My mornings usually start the same. My adorable 18 month old wiggles in tight to me, and greets me with a sparkling smile and squeak when I whisper to him "good morning my Baby". His little face gives me a half smirk with eyes still closed shut. He wants me to know he's not ready yet, and needs a second to prepare for his day. We co-sleep, and have since the day he reluctantly exited my body. At first it was out of necessity, then due to survival, now its because it's what works for us. After the morning snuggles (which I live for), it is time for his full body maintenance check and baby stretch. He looks at his hands and gives them the once over, twisting his wrists, seeming pretty proud of the operation of it all. After a few rotations, and wiggle of his fingers, he gives his hands a few good solid claps and a big grin forms on his face. All good there. Next onto the eyes. He gives them a few over the top blinks and crinkles his nose, also followed by a smirk when he sees I'm watching. I ask him if he's my "Dino-Baby" (something that just came to be), and he gives me one deep throat growl, and another smirk, maybe another nose crinkle. Now its arms up in the air, then way out high above his head; tiny fists shaking with determination. The legs go out straight, then up in the air too. He now needs to figure out his level of morning sillies. Sometimes he rolls on his side, and slaps my chest to indicate he would like his breakfast in bed while he thinks about his daily plan. This morning, however, proved another milestone, and he decided to jump up from his knees and body slam my face! Shrieking with glee, he wrapped his arms around my neck and gave me the most intentional bear hug (I love him so much. My soul just melted). He wiggled his face in, and I kissed his neck, I love the way he smells. I got a mouth full of soft flowing locks and a returned kiss. He softly pinched the back of my neck, giving me three simultaneous pinches. We wrestled for a little bit to get the giggles out. Then I rolled him into his crib that is right beside the bed with a rail down, because it is now time to bounce! I sang him the "good morning song". I made it up and have sung it to him every morning since he was born to help him know the difference between waking up from nap time and night-nights. This moment right here, this interaction, before life comes peeking through the curtains like the morning sun, is what makes all the long nights and stress worth it. It's like listening to the birds chirping, total peace, bliss, complete and total bliss.
This morning, after our wrestling match was done, and the bounce has been had, my husband takes our son downstairs so I can get a bit more sleep, and they get some time on their own, just the boys. It's now that my thoughts start breaking into my state of peace. It's not money concerns that are creeping in, or if I'm making the right choice with my career decision. My thoughts everyday stay locked on how my heart breaks for the migrant children south of our border only dreaming of this comfort. I feel guilty, really guilty. I feel helpless. I feel their pain in my heart and stomach, and I hear the clock ticking away, so loud and so distinctly. Why am I so lucky? Why is this even considered lucky? Why is it because I was randomly born in Canada, do I get to experience these quite interactions in safety, while others are fighting for their rights to have their child returned to them? To be forced into the decision to travel such a dangerous path, with all of your possessions and comforts left behind is not something people do unless their lives are in danger. To think that once they have done the impossible, and survived the journey and found a moments peace, then to have your child ripped from your arms by a heartless Government Official who only sees this interaction as a job. This is what would break any good parent. It has broken these parents. To know at night your baby is in agony, crying out for you, only you, and you are unable to get to them and comfort them. This is what frays the soul into a million broken pieces. It's not okay.
Being a parent has changed me, in so many ways. I'm not the same person I was before my son. This change has made me even more awake, and hyper aware that as a parent, we are more alike then not. To feel this love, the honour to hold the title and share these private moments in our children's lives, it is everything, that can only be understood by the child's parent. No one looks at them the way you do. True unwavering unconditional love. You are each others world, you need to be with them, and you would do anything in your power to protect that.
So then, America, how many more nights do the children have to wake in the middle of the night, only to be greeted by dark sterile institutional walls? How many more nights do they cry out for the comfort of their parents safe embrace? Will the children you stole ever be reunited with their parents? Will they ever see them again. How is this legal? Why are you defending yourself?
"You are My Sunshine, My only Sunshine. You make Me happy when skies are gray. You'll never know dear, how much I love You. Please don't take My Sunshine away"
I care. The Trumps asked the world, so I want them to know, I care a lot. I care so deeply that I can't think of anything else. I watch the news and wait for the new headline. What is going to cause my heart to crack today? I care that a racist regime is in power, and believes they are better than the migrant families who are only looking for the right to protect their children. That is all these parents are doing. Fighting for their children, just as any parent, anywhere in the world would do. Why is being with your child and providing love and care a privilege? I care that it wasn't just a jacket, and they know very well it wasn't. Nothing they do is at random. I care that the people who support them will buy the excuse "it's just a jacket", because they don't want to be forced to care. I care about the callus statement of fascism it resurrects, and that most people will look the other way. They will contradict their actions with a selective justification from their Bible, and eat up the one line sound bite, convincing themselves that they don't need to care.
Zero Tolerance, America First.
Its apparent how uncomfortable she has been in her powder blue suit and white gloves, it's not who she is, and it's not what she signed up for. He moved her from a golden tower to a place lived in previously by an African American family, and she is now expected to like it, and to care. She's not dismissive of her husband because she is outraged with what he is doing. She is dismissive of her husband because he has inconvenienced her with other peoples problems, and she is bored with it all. This human rights problem is not her concern. I've listened to the plagiarized speeches delivered with zero heart. It's not who she is. Have you been a willing partner all along? Your actions make me think you must be on the same page. You must both believe to your core that you are better than everyone else. It is a game to you, a sick game where the "undesirables" are used as pons in the claim for more power. He will divide and dehumanize people. Making statements that immigration will only infest your country and bring crime and corruption. This is just a step at extermination. Because power and control is what he values the most, and he surrounds himself with people who believe the same. He attacks any media that opposes his message, because if you cannot control the message, then you cannot control the masses. Remember, accessibility to information allows for more knowledge, and knowledge is power.
They feel comfortable now. They feel they have balanced enough perceived good to stop pretending any longer. They have allies in powerful places that think the same way. Don't be fooled, They DON'T care, not about you, and not about the families suffering from this separation. They don't care even a little bit. How can anyone just walk into a jail for children, mock their pain, and leave uncaring of the total emotional hell they are living in? I will not humanize you, for you are a monster.
Be Best / I really don't care, do u?
I care the comment sections are firing back with "well we have children in our own country that need our help too." Yes, this problem exists, very true, but are you doing anything about that? I know you're not, so please don't throw your regurgitated justification at this problem, and please get out of the way of people trying to fix this current senseless tactic by Government. Time is not on the children's side. Anyone that has had a child knows time in a state of fear and stress is only damaging. I care that there is a severe lack of empathy not just for this debacle, but around the world. There is a lack of understanding that what is happening is a repeat of the worst parts of human history. Concentration camps, Residential schools, Japanese interment camps, Migrant detention camps, silence being forced upon the Black Lives Matter movement, Refugees being dropped in the Sahara Desert, rickety life boats not being allowed to dock for weeks on end at sea with no supplies. Have we all forgotten the image of Alan Kurdi, a 3 year old Syrian boy, his lifeless body folded over itself, face down on the beach in Turkey. That image is burnt into my memory and it rips my heart in half every single time I see it. He was someone's child (he could have been my child), full of love and trust, and now he is no more. What about the recent image of the crying Honduran child who is begging for her mother. She is in total distress and needs to feel safe in her mother arms. All she is feeling is the sterile harshness of the world she is entering into (she could have been my child). All of this, it's the same level of horror.
These acts of racism have set us back, and slowed our evolution as beings. I care that this ideal is spreading, and it's being feed. It's in Germany and Australia, France and England, Italy and Greece, don't be fooled Canada, it's here too. The Conservative platform is really embracing the Trump tactic, sending in their top guy. He speaks the same language and has the hair. We need to be stronger, and we have to stop giving them teeth to grab onto the perception we agree. Canadian Values? What does that even mean?
Why is it illegal to move from one country to the next? Do not take for granted the ease in which we obtain our identification and passports, it's not the same in every country
"Let them eat cake"
I care to the point of crying every time I comfort my son when he needs me, and give him the interaction he needs from me because I am right here. I care that I am able to sit down and write in peace and watch my son sleep peacefully in quite, in his room from my video monitor. I care that I will comfort him the moment he wakes up, and in contrast to my reality, there are thousands of children crying out for their parents this very moment. I care that we have more food in our stores than we could ever use, but there are people being punished for leaving a county that has absolutely no food in their grocery store. I care that the propaganda to cover it up is to throw names like drug dealer, terrorist, and sex trafficker to the voiceless. And those that are actually guilty of these crimes are protected. I care that the supposed Leader of the Free World takes any opportunity to rally the most hateful, and use fear as a tool to exploit and manipulate.
None of this is happening at random, or even due to circumstance. It's strategically calculated. They prey on the fact the majority of people are good, and could never fathom just what they have planned, so we don't always see it coming until is right on us. It's not the majority of the citizens you need to fear, it's the leaders that have been elected that allow this to continue or that rule supremely.
Do people actually believe Trump left the G7, a meeting designed to bring peace among nations, to "solve the problem" with North Korea? Do people really think after one meeting, Trump waved his tiny hands and Kim Jong-un said "Okay, take all my Nukes, lets be friends now"? No way, what's in it for them both? These are self-centered megalomaniacs, they cannot think in empathic world-inclusive ways. They do not possess the moral ability to do so. These talks are not to demilitarize, it's to create an alliance. Look at the Nations he's saddling up with. The Philippines, Russia, North Korea. These leaders rule with the belief people need to follow in line, not question authority, and be extinguished if they show any resistance. Trump admires KJ-u, he rules supremely, violently, and without remorse. He see that as success. It's apparent in how they treat people they are supposed to protect. I care that those that follow with their red hats proudly displayed, don't see it's not about giving them what they want, it's about telling them what they want to hear.
I care that people justify their actions from the sections of a book that was created to control the masses in the first place. Even the simplest and most pure words will be corrupted in the hands of greed. Didn't your Saviours parents flee their home for fear their child would be murdered by a King that ruled supremely? I care about the children who are being ripped from their parents, and told it's okay now, you are being adopted out. The damage of this is too far gone now. This is the model of Residential School, a most notable stain on Canadian history. Months to MAYBE find your parents? WTF!! Don't think the extermination of people he deems inadequate is off the table.
Love thy Neighbour?
When I was 8 months pregnant and trying to keep my levels of news exposer to a minimum in order to grow my happy baby. I was hyper aware of my reality, that this avoidance of reality was a privilege, I could tune out any time I wanted. I wasn't living in a war zone, I had food to eat, and a roof over my head. No one was knocking at my door telling me that my son would be born into a gang. We didn't have a lot of money, and at times went without extras, but I was never scared for my life, and never would be starving. The major headlines were about the Syrian War and boat loads of refuges fleeing a war they never wanted, Boko Haram and the abduction of hundreds of girls, Brexit, and finally the US election. So yes, I used avoidance to keep my anxiety at a controllable level because I couldn't handle much more. I also could not handle the guilt that felt being in a position to tune it out, to just not watch and take a break from the pain. The people this was directly affecting did not have that luxury.
When the night of the American election came to be, I snuggled up with a bowl of chips on the couch ready to watch the polls, and I thought to myself, tonight we will make history. I was optimistic because we had just booted out our Conservative Government in Canada. I thought this may be a wave of progress and change about to happen throughout North America. While the party I voted for didn't make it to power, I was just happy the current one was on the way out.
Look out little baby, your generation is going to have it good! I stayed up way past my pregnant bedtime, but the numbers were not final yet. I went to bed a combination of quite terror and bewildered. I convinced myself that what I was seeing unfold would all be a dream when I woke. I muttered this to my husband as we fell asleep and I told myself I would not check my phone until morning. My heartburn and general uncomfortableness made a solid nights sleep something of the recent past, so I knew I would be tempted to look when I woke from the excruciating pain of hot lava pouring up my throat. I woke up to my husband looking me dead in the face telling me "Trump won". I begged him to repeat himself because I'm quite a heavy sleeper when I get there, and this very well could be a lucid dream. I was stressed out when I fell asleep, so it's possible I manifested this into my waking thoughts. He repeated those horrible words again. I started to cry. I was in shock and disbelief that the majority of the American population (those that voted, which I think is very similar to ours that 50% of the 40% of people that vote control the outcome) ate up the bullshit that was forced down their throats and then they asked for more.
Give them a chance, we were told. Where are we right now in time? We are now actually debating the fact that there are innocent people, families separated, babies, toddlers, and children crying out for their parents because this fucking elitist narrow minded power hungry racist has the keys to the shop. I cannot take it any longer. Why can I hold my child close and other are being physically restrained from doing so. I'm no better or different then any of the people incarcerated right now. These are people that are fleeing their country because of crime, corruption, and government manipulation. They are trying to protect what is dearest to them, their children! I would do the same dam thing. Just even the thought of having my child ripped from my arms caused me intense distress.
Why are we even talking about this? Why is it legal to be racist in America?
I'm sick, I'm frustrated, and I am feeling every single cry that is being sent out into the universe by these innocent souls. There is no urgency from this Government to correct this wrong. Weeks have gone by, soon to be months, and months, and the people that are bending over backwards to reunite the families are not receiving the help they need.
Where are the Girls?
Where are the girls? Where are they going? There is a reason you only see older male children paying soccer with the headline, "Everything is Okay". They are less likely to be crying at that moment because they may actually be able to muster some courage during the rare occasion they're let out. A room full of toddlers in utter despair will not stop crying if a soccer ball introduced, only their parents can stop that cry. And by the way, those boys playing soccer, they are NOT OKAY. You think the planes full of children, being tucked away, untracked, are all going to upstanding caring people. I fucking think not, and it's this that is making me crazy. This government is creating so much chaos and disorder that we are distracted and do not know where to look. It's creating a perfect storm of uncontrollable madness that makes it seem like things will be better now that the original order is stopped. But let me tell you, it is not going to make it any better. I'm sure the shit that's happening behind closed cages, will now just happen right in front of the parents.
I feel so guilty for my normality. It's not even a privilege, it just everyday life. Everyday life any one of the affected would die for. Lets be real here, no one wants to be forced from their home, leave their country, their language, their family. People do it because there is no other way for survival.
So what can I do. I can not back down. I can make sure my feminist, vegan, over sensitive, caring about everything voice is heard. This is not the will of my sons generation. This is unacceptable, and I will not accept it. These people are guilty of only doing one thing - wanting a better life for their children. So if you can honestly tell me that a family that travels for months together, with little to nothing, speaks a different language then the country they end up in, are not super heroes, and deserve nothing but love an kindness, then you don't get it.
We are more alike than different. We are all connected. We are all loved by someone. We all need our families.
Don't be fooled. It's not okay.