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Saturday, August 05, 2017

Steadying This Beautiful Old House

Ok I’ve tried to write this blog three times now this week and all I keep writing is…ugh…SERIOUS stuff.  

Find your true self stuff, meaning of life stuff.  Or worse, WORLD EVENTS stuff.  

Like Donald, rolling back immigrants in a country BUILT BY IMMIGRANTS.  Everyone here who isn’t Native or brought over on a slave ship ARE THEMSELVES IMMIGRANTS.  

And I don’t know about YOUR friends, but none of MY friends had their jobs taken by an immigrant.  None of MY friends wants to mow grass, clean houses, or pick blueberries in 97 degree heat which is what the majority of immigrants are doing.

I digress.

I'm SO SORRY!  Come on Ange, the lighter side, you can do it!  

I just, every time I turn on the news I’m thinking, HOLY CRAP what is HAPPENING OUT THERE!?

And what can I do about it?

To be totally, totally honest I’ve always been a little wary of the United States as a whole.  Growing up in Canada, on the few trips we made to the US (mostly Maine, Bangor, and Maryland, and DC once or twice) I was always struck by two things;

One, the history of this country, from Washington to FDR to Lincoln to JFK to more currently Obama has always struck a chord of wonder deep in my imagination.  America IS amazing.  And wonderful.  And camelot-ish.

Two, it isn’t as safe as Canada.  At least, it never felt that way.  It was dirtier, and scarier, less accepting and less able to laugh at itself.  The US has always felt like the more serious older brother.  One you respected and admired but who you always felt wasn’t necessarily more wise.

Admittedly I developed this opinion as a child, and for better or worse it has always stuck with me. 

I am still stupefied that a hospital here could refuse to care for someone if they didn’t have money or insurance.  And that as a country, people would on the whole be ok with that.  Or that an urgent care clinic could charge $1,500 for an ear infection. 

Then agree to take it down to $300, because I called and complained.  (If it only cost $300, why would you charge $1,500?)

I can’t find the lighter side to that.  Profit over people mystifies me.

But anyway, I LIVE here now.  Probably forever.  My two kids are American.  They’re also half white, half Taiwanese.  (And 100% adorable)  They’re growing up in a country where the NAACP recently issued a travel warning to minorities visiting Missouri.  

Because, racism.  And violence.  

They’re growing up in a country that, under Trump, has seen a dramatic rise in hate crimes and racist intimidation since his election. (Southern Poverty Law Center - NY - Nov 17, 2016)

I can’t find the lighter side to that, either.

I’m here wiping bums and noses and fetching snacks and juice and doing my best to teach my kids compassion, and manners, and that love really does conquer all.  And that everyone is the same inside, no matter what they look like on the outside.

And it kind of feels like I’m painting the walls on the inside of a house that’s slowing falling apart.

I do have hope.  I have hope these incidents are inspiring lots of other people to come out against racism where before they may have stayed silent.  

Don’t let the bullies win people.  Our kids are depending on us to help make the world they will inherit a better place.  

Let’s not just paint the walls.  Let’s hammer back a few nails, put up a few more beams and steady this beautiful, creaky old country.  For ALL of us.