A Light That No Band of Old Men Can Dim

iphone-MYkh

I usually blog about parenting and Vampires with posts that are funny, and weird, and entertaining. I’ll get back to that soon. Lately I’m thinking about other things. I’m thinking about real horrors that our kids face.

Parenting isn’t always easy, especially when the world seems to have gone insane and you don’t have the answers. You’re the parent. You’re supposed to know everything, even when your kids think you know nothing – they still want you to know everything.

I’ve been writing about parenting on this blog since 2012. I take parenting seriously. I think about it a lot. I practice what I preach. My kids are amazing. Their friends are amazing.

So what’s the problem?

My daughter was born in 1999, the same year as the Columbine High School shootings. The first time I heard the elementary school was having lock down drills in case a bad man with a gun came to the school I never imagined how sad that would make me. Lock down drills where little children have to learn how to hide from bad men with guns. We don’t live in a war zone. Our children shouldn’t have to live in fear of men with guns.

There were more shootings. Some were at schools, movie theaters, on military bases, at colleges, and at work.

I was in tears the day I picked up my children and told them about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. All of those beautiful little children, all of the adults who cared of them gone. Just gone. For no reason. No parent wants to discuss something like THAT with their own children. But we have to. It is the world they live in.

Then there were more shootings. People said to wait until we’d mourned. But we didn’t have time to stop mourning – we’d been mourning since 1999.

In 2016 everyone was shocked at the shooting at a club in Orlando, Florida. Forty nine people were murdered. It was senseless. It was unbelievable. All of those beautiful people killed.

We all know what happened in Las Vegas in 2017. We’re still not over that one. That was one of the biggest WTF moments in American history. It was so unbelievably tragic.

That is the world our kids live in.

So when we heard about the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida it was almost too much. It was too much.

Still there are those who choose to troll the teens from Parkland who speak out. There are politicians who criticize them and their parents and teachers for mobilizing, organizing, and saying ENOUGH.

2016 was an educational year for teens. Their parents, teachers, and every adult they knew had never seen an election year like that. Our children were exposed to hate, bigotry, and ignorance the likes of which we thought we’d never have to deal with.

Yes, I had hoped that by 2016 kids wouldn’t be dealing with hate, bigotry, ignorant anti-science dim-witted idiots, misogynist religious zealots, people who spoke of the good-old-days that were not great but horrible.

I took teens to see Bernie Sanders so they could experience a political rally. The kids had fun. There were quite a few bands and other singers. It was a good experience. The Trump rally wasn’t safe. The Clinton Rally was at a bad time and not at a great location. We heard it was disorganized and the speaker, Bill Clinton, showed up a couple of hours late.

I volunteered to work in a polling place along with my daughter. All went well, except at the end of the night the woman who had the keys to the clubhouse that was used for the polling place started to spew racists remarks. She was NOT a poll worker. The club house was part of her community association. Anyway, she made crude racists remarks about those who were black and hispanic. She was white. She said it was ok for her to talk like a bigot (my words not hers) because her husband was Asian. All of us poll workers just listened almost in shock. Because we were all sworn in at the time we couldn’t make any comments. By the time my daughter and I got to my car to go home (after a 16 hour day) I was so upset by that horrible women’s remarks. My daughter told me not to let it bother me, but it did.

I didn’t like anyone who ran for office during that election. What I hated the most was that by the time we got to vote in California we had NO CHOICES. I didn’t want to vote for Trump or Clinton. Why had our political parties let us down. Money. It is all about who has the most money. It is never about the American people. That is not the lesson I want my kids to learn but unfortunately that is the only lesson I can teach them right now.

All of the hate and embracing of ignorance on all sides since the election has been horrible. This is not the world I want my kids to know.

So we need to change it. Our children need to know that THEY can change it.

I remember when I was a small girl and asked my father, “is there always a war going on?” I don’t even remember his answer. I just remember the I don’t have an answer look on his face. Now that I’m a parent I find myself without answers.

Do not disparage today’s youth. They are going to stand up and fight. Not with guns. Not with knives. Not with poison. They will fight with truth. They will fight with facts. They will fight with passion. They will fight with their vote.

Their light will shine bright. It is a light that no band of old men can dim.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/dim/

Teens

Half a dozen teens ate Tide Pods.

About half a million people tweeted about it.

Twenty million believed that half a million kids were eating Tide Pods.

Thirty Million posted memes on Facebook about kids eating Tide Pods.

Those same people are now criticizing kids for speaking out against school violence because they believe that all teens eat Tide Pods.

This is what is wrong.

Everyone WANTS to judge.

Nobody THINKS about these things.

Nobody asks the teens they actually know about this shit.

People are stupid.

I’m sick and tired of it.

STOP EMBRACING IGNORANCE.

THIS is why Vampires sleep during the day. It has NOTHING to do with sensitivity to light. It is because people are stupid and they rush to embrace ignorance.

How do we change this?

Listen to young people for a change. They are our future. Listen to old people. Sometimes they have good ideas and nobody listens to them anymore.

Or maybe just shut the fuck up for a change and THINK before you post. Listen before you post. Have an original idea.

Go back to bed. Clean out your garage. Take a deep breath. And realize that there are different ideas and opinions out there to every problem.

This is for ALL issues.

In June all of the kids I had watched grow up will now be voting.

ALL OF THEM.

I wish them the best. 

They are our future.

We’ve let them down.

Let’s hope they won’t let us down.

 

Talk to your kids. Listen to them. Don’t talk AT them. Talk with them. Engage them. Force the conversations. Spend time with them. Hug them. Love them.

Don’t parent by accident. Your children deserve more than that.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

What we talked about today before school… I wish it wasn’t true…I wish it wasn’t again…

27868081_10155773413492702_1788679614296621858_n

For years, since 2012 I’ve been posting on what I talk about with my kids on the way to school, and now that they’re in college just what we talk about.

Today we talked about:

  • The school shooting in Florida
  • Snarky shit about people who live in Washington DC
  • The Olympics

School Shootings:

27973291_10215310182698618_2142073823464310448_nThis morning I hugged my child as she left for her college classes. I almost cried.

My daughter told me not to worry. She has told me that so many times that I can’t remember. She said “I’m in college. Don’t worry.”

I told her, “Virginia Tech, UC Santa Barbra, Roseburg, Oregon.”

Another school shooting. Another mass shooting. I don’t know as a parent how much more I can say. How much more can I cry for the loss and for the families and friends left behind.

How many more of these posts do I have to write? I almost didn’t write this one. But I must.

Another school shooting. This time, on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland Florida, Seventeen People Were Murdered – SHOT WITH A LEGALLY PURCHASED GUN THAT WAS MADE FOR KILLING PEOPLE.

More parents, friends, and families are mourning tragic losses today. This has to stop. It is unacceptable. Thoughts and prayers aren’t going to help. We’ve tried that already. Your vote, your phone calls to your representatives, and your LOUD VOICES, are a needed. Never again. Shout it out NEVER AGAIN.

We’ve all seen the horror of the reports in Florida. Students filmed the attack. One girl said, “I watched my friend get her face blown off.”

Seventeen dead.

This wasn’t a foreign terrorist. It was a kid that was so fucked up that he couldn’t act like a human. It was a kid who followed hate groups. It was a kid who proudly wore one of Trump’s Make America Great Again hats. This isn’t making America great. And we all know Trump will do nothing because as his son puts it “Trump’s America is Red, White, and Green.” Follow the NRA money.

We need law enforcement to follow up when people are concerned about what they see on social media – yes, this recent shooter and others have been reported  BEFORE the crime and nothing was done about it. If you want I’ll make a list. Right now I can think of the Isla Vista killings (guns and knives were used.) It was planned. The killer rejected mental health care his family provided. His family alerted the police. The list goes on and on and on.

The Columbine shootings happened in 1999 the year my daughter was born. She is now an adult. She has NEVER known a time without regular mass shootings, and school shootings in the United States of America.

The should not the our children’s NORMAL. It is anything BUT normal.

Of course our leaders DO NOTHING.  They don’t want law enforcement agencies to take threats seriously. They don’t want any kind of meaningful gun control, they don’t want to address mental health, they don’t want anyone to dare talk about hate groups, they don’t want to make adults who let minors have access to guns share responsibility for crimes, they just want to say meaningless works like “thoughts and prayers.”

Thoughts and Prayers have NEVER prevented a school shooting. They have never made loved ones feel better. They are EMPTY words that now sound like insults.

I’ve written more than one article about mass shootings, including school shootings (links below). I always hope that each will be the last, but it never ends. This is the world my daughter grew up in. Today as she left for her college classes she told me not to worry – but I do worry. EVERY SINGLE DAY. This is not right. I am so heart broken today about what happened yesterday in Florida that I don’t have it in me yet to write a blog post about it.

I DID contact all of my representatives in the Senate and Congress. I will contact the local representatives today.

Below are links to just a few of the articles I’ve posted since 2012 about mass shootings in the United States. Contact those in government who represent you. This has to stop.

Sandy Hook: https://vampiremaman.com/…/in-honor-hug-your-kids-talk-to-…/

Las Vegas: https://vampiremaman.com/…/04/a-reflection-on-horror-and-h…/

Marysvile, Washington: https://vampiremaman.com/…/a-shooting-threat-at-our-high-s…/

Orlando: https://vampiremaman.com/2016/06/12/today-is-sunday/

we-have-met-the-enemy1

 

  • Snarky shit about people who live in Washington DC

It isn’t about Republicans or Democrats. It is about ALL of them. They don’t care about the people who elect them. All they care about is the status and the money. It is all about the next campaign.

Men who were born in 1959 act as if they were born in 1859. They act like it is 1918 not 2018.

We all agree that Washington D.C. is full of old boys who act like assholes and sexist pigs 24/7 because they can get away with it. Their mommies are all dead, their daddies were sexist pigs. It is what they know. It is what they’ve been allowed to get away with because they are rich and they are bullies.

Then I think of Melania Trump. I can’t even imagine how much she must hate her husband in real life. I can’t imagine what she is thinking when she hears about her husband having sex with porn stars (and others no doubt) while she was home with a newborn infant. I can’t imagine what she thinks when she knows her husband has always chated on her. I can’t imagine the disgust she must feel when Trump touches her.

Then again it is what she wanted. Her family got a free ticket to America. They live off of Trumps fortune. For some that might be a good deal.

A lot of political wives are like that. Had I been Hillary Clinton I would have had the biggest bonfire in history on the White House Lawn when Bill was cheating. But then again, the love of money and power is sometimes more tempting than a healthy normal life.

This is where I’m going with this… these people, men and women in Washington DC are so out of touch with reality that it seems like some sort of weird alternate universe that they live in. The know everything about low class and NOTHING about the Middle Class.

But back to our current First Lady (who would have looked so much better without all of that needless plastic surgery) I know what her current favorite songs must be. You can listen below.

  • The 2018 Winter Olympics

This morning we talked about ICE SKATING. Oh my goodness. I’m just going to post a video. This is so beautiful that you’ll cry for all the good reasons.

Yes, I’m so off today I can’t write much of anything, so just watch this.

The Olympics have been wonderful. We’re following and cheering for everyone there.

That’s it for today. I have to go hug my dog.

And what I can’t stress enough: TALK TO YOUR KIDS. Talk to your kids. Listen to them. Value their opinions. Teach them what is right and wrong. Teach them compassion. Teach them to be strong. Hug them. Kiss them. Protect them. Treasure them. It doesn’t matter if they’re babies or in their sixties – do all these things. Always.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

15036555_10209176663587527_1028628276436441580_n

A shooting threat – at our high school today

Halloween is almost here so…

I’d seriously planned, and still do, to post a story about my usually collection of Vampire friends and musings, but right now I have to talk about high school and what is happening today.

This isn’t going to be a post that changes your life. It isn’t especially written well or entertaining. It is just my own feelings about today.

On Friday tragedy stuck a high school in Marysville, Washington in the form of another senseless and tragic school shooting. This morning I heard on the radio that another student had died from her injuries.  My heart breaks for her and her parents. There was no reason for this to happen.

Then around 7:30 am this morning my phone rang. It was my daughter’s school. In a recorded message the school principal said there had been a threat. A threat that there would be a shooting today, October 27, at the school. The kids are all in school. Sheriff officers are standing guard. My daughter is texting me in between classes.

I know she will be safe but I’m a nervous wreck (I look calm but I feel sick.)

I think of all of the kids at her school of around 2,500 students. That is about the same size as the Marysville school. They’re all of my kids in a way. All of our kids. I can’t imagine harm coming to any of them.

My daughter has been texting me all morning, between classes, about what everyone is saying. She asked for me to call the office and ask for an early dismissal. I bet all the kids are doing that. No chance I’ll honor that request. But if I thought there was a real threat today I would call.

Today it is just a bluff, I hope.

There is no answer for shootings.

 

  • If you have a gun lock it up. Keep it locked at all times. No excuses.

 

  • Talk to your kids. Talk with your kids. Let them know the value of life. Let them know that any rough times and hard feeling will pass. Let them know that fleeting anger will pass. Talk to them about their feelings. Talk with them. Listen to them so if they do have a problem they will go to YOU and not resort to violence, self harm, drugs or other destructive behavior. It is so easy to brush off feelings. It is so easy to label people. Listen. Support. Love. Guide. Be there for them without judgment.

 

And today as always, hug them. Hug your kids so tight they tell you to stop. If they don’t live with you all the time or they’re away at college or anywhere else CALL THEM and tell them you love them.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and students in Marysville, WA.

My thanks go out to the teachers and administrators at my daughter’s school and the law enforcement officers who are there today.

 

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman