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