Ever see that Claritin commercial where they put a filter over the camera lens to blur and mute the colors and then take it away and everything looks brighter, clearer, sharper and more colorful than real life should?
That’s how this week has felt for me. The hugs from the babies feel more poignant, the cuddles tighter, the sweetness of our time together thick like honey.
It’s partly because of the ’shift’ at the Yoga studio that’s doing it. I’m happier, they’re happier. Well, or they finally know what it’s like to not have me at their beck and call twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. For the first time in Benji’s entire life, I am gone from his presence for more than an hour or two. I think I feel…appreciated. It’s nice. I could get used to this.
In other news I shaved Toby down to eye-brow length all over his body. It’s too hot in Texas for fur. I’m fighting my itch to chop off all my hair again. It’s. Too. Hot. For. Hair. Probably I won't cut it to eye-brow length.
Don’t get me wrong I’d much rather blink away the sweat from my eyes while watering my plants at 6am than shovel snow in my work clothes before I can even leave the driveway.
For now. Ask me again in another 3 years.
Alright - It’s that time again, time for me to rant on about things I really have no business talking about but here’s my opinion and take it how you like. Or not at all.
There was another shooting at a high school near Galveston, about an hour or two away from me. Form what I read the (alleged) child-gun-man used guns his dad legally purchased. No previous history of mental illness as far as I can tell. I feel like prayers aren’t enough? That God’s like…Hey. DO SOMETHING TOO. My babies are dying here people.
Did I google bulletproof backpacks? Yes I did. Why aren’t we doing this? Why aren’t we installing bulletproof desks in the classrooms? I would pay anything to know they’re moderately safer.
I feel like the mental health flags and safeguards are unreliable, subjective. Gun laws clearly can be tightened. I feel like we’re failing these kids all around. Both the ones committing the crimes and the ones suffering from it. It isn’t just bullying - that’s been around since Cain and Abel.
We need to look at schools who have thwarted potential attacks and see what they did that worked. Clearly making guns less accessible to children would reduce if not the frequency at least the severity and scope of loss. You just can’t kill as many people as quickly with a knife.
That goes back to having laws that require you to store your guns in a locked case and the bullets in a separate, locked case. And you don’t leave the keys in the lock, you know? How would you feel if your kid, in a low moment, got into your guns and hurt themselves or someone else? What is worth that risk?
I don’t know what is going on in that family, or in that community but I can guess that the parents both of the children who died and of the child-killer are in a world of pain. Unimaginable.
It’s hard to say what could have prevented it. It’s clear it needs to be addressed in more than one way. Tighten gun laws. Increase the amount of school counsellors. Start learning about mental illness, about stress and coping and healthy ways to heal from trauma. What else would help? It seems like we need solutions, lots of them, just throw everything we can think of at the problem and see what sticks. But do it now. Document success. Repeat.
Like everyone else I see these huge, seemingly insurmountable problems and I get discouraged. Problems don’t go away by ignoring them though, or debating the right way to handle it. They go away when you face it, when you shut up, stand up and start banging away at it.
Alight, end of the rant here, for those who didn’t want to go down that rabbit-hole with me we’re back into safer territory.
But now I’m all ranted out and pleasantly tired and my bed seems like heaven right now. My fellow Canadians, I hope the warm weather stays. My fellow Texans…stay cool. And if you see a plucky little shaved head bobbing around the neighborhood, don’t be alarmed. It’s probably just me, finally succumbing to the urge to get that icky, sticky hair off my neck.