Greetings from the past! I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to you on July 2, 2018. Here's what up right now:
- You just finished 4th grade and will turn 10 in a few weeks.
- You are having a really hard time dealing with mean people - you call them 'hypocrites.' They can talk as loud as they want, but then tell others to “shhhhhhh….” Boys on the playground give you crap about not being a soccer superstar, but it’s just fine if they knock the ball into their own goal. You can already see right through mean reindeer games.
- You were in this year’s school production of Shrek the Musical, Jr. You went deep in to character building and created a “Dwarf” complete with Dwarf voice. It blew my mind. “Hi hooooooo….”
Today the world feels totally bonkers. It’s not yet your responsibility to bear the weight of it but you are very intuitive. You know something’s up in Denmark.
The other night before you went to sleep you peeked back into my room and said, Mom, be excited for the unexpected! (You are really big into creating inspirational quotes these days. It’s like you are working your way towards an inspirational book or calendar) It was such a sweet sentiment, but I couldn’t ignore the irony: right now the unexpected scares the shit out of me.
Son, I’m hoping that this letter finds you in a country that resembles the America that raised me. I pray the fears I have these days are unfounded. I would love nothing more than to someday deliver a sheepish mea culpa to my more conservative friends. (You don’t know any of them because we all drifted apart between the years 2016 - 2018, give or take. We can’t even can with each other right now)
Every day there is further institutional demonization of minorities. There’s a blatant and unapologetic assault on the press. There is a rising tide of white nationalism in this country (and in the White House) that the president refuses to condemn. There are some shady ass fist bumps going on between this president and some insanely evil dictators. Children are being taken from their parents at the border then sent across the country to teach those pesky brown people a lesson. The list of shlock and blah is long.
You would think there would be a unilateral outcry and such immorality and cruelty but nope:
Yet, you vote for my taxes to go to scumbag illegals who haven’t contributed a fucking thing and Americans get shit on. You should all be ashamed.
This is all a political endeavor because the biased media has been pushing a theme, many themes. "Racist, anti-Muslim, Nazi, kidnapper, etc." It's ridiculous.
All leveled at me in the span of fifteen minutes on Facebook.
Fucked up, right G?
It’s a pretty pivotal moment for the democratic experiment. I don’t believe that our current leadership cares about the balance of powers as much as they care about rank and file, so it scares me to think of the world you may be living in right now.
To be fair, there is no shortage of people out there who think I’m a fool for believing what I believe, some of whom are very close to me. But then again, this past Saturday there were about 59,999 other Chicagoans who are also “sick of this shit.”
But if my 3AM jolt-awake fears are realized - if we are on the path to the unspeakable - I want you to know where I stood on July 2, 2018.
- I’m not buying that his relationship with Putin isn’t one of espionage and submission. I am embarrassed to witness this two-faced dance taking place right in front of my eyes.
- I’m not buying it that Stephen Miller isn’t 100% Nazi. I mean just look at him. His eyeballs are portals into the Dark Kingdom
I call Fascism. Fascism is like porn: you know it when you see it.
When I was the age you are now, I visited the Dachau memorial site. My ten-year-old mind couldn’t wrap itself around the idea that people could allow hell to spill over into the world like that. Why didn’t the masses stop it?
Surely it would never happen again - certainly not in the land of the free, home of the brave! I mean, what’s brave about denying the freedom of others?
But in light of recent events, I’m coming to realize that good, decent people were overpowered by a psychotic chess master who leveraged mob-rule pawns and played the match on a grid of propaganda and base instincts. I believe that many decent people felt powerless against the typhoon of idiocy, fear, and lies, and when the writing finally reached every wall, they snuck back into their homes and closed the door behind them, praying that the monster would not come for their own children.
So what does a modern Mother do to protect her son from a rising tide of Fascism in her backyard?
One knee-jerk reaction was to download applications for passports. (though I was frankly a little nervous about having that in my search history) It’s $150 per person to leave this country right now - fleeing is not a poor man’s game.
But let’s be real: to move is more fancy than reality when the nightmare is still beyond the horizon.
The reality is that your future-pensioned Dad is marrying someone in the near future who also has a kid and an ex and let’s face it: not everyone believes in the danger and/or is willing to leave so relocation is not that simple.
The reality is that I work in a field that makes a difference in the lives of others. Perhaps the best way I can resist evil on the national level is by doubling down on compassionate actions at the local level.
The reality is that I have a mortgage.
The reality is that I have a skillset that is very specific and generally non-transferrable.
The reality is that I don’t want to leave. I love my homeland. I love Chicago. I love my community.
But if I stay, what am I going to do about my big mouth? I mean you’ve met me, right? I’m not afraid to roll my eyes right at someone’s ridiculous face. I am not a pretender - never have been. Not without a script and a director, anyway.
How can I be sure that my loud, angry dissent will not someday identify me as unfaithful to Those Loyal to the One Who Demands Personal Loyalty.
So what do I do? As a mother? As an American? As a Patriot? As a humanitarian?
I’m not sure, yet. But the thought of you as a grown man twenty years from now is my call to action. It is the reason I will push aside my exasperation at the charlatan’s spells and snake oil promises and take action. You are the reason I will abandon my predictable and boring fear of being judged and commit to the reform of an imperfect union. That you are able to read this letter twenty years from now as a citizen of an imperfect but functioning democracy is the reason I will not cower from doing what I know is right.
God I hope it will be enough because I won’t be able to forgive myself if I am not Superhero enough to keep you out of harm’s way.
That’s about it. A couple of other things before I go: if you haven’t bought a Sonicare brush replacement in a while it might be a good time to do so. Also, if I’m still around, can you make sure I remember to pluck that one hair out of my chin, please? Lower chin right.
I love you, G. You’re my best.
That's my piece, and that's my peace. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my silly words. It truly means the world to me. Carry on...
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