“S’UP!”

The date might be what most consider unlucky since it was the 13th, but my mother-in-law accurately said that November 13th was her husband’s lucky day. It was the day that he got to go to his true Home. It was the day that he no longer felt any of the aches and pains of arthritis or colitis or the various ailments of age and declining health. It was the day that he entered into the full glory of his foundational focus throughout his life – being in the unhindered, glorious presence of his God.

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Dad was born in NY, NY.

In my human imagination, I see him with his joyful grin entering the city of gold with wide-eyed wonder and delight. When he is shown the room that has been prepared for him, he asks if he can just have the campsite near the lake where the fishing is best. He is told of course that comes with it as well as the top-of-the line pontoon boat and a fresh thermos of coffee. I think he is served endless Dunkin Donuts. Since he gets the straight-from-the-source and angelic live version there, there is no longer a need for a portable radio to hear his beloved sermons and songs.

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He and his sister were MK’s

I only met my father-in-law around the last decade of his 77 years of life. It was just a fraction of time on the whole, but at least it was in the age of emails. With us always living hours and sometimes thousands of miles apart, we could communicate through this medium with ease. I will miss the group emails to Mike, Scott, Jenny, and me that started with “S’UP!” or “Guys, guys, guys” or “Guess what, guess what?!!?” He was eager to share many things with us whether a great sermon he just heard, a new book he loved reading, some interesting historical facts, his and mom’s gardening adventures, prayer requests, or sports tidbits. One of my latest emails from him simply said to Mike and me “Is you is or is you ain’t watching dem Bars?” He became a Michigan sports fan once he had relocated there, but he would egg us on about our Chicago teams like the Bears’ current season.

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50 years as loving spouses

He also had these precious emails with our boys. When Ethan brought home a sunflower seed from school, he provided what I (a black thumb) could not. He gave Ethan loads of advice on how to plant “Sunny” and sympathy when E later sent him a picture of Sunny’s grave. (My black thumb is really contagiously black.) When we got our dog Harper, there were plenty of emails about pet care since he and mom always had a pup in the house. He would even have his Tucker type “bow wow wow, arf, arf, bow wow” to the boys and Harper. Those emails were just one example of how he was such a loving grandpa.

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While visiting us in ABQ, he got to see the machine he worked with while serving in the Navy some 50 years earlier.

In their last visit with us, I was impatiently giving Ethan a stern lecture about his piano practicing. My exacerbation was clearly detectable and my words loaded with negativity. Dad just casually called from the couch how impressed he was with how well Ethan played. He said that when he was kid at a boarding house in Canada, he tried lessons but didn’t get that far. He smiled as he remarked how pleased he would have been had he been blessed with Ethan’s talent. He said with words loaded with love that he was so proud of his grandson. It was a million times more effective than my lecture and had Ethan turn around with a smile to finish practicing without complaint.

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Happy Grandpa

Dad Beckett did not have what this world would consider a lot. But he did not live for the aims of this world. There was no doubt that he had an intimate knowledge of and reliance on scripture. He had a verse for every occasion. Every Christmas he led us all in a time of family devotions to center us on the reason for the holiday. And every time we departed, he would lead us in a circle of prayer together.

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Mom & Dad in the latest church directory. They were faithful members of Bloomingdale Christian Church.

While he cared for others especially his family, he would never want to put anyone out for their care of him. It can be so humbling to have to rely on others when your body limits your independence and abilities. He had no choice but to depend on mom and others for many things. And each time, he would lament his bothering of those helpers as if asking for a mug of coffee was the same as asking for you to donate your kidney. He never took the things others did for him for granted. His deep humility only grew. Politics can be heated but especially so in an election year like this one. Yet even when we were on different sides of certain issues, he had such grace and humility that our exchanged emails felt constructive and edifying when the rest of the world resorted to name-calling or far worse.

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They got to visit us in Tucson just a couple weeks ago.

I am thankful that my boys were able to have known their paternal grandpa enough to mourn the loss of him. I pray they will heed their grandma’s tearful and heartfelt words to them and their cousins to follow Christ as that is what their Papa would have wanted the most. He left a legacy not of worldly possession or renown but something far greater in value. He left a legacy of faith that will continue to bear eternal fruit. We grieve the separation from him now but anticipate with hope and joy the reunion to come.

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A Candle’s Lit. The 80’s Play

A candle’s lit.
The 80’s play.

You went Home
One year today.
One (whole) year….

But grief remains.

You should’ve been able to say,
“Happy 4th, my son” yesterday.

The things you’ve missed…
And how you’re missed…

A candle’s lit.
The 80’s play.

You’re free from pain
In heaven’s glory,
Maybe you’d say
It’s better this way.

But grief remains.

It feels unfair…
Anniversaries…birthdays…mundane details of an average day…
You should be there.

I remember…
Your zest for life!
Your sense of justice
For doing what’s right.

A candle’s lit.
The 80’s play.

I remember…
You went Home today.

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Mom Sighs & Savors

Our Tooth Fairy is really bad. She might even be the worst. It is not unusual for her to be late. She has written apology notes, added interest to the going rate, and been such a repeat offender than even calendar reminders have been ineffective. The latest failure was enough to put her on probationary status here. DAYS (not even sure how many, so THAT many) after the tooth went under the pillow, she somehow remembered and panicked. She felt under the pillow to no avail (dang, Ethan’s head is big and heavy!) and the load of guilt was so large that she dropped the money without a traded tooth even though her husband said to forget about it all. The next day the customer placed the bright green box containing the tooth prominently on his bedside table. The money under the pillow had been successfully retrieved and put away without a single word. Husband’s guess that the gig was up started to sink in as the Fairy felt her fairy days drifting away.

Ethan is almost 11 years old. As a 5th grader, he has noticed other kids his age sitting in the front seat of their cars at school pick up. He has asked to do the same since school started, but I wasn’t ready yet. For some reason, it signified change: closer proximity to the steering wheel of freedom, a crossing over from which there was no going back, adulthood. In my dramatic motherly mind, I wanted to keep him buckled in the back seat with his pacifier within reach.🙂 Then the tooth fairy hit probationary status. I realized that there should probably be a discussion of some sort before we fired her. The next time I took Ethan to Tae Kwon Do (which is also the nights Connor has soccer and our family is split), I invited him to sit in the front seat for our just-me-and-him ride home.

He was excited, and I could not resist telling him to not want to grow up too fast, that he’ll be able to sit in the front the rest of his life, and that he should temper his excitement to up and leave me. (Ok, not really the last part.) I noticed with a sigh how fully he filled that front passenger space. With my fairy wings dampened by the passing of time, I started my flittering around the topic of her last major incompetency.

Me: (Sigh.)”E, so did the Tooth Fairy finally bring you money?”
E: “Yeah. But she didn’t take the tooth.”
Me: “Maybe she couldn’t get it. Was it under your pillow the whole time?”
E: “Yeah. The tooth actually broke in two.” (It probably couldn’t take the weight of his heavy head atop it for COUNTLESS nights.)
Me, finally stopping the flittering and descending in defeat: (SIGH.) “Ok, so I guess you know who the tooth fairy is now?”
E: “…………”
Me: “You knew it was mommy, right?”
E: “Uh….it is? You’re the tooth fairy?”
Me: (ARGH, I could’ve kept that pacifier a little longer!) “Yeah, daddy and I thought you knew that and had figured it out by now.” (Because how incompetent can she be?)
E: “Well, I wasn’t sure. I didn’t really know…”
Me: “How do you feel about finding out?”
E: “I don’t care as long as I can keep getting money for my teeth.” (Truth. He is his father’s son.)

He took it like a man. If there was a child, it was me, holding on tightly to things that may be ready to be let go. He agreed to not tell his little brother. He went on to the next topic quickly and naturally not allowing me to linger in my fairy dust. (I am still going to sprinkle it on thick at Christmas. Santa is definitely fully employed here!) From that conversation on, Ethan has automatically gotten in the front seat after Tae Kwon Do. We decided that was the only time, so he still sits in the back with his brother every other ride. But those short treks back home are no longer filled with motherly sighs. I find myself truly enjoying his company beside me. Sometimes I get lost in so much nagging, the struggles of his whining or negativity, the frustrations of his having to get his own way, and on and on. These precious front seat rides are miraculously free from those typical trials. We are talking about funny parts of our day with Harper dog. We are reminiscing about things he remembers with the precision of an observant historian. We are having conversations about school, friends, life. There are no pacifiers, but there are new joys for my mother’s heart that I hold onto even tighter. I am loving his presence next to me when I thought it would be hard to no longer have him behind me.

As if on cue, the same night of Ethan’s tooth fairy reveal, Connor had a bad dream and crawled into our bed. Those occurrences are not common, but they are not rare either. Some nights when I get little feet on my face and restless sleep, I wish they were over. But in light of a kid in the front seat, I savored his little sleeping body finding comfort in mama’s bed knowing that those days are numbered.

Connor has a habit of coming out of his room after being tucked in to get a drink of water. One night recently while sipping, he told us that when it’s his turn to have Harper in his room at bedtime, he always goes over and has a snuggling heart-to-heart talk with her before getting his water. I asked him what he said and he answered that some of the conversation is just between him and his dog. He did let us know tidbits like asking her how she likes her new toy or telling her that even when she (play) bites him that he still loves her. My baby somehow reminded me with his amusing dog talk that he is still my little baby. Mike managed to record one of these nighttime canine conversations. It ended like this:

“…so Harpy, I want to say to you one last thing. You’re just a little…cute…pup. And that will always be for the rest of my life. (BIG SIGH.) Night-night, Harpy.”

Boys, you are both little, cute, sons. And that will always be for the rest of my life. BIG SIGH. Lots of savoring. Love, your melodramatic mother aka former Tooth Fairy.

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What my mind thinks it should look like when E sits in the front seat

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One Year With Harper

One year ago today, Harper Jameek made our world stinkier, hairier, SO much happier, and truly complete. Adopting her was the best decision ever, and we cannot imagine our lives without her. Even Mike who jokes every time I complain about the endless dog hair all over the house with “Let’s take her back!” is glad we got her. He will adamantly deny it, but he secretly loves her as much as the rest of us do. Why else would he give her special treats, hold her like a baby on the couch, and want her to keep him company when he’s outside working around the house? Even though he is the strict disciplinarian, she knows he loves her and goes crazy when she sees him. Ethan once made a chart of her tail-wagging range. The highest/hardest wag he called “Whip-o-doom” for when daddy comes home from work.

There is no question how the rest of us feel. In the boys’ bedtime prayers, they faithfully ask God that Harper will have a good day tomorrow, not get sick, and live longer than a normal dog. Every. Single. Night. The way they “awwww” about her and stop multiple times a day to comment on how cute she is or go to hug her reassures me that they do have affectionate hearts that she brings out in full force (and for Ethan it seems ONLY she brings out in him). She provides unconditional love and comforting therapy on a ruff day.

She is often a convenient pillow.img_1424img_1366

She plays a pretty mean game of Chutes & Ladders. (Notice there are appropriately 3 game pieces.)

She encourages us to hold our planks (or maybe sabotages them).

She is a great dust buster for any crumbs that may fall.

She is a faithful welcoming committee waiting for you to come home even when you might be out of town.
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So even though Mike’s determined that Harper’s running tab is greater than the nation’s deficit and never wants to buy the poor dog any non-essential, he relented on this day. Happy “Gotcha” Day, Harp-doggy-dog! May your new toy bring you as much joy as you bring us and last as long as your sweet, enduring love.

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Listening to Their Voices

I first met Samantha and Laquie through church; we served in the same outreach ministry. I am privileged to call them dear friends and sisters in faith. I think they are worth listening to, so please take the time to read their words.

Excerpts from Sam:

Racism is an ugly monster that exists with a vengeance and isn’t going away anytime soon. Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and countless other Black men and women are dead because of racism. Many people are saying that if Alton and Philando had “just listened and complied,” they would still be here. However, many Black men and women have “just listened and complied” and still lose or have lost their lives. I know that the majority of police officers are doing a difficult job that I appreciate and support. I know that something is off kilter when it feels like Black lives are more expendable than others. I’m aware that flags don’t fly at half mast for Alton and Philando (or Eric, Trayvon, Sandra, etc.), but they’re lowered for police officers in Dallas. I’m aware that equality has different meanings for people of color. And sadly, I’m aware that if you get pulled over for a busted tail light, Black people have less of a chance of surviving than a White person would – even with video evidence.

…What I wasn’t prepared for (in this whole discourse) was how the “All Lives Matter” hashtag made me feel. Like part of who I am should be ignored. It feels like a blatant denial of the real problem. The harsh truth is that we use the term “Black Lives Matter” because we feel like we don’t…

…We are all made in the image of God. In our human experience, I don’t believe we were ever intended to be “color blind.” That seems silly to me. Christ made us individually and if Genesis 1:27 is true, we are all collectively made in the image of God… My life is full of people with the most diverse backgrounds, skin tones, personalities, character traits, and quirks. Their stories are all amazing unique – they are complex. Complex people with complex issues. I’m a Black, Hispanic, Christian, divorced and single mom of two kids, for crying out loud.

…Last week [early July], I’ve never felt more fragile. I’m caught off guard at every turn on social media – by truths, by lies, by sheer ignorance. Everyone has an answer or so it seems. People seem to forget that we would be known as disciples of Christ by our love for one another (John 13:35), not our posted hashtags, videos, or even our silence.

I intend to focus on loving my family and friends well. I want to be able to encourage them and sow love and hope into their hearts. I pray that our hearts would remain pliable to God’s love and that we would “follow the way of love” according to 1 Corinthians 14:1. I intend to speak up for love and speak out for justice. We can no longer afford to be silent or ignorant. Now is the time to do the right thing. Act justly. Love mercy. And love LOUDLY.

Excerpts from Laquie’s voice recording (you can listen to her full clip by clicking here):

…I think a lot of my frustration is built on the fact that my whole life I’ve tried to understand the side of the majority culture. I’ve tried to understand from a survival standpoint, as well as a standpoint of grace.  I’ve had to conform to your ways and traditions. I’ve had to tame my Blackness and field the same questions over and over (no, you cannot touch my hair). I’m constantly making excuses for cultural ignorance…but I can’t anymore…because you’ve shown me you’re not meeting me half way. This is not a mutual exchange, and I’m only playing into your ability to minimize and discredit everything I embody.

When I woke up that morning and learned five police officers were murdered….I cried. Period. My first instinct wasn’t to go digging up dirt on whether they were adulterers, smoked pot in high school, drank too much, or beat their wives. I didn’t need to locate their records, to see if they had anything other than exemplary service. I just cried for their families and for the evil that exists in this world. I wish I could say the same for some of you. Many of you were steadily looking for justification to kill a man point blank pinned down by not one, but two male bodies, for selling CDs. You were desperately trying to justify the killing of a man that announced his legal possession of a firearm. When I heard the comment, “Let’s wait for the facts…” I only heard that kind of consideration for the police officers. Would you have the same attitude if it was me lying in that car taking my last breath?

…When I have to validate the Black American experience to you, it feels… condescending, infuriating and humiliating. Do I really have to relay all times I’ve been verbally assaulted with the ‘n’ word (the last time was just a few months ago by the way. 2016.)? …how in the world can you dismiss what I’m saying or feeling so easily? Why does it hold no weight or credibility?…

…How do you account for the fact I can meet Black people from NYC, LA, Georgia, Chicago, and still have similar experiences and cultural narratives? There is obviously a problem too many of you want to claim doesn’t exist, but it’s staring you dead in the face. Your token Black friend is telling you there is a problem.

Alright, as nice as it would be, I guess I don’t necessarily need you to blindly accept what I’m saying or feeling. But I also don’t need you to be part of the problem or the harmful rhetoric. I guess what I need or expect is that our relationship would make you think twice before you speak…I would hope you’d be willing to have dialogue of substance instead of lobbing emotional bombs on FB (Facebook) with your memes and quips. I wish FB didn’t matter, because it shouldn’t…But it is what it is, therefore it matters. If we’re not going to keep it frivolous with cat videos and Top 10 lists, then we address it all. It feels distant, but it’s ultimately your messaging. Since Trayvon Martin, I’ve noticed so many of you say things that made my blood boil, but I just ignored it at best, or unfollowed you at worst. Enough already. If I was minding my business, walking home, perhaps wearing a hoodie…would you honestly defend some flashlight cop attacking me, and then pulling his gun to finish me off because he picked the wrong fight? So many scenarios, and I’m always wondering, “If it was me…”

…“BlackLivesMatter” bothers people because it implies Black people think they are more important. Let me tell you something real quick: as a whole, there has never been a time in the history of this country that Black people have been in a position to even begin to feel superior or dominant. That is foolishness. No one is attempting to dominate or oppress you…

…I think police officers have an extremely difficult job and I’d protect and defend a good police officer any day, despite my negative experiences the few times I’ve been pulled over. But at the end of the day, officers can go home and take their uniforms off. I’m Black 24/7, and you wouldn’t believe how much of the day I do not feel safe, from either physical or emotional harm because of the color of my skin. I do not get a reprieve…

I’m perfectly alright with people that disagree with me on many things….but when your rhetoric supports oppressive ideologies of me or Black people in general being stupid, worth ignoring, being violated, invalidated, or inferior – where do you think we go from here?…

…This is what I’m willing to do though: if you ever want to start a real dialogue, I’ll spend hours with you on the phone, I’ll invite you into my home and make you a meal, I’ll meet you for a drink…my point is I’m willing to walk through this with people, but only on that level.

By the way…the epitome of white privilege is that you can be upset over all of this mess when it initially occurs, but then you can choose to go on with your regular life and not think twice about until the next time it’s hot news. I don’t know what that’s like. I understand it’s hard and uncomfortable, but if we don’t start walking through this together, history will continue to repeat itself and it will only get worse as it goes. Let’s do better.

I hope people read through the entire post. I hope it brings some understanding. I have hope because I know that no matter how much hate, division, evil, injustice, racism, intolerance, dismissive labeling, hurt, and wrong there is in the world that ultimately none of those things have victory over Love and understanding. They are defeated in part now and will be in full later. Till that later is fully realized, let us keep fighting them together. Listening is ONLY the first step, but it is a necessary start.

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True friends take you in the beehive. Sam & Laquie = my true friends.

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Let’s Hear It For the Boy

Every time anyone in our family does anything worth celebrating, my mom’s reaction is always, “We have to celebrate! Let’s celebrate!” while clapping her hands or raising them up in the air. When I say anything, I mean ANYTHING. A grandson aced a test? “We have to celebrate!” A grandson finally pooped in the potty? “Let’s celebrate!” A grandson got out of bed? I’m pretty sure if a grandson does ANYTHING, it is reason to celebrate. I learned that anytime our loved ones accomplish something in life that it is always worth celebrating. I learned to rejoice, to take note of the victories, to take the time to make sure precious ones know that you are proud of them, that they are loved, that their joys are your joys. My parents’ joy will even surpass our own when we share these reasons to celebrate. I will never forget when I first told them that Mike was finally feeling improvements in his health 4 long years ago that they held hands and jumped up and down like little kids while loudly verbalizing their sincere joy. Whatever we are happy about, their joy expands that happiness exponentially.

Maybe that is why when my low-key husband had something worth celebrating, he first emailed my dad. He simply said to me late one night right before bedtime, “I cc’d you on an email to your dad.” Through a short email, I found out that Mike had made it on a list of the world’s 300 leading IP (Intellectual Property) strategists. He was right in guessing my parents’ reaction. They were proud and emailed repeatedly from their trip in Europe to say so. Being their daughter, I am proud, too. I tell myself it is ok because even God bragged a little about His son. He could have kept His fatherly pride to Himself, but instead the heaven’s opened up, a dove descended, and He said in a booming voice, “This is my Son, Whom I love, WITH WHOM I AM WELL-PLEASED.” Drop the mic. (That’s in the NLB – New Leslie Beckett – version. If I get struck by lightning, you now know why.)

When I showed the kids the link above, I explained that their daddy made it on a list put out by IAM (Intellectual Asset Management) magazine.

Kids: Is that like Time (magazine)?
Me: Uh, no, not really. Not as many people read this one.
Kids: Billions?
Me: Uh, no, not at all. Probably just a few IP people.
Kids: Is daddy famous?
Me: Uh, no, definitely not. But isn’t it cool?
Kids: Cool. (run off to go play)

We will still celebrate because according to my parents (my mom already emailed asking if we had celebrated) everything is worth celebrating. Shout out to Deniece Williams for her Footloose gem of a song that I took the liberty of changing a little.

My baby, he don’t talk sweet, he ain’t got much to say,
But he emails, emails, emails, to say he made a list the other day.
And maybe he don’t dress fine, but I don’t really mind,
Cause he can kick some IP rear, that makes me wanna cheer:

Let’s hear it for the boy! Let’s give the boy a hand.
Let’s hear it for my baby. World’s leading 300 per IAM.
Oh, maybe he’s no Romeo, but his legal work is good to go!
Oh, whoa…let’s hear it for the boy!

 

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PSA From a Token Asian

You may not see many of us on a regular basis. Even if you do, you may not personally know any of us in a real relationship of true knowing. Having one of us do your nails or check you out during your medical visit is not the same thing as the type of relationship I mean. I mean the type where we will tell you our unfiltered, honest opinion on topics that some of us do not want to go into with you even if that means possibly chipping away at the ignorance. Since there may be countless out there in this category, this is a PSA to drop a little knowledge and hopefully chip away a tiny bit.

When you see an Asian person walking in the mall, minding her own business and obviously not wanting to be bothered as she refuses your kiosk sample while briskly going by, do NOT yell out greetings in any Asian language to her. She does not speak Chinese so do not yell out “nee hau!” She does not speak Japanese so do not follow up with a “konichiwah!” to cover your bases. You do not speak either of those languages either so why are you shouting out those greetings like a fool? Do you randomly shout out “bonjour!” and follow it with “g’day, mate!” to every white person that walks by you? No. That would be dumb. Same is true here. Do not assume that you know what language she speaks (it’s English) just by looking at her.

Even if you were lucky enough to guess the right language of her ancestry, yelling out one phrase that you know does NOT make her feel instantly bonded to you and now wanting to sample and purchase every item from your kiosk. Would you yell out, “HELLO!” to every white person who walks by you? No. Still dumb.

Not every Asian would stop well after they passed you, take the time to turn around, retrace her steps in the opposite direction of where she wanted to go, and walk directly to you to tell you these things. Not everyone would say to you that you should not yell out those words to Asians because it is racist. Your face responds to that word because no one really WANTS to be racist. No one says they hope they do something racist today. Your face says that you believe you are a nice person and for this little (crazy) Asian lady to tell you that you are being racist is pretty far-fetched.

Ok, fine, but admit it that it would not have had the same affect to say to you, “don’t do that because it is a microaggression.” After all, microagression is a cousin to racist. They may not be the same thing, but they are totally related and come from the same family tree. So let’s just help you NOT go all the way to your cousin’s level and help you detach from that genealogy by not committing that microagression again in the future. You have been told to your face that it is not cool. You seemed receptive and actually thanked the crazy lady, but ultimately you are responsible for what you do in the future with that chipping away of your ignorance. Like the lady said, you may have had no bad intentions, but now you KNOW. And knowing is half the battle (G.I. JOE)!

When I (obviously the crazy confrontational lady) retold this part of my day at the dinner table, my older son said that he would NOT have done that (gone back to talk to the dude). He said he would have just ignored it and kept walking. My younger son asked, “What’s nee hau?” I could not just give him the definition. Being who I am, I had to add in a few lines reiterating why the guy should not just yell that out and “if anyone says that to you…” That is when my older son then tries to stop me in a way by covering his ears and giving an annoyed sound of some sort. I look at him and wonder how he is my offspring. But later when my friend reminded me that his responses are totally understandable because of course he just wants to blend in. He just wants to live a “normal” life despite my telling him that he can’t, that he will face things like this in his life and he might as well know how to respond. But my friend’s more understanding reaction to him transported me back to when I was his age. I was EXACTLY the same. I so desperately wanted to blend in, never talk about, let alone BE Korean. He is normal even if his life won’t totally be. Maybe in 3 decades he WILL be turning around and telling the kiosk guy what isn’t cool. Maybe. I can hope so.

Again, no one wants to be a racist. No one wants to raise up racists. But racism is not born overnight. It is similar to thoughts I have been having about the Stanford rapist. Unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard about the absurd 6-month sentence for this star athlete who was convicted of rape. He and his parents seem to be in denial that he raped his victim. It is easy for them to say it is just some silly darn mistake made when you get too drunk. Although a jury unanimously convicted him of 3 counts of sexual assault and the outrage of a nation is reacting against his sentence, they still are having a hard time believing that he is a rapist. There is no personal responsibility. I make my kids tell me what they did wrong when they fight like WWIII. They have to spell it out without blaming their sibling or other circumstances. They have to tell me what they could have done differently so the next situation can have different results.

But they live a good life and are already spoiled in some ways. My older son acted like I was putting him out when I had him fix his own English muffin for breakfast this morning. He really, REALLY wanted me to do it for him. No, I am not your maid. You get your own muffin, toast it, put it on a plate, and butter it yourself. These are small parts of the day, but they add up. Just like a lifetime of privilege, wealth, whiteness, entitlement, education, class, and social circles can all seep into your being unnoticed to bring you to the point that you are defending your son’s sexual assault on an unconscious victim. I have crossed into some of those factors of privilege enough to see how they could combine in so many subtleties that inadvertently breed an unnatural outcome worthy of the world’s contempt. So do not tell me that yelling “nee hau!” is totally harmless. It can combine with many other factors that may have you one day questioning a judge’s ability to be impartial because of his ethnic heritage or thinking it is ok to yell the n-word at someone while you cowardly drive past. I hope that my boys are surrounded by crazy ladies who confront them when they are stepping across a thin line because maybe it will disrupt the complex formula that could result in unwanted behaviors and attitudes. Please give them your PSA’s and thanks for reading mine.

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