A Summation of Last Week

Well, it’s official: I am the proud mother of a seven year old second grader. His report card was amazing, (with the exception of needs in improvement on getting his work done in a timely manner, but that’s a blog post for another time), his birthday was the most fun, and I’m ridiculously proud of the progress both school related and growing up related that he’s made this year. This is the end of what was a vast week; I thought I’d sum up this week with a list. So, without further ado, my summation of last week.

  • A week ago, I got schooled at Mancala by a six year old. We were sitting at the coffee shop with our smoothies and he wanted to teach me how to play. I agreed. And as he taught me the rules, the amount of growth and knowledge that has become this boy was astounding. It is the feeling of amazement and awe everyday to be this child’s mother.
  • I work in a facility that requires comfortable shoes and clothes for the eight hours of work. Well, on Friday, I had requested a half day so I was able to pick my kiddo up for his last day of school and the day before his birthday party. I wore a dress, nothing super fancy, but one of my favorites. Black and white polka dot in a fifties style cut. As Caolan (phonetic pronunciation – Cal-lan, rhymes with Allan) and I were walking the couple of blocks home, hand in hand because we were near drives on a very busy street, some douche cat whistled. Well, I didn’t think anything of it because I am not the girl that gets yelled at, and I had a child with me. Until it happened again. So, to the piece of shit who made me feel like I should have had more clothes on in eighty degree weather: I hope someone vomits in your car and it smells like a vomit forever. You have no right to make me feel like a self conscious kid again. You have no right to make feel like a body for your viewing pleasure. I am not just a body! No one is just a body!
  • I can’t get into political discussions after this week. It’s too heated, too stressful. And what with FaceBook and work, I’ve been in or read so many. However, to the people who hate Trump, yet are now possibly going to be voting for him: This is our future. There isn’t a fucking reset button. If there is a meltdown, we are all losing. I don’t want Trump to win by default. I get it, I’m disappointed Bernie didn’t clinch the nomination. Heartbroken, really, but it’s politics. The idea that Bernie would even be able to accomplish anything in the White House is funny to me. Obama fought an uphill battle just to get universal healthcare passed, and the amount of concessions he had to allow made it less than desirable to many after all was said and done. I mean, how are people against reforming a horribly corrupt system that is getting rich off of us getting sick? That’s disgusting! Now, just knowing how Bernie inspired this country should be a wake up call, but I don’t think it will be. Perhaps I’ve become disenchanted in the wake of 2004 and 2008, but the amount of racist, misogynistic, bigoted people hiding in the woodwork of this country is mind blowing. And I honestly don’t think these people, or the bigwigs in the political machine, are going to change their tune because a huge portion of this country showed such a vast amount of support for Bernie. Okay, so Bernie didn’t get the nomination; now you want Trump? Really? These are just the opinions of a leftist leaning mother who doesn’t want her child to grow up in a nation where the general public prefers Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, who I will admit, is not my ideal candidate.
  • Speaking of politics, today my child said he wanted to ban guns. See, I allow him to play violent video games and watch violent movies, but we discuss how they are not real. Well, in the wake of yet ANOTHER MASS SHOOTING, this morning we spoke of real violence and real lives lost. His solution was simple: ban guns. Now, I’m a realist. I know that, as much as mass shootings are becoming commonplace in the US, (how terrible is that?), we are collectively never going to come to an agreement on banning guns. But can’t we at least come to an agreement on reform? On concealed weapons? On more than just background checks? On something, because I don’t want to be afraid to send my kid to someone’s house who doesn’t keep their guns locked up?
  • I’m going to end this week of happenings with the birthday playlist Caolan and I created together via Spotify:
    • Trouble on Oxford Street – Skinny Lister
    • Raise A Wreck – Skinny Lister
    • Rollin’ Over – Skinny Lister
    • John Kanaka – Skinny Lister
    • If the Gaff Don’t Let Us Down – Skinny Lister
    • Spanish Bombs – The Clash
    • Lost in the Supermarket – The Clash
    • London Calling – The Clash
    • Carry On – Common Rider
    • Lederhosenpunk – The Forum Walters
    • All For Me Grog – Joey Briggs
    • Happy Being Miserable – Joey Briggs
    • Without You – MxPx
    • Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
    • Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
    • We Will Rock You – Queen
    • Thank You For Being a Friend – Suburban Legends
    • You’ve Got A Friend In Me – Suburban Legends
    • Duck Tales – Suburban Legends
    • Up All Night – Suburban Legends
    • I Love You Like An Alcoholic – The Taxpayers
    • You Alone – Street Dogs
    • Point/Counterpoint – Streetlight Manifesto
    • The Ghosts of Me and You – Less Than Jake
    • All My Best Friends Are Metalheads – Less Than Jake
    • Punkrock Pirates (feat. Joey Briggs) – The Forum Walters
    • Two-Sided Coin – The Forum Walters
    • Factory Blues – The Forum Walters
    • Wish You Were Mine – Masked Intruder
    • Clampdown – The Clash
    • Koka Kola – The Clash
    • Mad Men – The Briggs
    • Back to Higher Ground – The Briggs
  • This list was super fun to put together! Caolan and I listen to music together a ton, and, fortunately, he has not inherited my tone deafness. So, we sat on the couch the morning of his birthday party, my phone held between us, and he went through and added music with little phrases like: ‘Yeah, yeah, I like this. Mom, I need more Queen. I love Freddie Mercury. Oh, yeah, I love The Forum Walters. More Joey Briggs!!!!’

We speak of many topics that are difficult for adults to grasp, but I think it’s important to treat my child like a human, not a little kid to be protected and sheltered from life. He understands that, in life, the bad things that happen to us, they serve to make the good things even better. There is a balance, and without it, life would be mundane. However, how, as a mother to her child, does one explain a mass shooting like Sandy Hook? How does one explain war? How does one explain why you don’t help an adult stranger look for his ‘lost dog’ if you’re alone?

We’re navigating this world together, my child and I, taking the bumps and bruises with the ups and the downs, and trying to have as much fun as possible. And while we’re doing this, Trump is staring down on us all from his Tower, Hillary is making decisions that are setting her up for more public scrutiny (because the public loves to put her under the microscope), someone is amassing guns and plotting something horrific, people are living and dying, fighting wars, raping, losing children, being tortured, birthing babies, having birthdays, saying goodbye, making music, making art, loving… There is so much bad, but there is also so much good. My mom and I debate this all the time. I think she’s obsessed with the bad, she thinks I bury my head in the sand, like nothing bad ever happens or could ever happen to me or my son.

I say, we get one time to do this thing called life, and we never know when our time is going to be up; I don’t want any unfinished business, a life half lived. I want more passion and less fear. I want stories to tell, experiences, adventures.

Okay, yeah, apparently this week has made me very thoughtful. I guess it’s time to shut this laptop and get making good on this living thing today, right now!

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