Friday, November 20, 2015

The well-written post (in my head)

I wrote a pretty good post in my head the other day. I have been going back and forth about the whole ISIS-Syrian refugee thing, and I thought I had finally landed in one place. But that gem went right out of my head, as do so many other thoughts, sadly.

So I am just going to bullet point things as they come to my mind, in no particular order.
  • My grandmother was Syrian (my dad was adopted); she came here with her parents when she was 2. I grew up with many Syrian relatives, though at the time I did not think of them in terms of their ethnicity. I also very much like what is considered a Mediterranean takeout place in my hood. The owner is Syrian. I like to pretend I am hanging out with my long-gone great aunts and uncles when I am there. I just wish he made kibbeh the same way Grandma did. I can't seem to find that anywhere. Sorry, but not sorry, but I can't hate Syrians (or anyone). 
  • I have a good friend who is Muslim. I won't hate those people either (or anyone).
  • I do, however, get that people are scared of terrorists bombing, shooting, etc. Some days I worry. Most days I don't. I have become quite desensitized thanks to my spending way too much time on FB and reading too many posts.
  • And I can also get people who are skeptical of people who fall under the above category. I try not to be that way. But when I drive home in the evenings through Homewood, one of the most violent neighborhoods in the city, I get a little nervous when I see people who "look suspicious" (which is often anyone other than a woman or child). And if I see a guy with a pit bull, I definitely worry (which is sad because our dog Sadie was a pit bull).
  • I don't think people should denigrate those who are afraid. The fear seems legitimate. As long as it does not cross into hatred.
  • I am for some type of screening for refugees. I don't think you should let anyone come into your country. 
  • That said, I fully realize that just because you screen someone that does not mean that person won't do bad things. But that also does not mean we should not try. I feel a similar way about gun control. It seems that the "bad guys" often seem to slip through the cracks (often by stealing weapons). But I still think we need to make it tough to get a gun. 
  • I read a post today about the screening process. If I find it, I will link it. Not easy at all. 
  • My heart breaks when I read stories about refugees who have suffered horrifically in their home countries and on their way out (e.g., HONY). It is hard not to feel compassion. I don't want to turn those people away.
  • But I also understand the people who complain that so many people here, including vets, are homeless. It is hard to justify letting more people in when we have many right here, right now who are sleeping on the streets or, at the very least, are well below the poverty line.
  • I am pro-life in every sense of the word. I don't support abortion, the death penalty, or killing in wars. But I understand people who do support any and all of those things. There are legitimate arguments. I can, at the very least, accept that a terrorist might have to die. You cannot negotiate with those people. It is the collateral damage that bothers me. Immensely.
I don't think there is any easy answer for any of these. But I do wish that people in general would stop being so negative and cutting down the other side. How does that help? And I also wish for compassion and kindness. Those things can really go a long way. I would rather show kindness and compassion to others, even if it turns out that a few of those people did not deserve it. That seems so much better than hating and treating others with contempt, especially when so few people deserve that.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Time

Lately, I feel as if time is flying by. Going at warp speed. Days, weeks, sometimes even months seem to come and go. I am reminded of what an acquaintance said to me at a PSU event a couple of years ago about having a child: "The first 12 years don't go so fast. But the next 12 years fly by." Those were not his exact words, and I don't recall the number of years he was referring to. But his point was that once your kid is a teen (or thereabouts), watch out.

I have really noticed it the past year. I sometimes look at my kid, who is now almost 5'3" and in 7th grade, and I wonder how she became this preteen. Where is the little girl who begged me to play Barbies and babies with her all the time? Where is the girl whom I had to check her homework every night? Where is the girl that I had to help dress, give a bath to, brush her hair, etc. Where is my little preschooler who would say, "This is my best friend mommy"?

Now, I apparently know next to nothing. J certainly reminds of how I "must be deaf" pretty often. I am no longer her go-to person when she is not sure what to wear. The vast majority of the time she would rather play on her ipad and text her friends.

I get why people have several kids. I still regret, pretty much weekly, that I had just one. But it is becoming more and more obvious why people keep procreating. When I saw young kids in Home Depot today building something for the kid's workshop, I thought, my child will never do that again. I had to walk away, I was so sad.

My child will never be excited for Santa or the Easter Bunny the way she was for so many year.

This year was the first year we did not go the pumpkin patch. I hate it!

Time, please slow down. And if you wanted to dial back a few years, that would be fine by me.