Everyone needs something to laugh about, particularly in these days of shameless bigotry, of families being painfully separated, infants "defending" themselves in immigration court, White folks calling police on Black men, women and children for rightfully swimming in pools, barbecuing in parks, entering their own homes, mowing lawns and selling water in their neighborhoods on hot summer days, in these days of a POTUS eroding our alliances while cosying up to tyrants, his administration attacking our clean water, clean air, reproductive rights, human rights, health care, free press, and diminishing our standing in the world as a reasonable, ethical, dependable, faithful nation worthy of respect.

Yes, the cartoon below made me laugh, giving me a brief reprieve from the shitshow going on around us these past eighteen months.

Like politics, life with Calvin has its ups and downs and exacerbating in-betweens. I'll be the first to admit that taking care of him is the most difficult challenge of my life, and it tests me daily. Caring for our tiny teenager who in reality is much like an infant on the verge of walking—he's non verbal, still wears diapers, can't really feed himself, suffers poor balance, has occasional tantrums—has been hard on my mind, body, spirit, and psyche over the years. It turns out, for whatever reason, I'm up for the challenge. But don't tell me that it's because God chose me to be Calvin's parent due to my strength and patience. Don't tell me everything happens for a reason which, if you break down that theory, it means that some divine entity—the likes of which I don't and could never believe in—put Calvin here on Earth in the fucked-up and suffering condition he is in only to teach some twerp like me a lesson; I am not worthy of my son's suffering. No one is. And don't tell me that God doesn't give folks more than they can handle, because my response to that will always be, "if that is true then why do people off themselves?"

Nope. Calvin is very simply here. And I am simply the mom who birthed him. And his brain is messed up because something in nature went awry or simply didn't develop. And I choose to find purpose in the shit that happens to him and to us, in great part because I must've been born an optimist, I believe deeply in the power of gratitude, I am strong, patient and resilient, and I luckily inherited my mother's effervescence and my father's sense of humor and cynicism.

So, world, turn up that shitshow dial to eleven if you must. I—and the rest of us—can take it, even if we're sometimes weary.

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