Yesterday afternoon after dropping Calvin off at school, I was left with just enough time put tulip bulbs into the ground and walk Nellie before my boy came home on the bus. This morning before dawn, as I laid next to him after his grand mal seizure, I was thinking about those precious tulip bulbs—their smooth, almond flesh cupped in thin skins nestled carefully into Mother Earth dark and moist as coffee grounds.
Sadly, today we were homebodies again. Going nowhere.
In his post-ictal phase, Calvin shivered, his teeth chattered and his palms sweat. I ache for him. I wonder if he feels pain, fear or anxiety before, during or after these attacks. I can't know for certain, but by the look on his face sometimes, and by his behavior and the sounds he makes, it is safe to assume that he does.
But he slept a little, while I remained mostly alert next to him taking in the sounds of a waking town, of birds chirping, cars passing, of Michael shuffling around downstairs putting on the coffee.
It's impossible for me not to think about the election these days, especially in a darkened room while stone cold awake. Perhaps it's partly what has exhausted me, besides Calvin being a handful of late. I closed my eyes and recalled the humorous and apt Trevor Noah video
explaining the outrage over Trump's offensive words and implicit crimes against women which were caught on tape. I recounted a recent exchange I had about said offense. I wondered how it would be if this narcissist of a man—one so utterly lacking in good character and humilty—were to lead our nation, a man who regularly and publicly denigrates women and minorities, name-calls, incites violence, stiffs his contractors and employees, endorses torture and war crimes, threatens adversaries, cheats, lies, and brags about sexually assaulting women.
From here, it doesn't look as though he's going to make it to the Oval Office; It seems as though all of the people who were silent for so long while he threatened to deny refugees entry because of their religion, called Mexicans rapists, mocked a disabled reporter and threatened to sue others, initiated and, until recently, perpetuated the racist birther movement, and who refuses to renounce white supremacists, are finally disavowing him over his behavior towards women. This disavowal is ostensibly on behalf of their mothers, daughters, sisters and wives; I guess these same folks must not know—or care about—any Muslims, Mexicans, Blacks or disabled people.
As I embrace my son, the light beginning to peak from behind the blind, I think of the boys I see riding bikes down the street. I think of the young college students who pass by and smile on their way to class or practice. I think of the children who will one day run this country. And though—most regrettably—none of them will be my son Calvin, I hope it will be those who are kind to strangers, who welcome progress, who love, understand and value people who are different from themselves, who want our world to be inclusive, open and benevolent, rather than exclusive, shuttered and suspicious. I hope our future leaders will be folks who understand the importance and pride in helping others less fortunate, and who truly embody our most cherished notion: that all of us are created equal, even homebodies going nowhere, like me and my little pip, Calvin.
|Photo by Michael Kolster|