Sunday, October 14, 2007

Taking the boo out of Halloween

Dear sweet girls,

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina walloped New Orleans and surrounding towns and states. At the time, you were both fighting and kicking for space in my belly then so you won’t remember that. (Gosh, not much has changed now that I think about it.)

But, I do remember those days as the news grew more grim. I remember crying. The devastation was awful.

My sadness, though, had to do with the faces. The sad and angry faces of thousands of black grandmothers, moms, dads and all of their children haunted me as I sat in the comfort of my home. To think that days went by and those people were stranded with no food, no drinks, no hope of anything. Their homes were swept away; their lives changed forever.

And I cried because I couldn’t believe that I was bringing two more people into this crazy, over-crowded country that, in my mind, had already been shameful to so many in the world.

Then, I realized something; that I was growing two strong, beautiful and independent women who could change all of this. That thought is what guides me and Da! every day.

This does not mean I am not scared for you.

Our great country that professes freedom for all scares me. That The Today show can now monopolize the entire morning with its “pretend” news scares me. That Top News is about what the presidential – no, make that Presidential – candidates are wearing, not how they plan to get our country out of the global embarrassing mess that it has become.

That more than 3,800 young men and women – all of whom turned to the military as a way to become successful – have died for a war that no one even knows why we’re fighting in the first place. That Afghanistan is left floundering, that Osama Bin Laden is still conveniently MIA.

That 83 percent of the children attending schools in our city live in poverty and that that problem is all over the country and it is being ignored. IGNORED.

That the War on Drugs was never a war we intended to win and that it is still plaguing our communities, our families every. Single. Effin. Day.

That I find that my car has been rummaged through – probably by an addict – early in the morning while dew is still fresh on the window before yoga class. That that is something I no longer fear scares me. That I feel sorry for the addict because life is so hard and so painful and he needed the fix, the money, but he only got enough change to park his car – or bike -- for a half hour at a meter.

That anyone could be so desperate to choose our car, our home, to try and make a quick buck when we can barely afford groceries half the month.

That our street is littered with young women prostituting themselves for that same desperate need for drugs. That some days I’m walking you – my sweet, innocent daughters -- behind them as they flirtatiously wave at possible suitors. That they don’t see the ruin they are causing themselves and the rest of womankind.

All of these things, and much more, scare me.

But, do you know what scares me more than all of this … that some of my fellow American women, after more than 200 years of white men being in power, could be more skeptical of a qualified woman as president than a man.

This post was written for Scribbit's October Write-Away Contest.


Scribbit said...

Nothing like having a child to make you realize the horrible things all around us in the world. I never thought much about them as a child or a teen but becoming a mother made me suddenly realize what my children could be facing if they had been born into different circumstances.

Anonymous said...

Amen. I mean, Awomen.

Mama Zen said...

True. Every single word.

Shannon said...

You know what scares me? The little confidence we have in ourselves.

bella said...

Well said, with heart and intelligence, passion and thoughtfulness.

It is frightening to live in a world that is dominated and motivated by fear.

I'm with you on the woman thing. Sometimes I think we are just more afraid of the unknown the known even if it is shitty.

Your girls are lucky, graced, to have a mother who knows her own power as a woman.

LauraC said...

Why is it that I find everything you write to be so delicious, so awe-inspiring, so gorgeous? Love it.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

You tell it, woman! Oh, and while I'm here: Hillary '08! ;)