Tuesday, July 16, 2013

That Mom part 3

There is that Mom. The one across the Bay that said goodbye to her 8 month old baby last night. There is also that mom, the one across the country in Florida who might have been holding out for some sense of justice or peace around her 17 year old son's murder but isn't getting any.

I am this mom. I am the mom that just dropped her 5 year old off at camp for the fourth week in a row and came home to pee laundry, a 3/4 built shed that needs to be finished, a kitchen that needs to be cleaned, medical supplies that need to be brought in from the stoop, and doctors and therapists to call for scheduling new and old appointments.

But all I can do is cry. My heart hurts for Michele who's daughter Cora is finally at peace. My heart hurts for Sybrina Fulton who did not get any justice and won't get to see Trayvon off for his first year of college, graduate, get married, have a kid etc. My heart hurts and my eyes won't stop showing it.

My head hurts too. I don't understand. I don't understand why some of us get to measure out blended food to be tube fed to our kids and some of us simply measure out grief and mourning. I get to stop at the right amount. Grief does not come with a set measure for each moment of the day.

Simon is growing and changing everyday. It is a privilege to get to watch him. It is also held sometimes in immense guilt.

Guilt for having the child that is doing better when we know so many other children that are in decline or are lost to disease and medical limitations.
It's guilt around having resources and access that other children and their families don't have. It's my whiteness and my middle class resources that keep Simon alive on some level that other children will not have and may or may not be shot, incarcerated, living in poverty/violence because of its absence.

None of it is fair or just. I don't know why I deserve it and other mothers don't. And I feel like there is nothing to do about it.

That's not completely true. I can drop off care packages to hospitals, I can attend rallies, sign petitions, facilitate support groups and write. But where I feel helpless is in the meta sense. I cannot find a cure for heart defects or disease. I cannot dismantle institutionalized racism and other oppressions. But I live with both every day. I've known about the latter for the last 25 years. I've known about and lived with the former for the last 5. They both take lives away. But not mine or my son's (so far). I live in privilege.

 In this moment, Simon, Jaime, and I have the privilege of being "unaffected". We live a relatively asymptomatic life when it comes to these two. Yes, Simon is tube fed but he's going to get over that. His heart function is in the normal range. His developmental delays are shrinking in leaps and bounds.  We could hear the helicopters last night but no windows were broken in our neighborhood. Simon wore his hoodie to camp this morning and I knew that no one at camp would think anything of it. We will continue to have excellent support from our school district, hospital, bank, places of employment, etc, etc. Our family is finally recognized by the federal government and we don't have to worry about voting rights and zoning or whether Simon will be allowed to be cared for and accepted into his family and community because of his ethnicity.

But more than anything, Simon is alive today. He will stay at camp until 3:30 and then go out for dinner with his two Moms and his dear friend Djaffar. He will eat as much as he can by mouth and then get the rest supplemented with a tube feeding. He will take his meds at night and hopefully make it to morning in his own bed...or he will climb into bed with us at 3:30 and I will groan for the lack of sleep that will come from having him plastered to me for the next three hours. Simon will wear his black hoodie and only be told how much it makes his blue eyes pop. He will begin to understand how handsome he is and hopefully be humbled by it. He will walk through doors that are held open for him, metaphorically as much as literally.
He will know that he is a white male in a world set up for white males and hopefully know when and how to use that piece of his identity to shed light on AND dismantle exclusivity and oppression.

 He will continue to savor each and every day as it comes; with meds, with two moms, with whiteness, with connectivity, with mistakes made, with hard times, with lean times, with abundance, with all of it.

And I will be that mom. The one that gives thanks for having him do all those things. In the exact same moment I will never ever forget Michele and Sybrina and Cora and Trayvon and all those that have gone before and that will come after.

Some pictures of our days.

Sitting and Spinning with Levi!

I think she loves me MM does!
and I love her too I do!

Shucking corn with Mamaw

I will eat you Mommy!
 Ok, Ok, I won't eat you. Just keep tickling me!

And this is how you relax like a Fitch

So much fun with MM and PopPop!

 My blazer still fits

I make this look goooood.

Alameda Beach photo shoot- A boy, his Mic-Key button, and some angry birds underwear

We may have stopped horse back riding for the moment but there's always Mama!

Mmmmm Soup!

No where's the pork and shrimp! (please note the empty bowl!)