Sunday, December 16, 2012
Last night, Sophie, Oliver and I had the great good fortune to spend the eighth day of Hanukkah with some new friends. Henry was playing lacrosse in Santa Monica and The Husband was working, but the three of us were feted with delicious food, including the best latkes I've ever had, an interesting discussion of the Hanukkah story, and much laughing over the shouts and loud voices of three boys. Sophie had a pretty huge seizure at some point in the evening, but our friends had the perfect couch for having a seizure, and their response was calm and caring and a witnessing, which is all our family asks for and which is so often difficult to do. Thank you, dear Jenny and Mark and your adorable boys!
Today is another gray and rainy one in Los Angeles, and it's with a heavy heart that I continue our Christmas traditions of baking and the more mundane Sunday ones of laundry and straightening up. I want to walk down the middle of the street with other mothers and perhaps tear at our hair and wail. I want to scream, loudly, about the terrible storm of mental illness, obscene amounts of guns and ammunition and those who profit from them, the seeming indifference of many to the justified measures for eighteenth century fears that have no place in a twenty-first century world, and a culture so steeped in violence that it justifies the most vile of entertainment as art. Two weeks ago, I argued with someone over the United States Senate not joining the rest of the world in ending discrimination against and ensuring equality for all disabled people. I told her that I was ashamed of our country, and she told me that this was unfortunate as we lived in the greatest country on earth and the freest, and I could only think in the loneliest sort of ways how little I agreed and how I felt more connected to the world in general than to this fellow citizen. This is a time where pride in country has no place and where humility and reckoning and love of humanity supercedes all. But I wonder at the ties that bind us, how differences are becoming more and more stark.
I want to walk down the middle of the street with other mothers and perhaps tear at our hair and wail.
Instead, I'll sigh. I'll wring my hands, tighten my lips and toast coconut. I'll wipe Sophie's drool and wonder whether her weight gain is causing the step-up in seizures and whether I might need to adjust her medication. I'll be grateful again that The Friend Who Loves Jane Austen made it safely to Los Angeles with Sophie's medication in hand. I'll admonish Henry and Oliver to clean up their room and separate their darks from their whites. I'll sit at the dining room table and help Oliver to trace out the rooms in his house, 1 cm = 1 inch, while Aimee Mann sings of snow and Christmas, the twang of guitar merry and bright.