Blue.

The Who: “Do we need to go march every time something bad happens?”
Me: “Well, maybe. I mean, if we don’t, who will?”
The Who: “We’ll be marching every single day; I don’t think I can do that!”

His expression was a mix of exasperation, worry, exhaustion, fear, bemusement, and even a little amusement. Like he understood that both a “yes” and a “no” answer would be absurd.

He didn’t come with me to DC, but he knew I was going and he knew why. And he didn’t come with me to the Examining Whiteness workshop all day yesterday, though he knew why I was there, too. He has donated time and energy to the movement in his own way by giving me up for two nights, the longest we’ve ever been apart and by giving up his bed for our houseguest/workshop facilitator. He’s joined me at sign-making parties and collaborated with me in setting up postcard-writing campaigns. And today, he joined me at the spur-of-the-moment protest at the airport when we heard that SCROTUS was detaining people just because of their country of origin. And while he was eager to join and to use his privilege to speak up for those with less, he lost his mojo after about a half hour.

I felt a little guilty. Like, maybe I should abandon the rest of the protest and take him home. He’s just a little kid; he wanted to be home, playing football. But then I overheard my friend telling her son (also 8 years old) that sometimes things are hard and boring. It’s not always fun to do what is right. And then a police officer spotted The Who’s sad face and approached him at the barricade.

“What’s the matter, little man?” she asked. He didn’t want to answer, but he did because she was a cop, although that wasn’t immediately apparent to him. (She was wearing plain clothes, but did have a badge hanging around her neck and a ‘Police’ armband.)
“I don’t want to be here anymore,” he said, looking down.
“Of course you don’t!” she answered. “You got a Playstation at home or an Xbox?”
“Neither.”
“Neither? What? You got a laptop?”
“Yeah.”
“Wait, you got a laptop? How old are you?”
“Eight.” He cracked a smile.
“Do you know how old I was when I got my first laptop? Thirty!”
Full-on grin now. I wiped away the tear that was sitting on his cheek.
file-jan-29-10-17-58-pm
“You got your own laptop before you got a Playstation?” she asked incredulously. “You got a great mother. You know that? Give her a high five.”
He did, still smiling.
“And you know what else makes your mother great? She’s giving you an amazing experience right here. You’re gonna remember this for the rest of your life. You’re gonna remember the day you came to the airport and stood up for what’s right. And when you go to school tomorrow, you can say, ‘Y’know what I did yesterday? I did the right thing.’ It’s not an easy thing to be here. You want some gum?”

He did.
photo-jan-29-3-15-16-pm

 

 

Advertisements

Segue.

  • Bright Lights (the Todd Fisher doc about Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher) was incredibly touching and funny and warm and shows them in such a sweet and honest and private light. If you were shaken by their deaths, this will probably undo you.
  • Speaking of being undone, I can predict my cycle almost to the minute based solely on my comfort in my own skin. Tonight on the couch, I had to shake my arms and legs just to settle myself down. A couple of hours later? Yep.
  • Speaking of comfort in one’s own skin, The Who reports that when he “has a naked belly” (aka is shirtless) he often feels itchy or “tickly.” Could it be because he doesn’t have even the tiniest layer of fat between all his nerve endings and the environment?
  • Speaking of naked bellies, The Who’s basketball team played a “shirts and skins” scrimmage at practice last week. It was so old-school and the kids (those that chose to be “skins” anyway) loved it. The skins team kind of sucked in the scrimmage, though. Presumably because they were giddy about being half naked in school.
  • Speaking of school, my new teaching term starts Monday. I am not excited, but also not dreading it. I don’t loathe my job the way I did a year or so ago. I still wish I made more money doing what I earned degrees to do, but I also am much more appreciative of the time this job gives me — time to organize political workshops, participate in anarchist marches, and help 8-year-olds master their math facts.
  • Speaking of math, The Who has been complaining about it lately. Saying that it’s too boring. I was a little surprised because one of the things his teacher talked about in his conference was this special math enrichment book that he had to work on when he had buzzed through whatever the class was working on. But, The Who reports that he almost never has time to work on it because he has to go at the pace of the class. “Follow along on the SMART board, do two problems, wait, get them checked, follow along more, do two more, wait, get them checked, etc.” And by the time they’re done with that, math is over. I’m hoping this isn’t always the case. He did tell us that he and one other girl in his class are doing a special reading project with their teacher — almost like a mini book club, reading How to Eat Fried Worms and then meeting with the teacher during reading time to discuss it. So, there’s that.
  • Speaking of reading, I’m glad that The Who’s getting a little more into reading lately. It seemed like maybe he was going to be a kid who never picked up a book for pleasure, but the tide seems to be turning on that, especially since we are reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child together every night — complete with assuming characters and using our best British accents.
  • Speaking of British accents…. nah, I’m going to bed.