason that police officer is at her school is because the bad man did bad things to white kids. If the same thing had happened at an inner city school and most of the victims had been black? Honestly, I don't know that schools all around the nation would have ramped up security. I don't tell her that part because I have no idea how to explain it all.

I don't know how to explain to her that she is just about at the age when it's all going to become noticeable. She is going to start to see that her black friends are not treated the same way that she is. It's not open for debate or even something that should be questioned -- it's a fact. Her black friends will face discrimination. Right now there is a parent somewhere leading a life that will make kids think different is reason enough to hate.

I can do everything in my power to teach my kids that there is never a reason to hate, but my message isn't as loud as the other one. All of my words can fight and kick and scream, but they're still just words. Lots and lots of words.

And now I have to explain to my kid that sometimes black people aren't safe at church. Even with all of that talking we've all been doing, nothing has changed in decades. It's not safe to be black in America.

There are no words for how very wrong things are right now.

I'm tired of talking about it.

I want to fix it.

I don't know how.

And I feel absolutely awful for the people who have to live it.

Wednesday
Jun172015

Back Seat Road Rage

I've often said that Mila is a good baby, but she most certainly isn't an easy baby. There's a big difference, you know. She's good because she's happy more often than she's not. For that, I am grateful. She is not easy, however, mostly because of that whole opinionated and not afraid to yell at people thing.

The times when she yells at people it's usually easy to figure out what she wants. Eating and sleeping are at the top of her list, but sometimes it's that she wants to move. Somewhere. Anyway.

For example, she will happily sit in my lap for a few minutes. But then? I better take her for a cruise around the world. She wants to go-go-go-go-GO.

Even in the car.

If the car is moving, we are all happy little campers. Mila sits peacefully in her carseat while I drive. But if I stop, espcially for an extended amount of time, ALL OF THE YELLING. I can't prove it, but I do believe Mila is already exhibiting signs of road rage. She would like to tell everyone who is in the way of her reaching her destination to screw off.

Go ahead and guess how fun road construction season has been so far.

Which brings us to a little incident that happened tonight. Mila was my date for a Riverhounds game. Well, Mila and approximately half of Pittsburgh. I somehow managed to not catch that tonight was An Important Game, so I wasn't really expecting to run into a bunch of traffic as I neared the stadium.

Mind you, I wouln't have encountered the traffic if it weren't for the Massachusetts People. They managed to hold up a whole lot of people with their antics.

I don't know anything about the Massachusetts People except for the fact that they had an out-of-state license plate and an intense desire to get to the game. They were directly in front of me as we turned into the road near the stadium. I thought I would pull into the first parking lot, which is apparently what EVERYONE decided to do, including the Massachusetts People.

Except the lot was full. It was evident immediately because the parking attendants were standing at the entrance waving people on.

Which, okay. Next lot!

Massachusetts People disagreed. They REALLY wanted into that first lot, so they opened their windows and tried negotiating their way into the VERY OBVIOUSLY FULL lot.

It didn't work so well. It took them a while to come to terms with the fact that a parking attendant cannot give someone a parking space if there is not a parking space to give. They decided to (finally) try the next lot.

The ran into the same results. They still gave it the good old college try, though. They argued and talked and gestured because they wanted in.

Now, imagine what life was like in my car. Miss Mila was so very happy when we were moving, but during those pauses when Massachusetts People were arguing with the parking attendants? HOOBOY. There is no consoling the Tiny Human when she's in rage mode, so I rolled down the windows and shared the love.

Not that it mattered. Massachusetts People still tried to talk their way into every single full lot instead of just following the parking attendants' suggestions to proceed to the far lot.

Mila is going to be such a delight when she finally gains control of the car and can yell at people to get the hell out of her way through an open car window.

Tuesday
Jun162015

Burning Childhood at Both Ends

I'm currently in negotiations to make sure I get to see Inside Out before it has seven sequels, a TV series, and a line of stuffed animals that represent various mental illnesses. That's pretty much how things go when you have a baby in the house. Planning and sacrifices are required. Babies are awesome and adorable and fun, but there are just some places they don't belong. Like movie theaters.

I discovered this weekend that they also don't belong at graduation parties.

I mean, Mila was fine there. She was relatively well-behaved and only managed to eat about a pound of junk food (an improvement from her usual CRAPTON), but man. MAN. There's something about having both ends of childhood right in front of your face that slaps you around and makes you beg for mercy.

It goes so fast.

The young man who graduated was Mila's age a blink ago. There were photos of him scrolling on a slide show that served as proof. He was born, we all blinked, and now he's headed to college.

I want to think it was only a blink because he's not my kid, but I realize that's not the case. It goes even faster when you live with them. Alexis is halfway to graduating, and yet I pulled a pair of toddler socks out of her laundry basket this morning. The days melt into weeks and years and you don't even have time to make sure the clothes in their dressers still fit.

I better get started on the slideshow for Mila's graduation. It's just a blink away.