Sunday Morning ~ Speaking out
Mbewa ya manyazi idafera ku dzeje. ~ The shy mouse died in his hole.
~ Chewa proverb
August 11, 2019
I, like everyone else I know, am sick about people being shot at Walmart while they do their school shopping. Likewise, I’m sick that people are being shot at a nightclub. Oh, yes, and students trying to get through a school day. They are being shot there too. So I’m thinking about fear. I’m thinking of all those afraid of being targeted for who they are or where they are. And I’m thinking about the fear of speaking out. Yes, I’m thinking about that, too. I called all my congressional reps this week and asked them to speak out. I asked them to speak out publicly, as our leader, and say they will not stand for this. And not one of the three committed to do so. Angus King’s staffer said he was considering a response, Susan Collins had no response, and Jared Golden’s staffer said he was looking into studying the cause of gun violence. God help us. I told them as a constituent I want them to speak out before we die in our holes. Or words to that effect.
I’m thinking about my little grandchildren and their innocence and glee and shudder the thought away of what is happening to kids sleeping alone and scared. I can’t imagine it. Well, I can imagine it and the thought horrifies me. Actually, “horrifies” seems so weak. I don’t even have a word to describe what it does to me, but it is so bad I don’t want to think about it. This is dangerous. I force myself to think about it.
My grandchildren are with me for the week and I’m loving every minute. But the early mornings I thought I’d sneak out of our outside bed and get some writing done have not materialized, thus it’s Tuesday and this isn’t finished. The kids are afraid to be alone. They seem to have internal motion detectors as every time I move they check to see if I’m still there. So instead of some early morning alone time, we snuggle and talk about our dreams and the merits of an intact mosquito net. Sweet little angels. At six and three they are still making sense of the world and seeing who is friend or foe. So far spiders and flies are suspicious. Random dogs all seem to be in the friend category. Blood is a definite foe as the sight of it sends them into near hysteria, even it if is a little smear from a slapped mosquito. Blueberry picking near the water’s edge, a most idyllic Maine summer scene, has been marred by blood-curdling screams when the hint of blood appeared on a scratch from a thistle. I have patience with this in true grandmother fashion and have a bag full of bandaids I don’t mind wasting. I would never have been so indulgent with my kids, something my daughter reminds me of regularly.
I sleep on the porch in the summer under a mosquito net. It’s wonderful to feel the breezes and be surrounded by night air. The kids and I get ready for bed and head to the porch. They are scared of the dark and won’t leave my side. They won’t get into bed without me. They said they worry that birds will get us. I tell them the birds sleep at night. They said they’re scared about mosquitoes biting us and I tell them that’s what the net is for. James asks if the holes are too big? I tell him not for mosquitoes. They can’t fit through these holes. It’s a special net made just to keep mosquitoes out. We turn on the solar light and cuddle under the net. I read them Blueberries for Sal and we talk about how we picked blueberries at the lake that afternoon. (Funny they aren’t too worried about bears.) They relax as I read and I feel their little bodies soften even more. They sink into their pillows and I can feel the tension leave. They smile when I say something funny. They frown when they tell me what they are scared of and I’m fascinated by their thoughts and perceptions. They listen intensely as I explain why we’re so safe here. They believe me and I turn out the light.
This is the bedtime I want for every child.
Love to all,