Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Families belong together.

This morning, as we turned on the television in our Airbnb to watch the World Cup, the news came on because that was what the guests before us had been watching. Everett caught a glimpse of the national news for probably the first time in his life. MSNBC was covering what is taking place at the border in Texas, and Everett was intrigued and confused. “Mom, why are those kids in cages?” he asked repeatedly, because despite how I was trying to explain the situation to him, no answer could justify why there were children in cages in our country. He just kept saying, “But mom, why are the kids in cages?” I truly think that kids have all the answers in life. It is so obvious to a four year old that children should not be locked in cages separated from their parents, no matter what. I couldn’t help but cry as I tried to explain this inexplicable situation to my four year old.


I took a shower by myself today, without a child in the tub or bathroom with me, which is a rarity. About a minute into my shower, Everett ran in and said, “Mom, are you almost done?” I responded, “Everett, I have only been in here for a minute,” slightly annoyed. He said, “But mom, I already miss you.” I couldn’t help but think about the children missing their parents and the fear and trauma they must all be experiencing.


Cambria rode a pony for the first time today. She loved it, until the horse started moving in a direction away from her family. Her excitement turned to sadness about ten seconds into the pony ride, not because she was scared of the pony, but because she wasn’t near her parents. We were quickly reunited with a teary Cambria, and once again, I couldn’t help but think about the children at the border.


My worst nightmare imaginable is to be separated from my children. My worst nightmare is to have my children’s safety threatened simply because of where we live. 

My thoughts lead me to thinking of my own privilege, about how I have done nothing to earn my safety and comfort. It is through luck that I was born where I was. I put myself in the shoes of the parents fleeing their home countries, and hell yes, I would do just what they are doing to try to keep my family safe. 

Like many of us, I have had a heavy heart lately seeing what is taking place at the border as children are separated from their families. I am still trying to have a practice of daily journaling, and I have had a hard time lately, because as I sit down to reflect, anything that comes to mind seems insignificant compared to the injustice taking place around us. As I sat down to journal today, I couldn’t help but just get all of this out. I don’t have anything to add to the conversation; other people have said things and posted much more eloquently than me. 

All I have to say is that I, too, have had a heavy heart witnessing this injustice. Here we are living comfortably in our bubble, on vacation nonetheless, enjoying our days of extravagantly spending all of our time together as a family.

I feel helpless, although we are trying to do what can. Contacting our representatives seems like such a small act in the midst of such a large injustice, and yet we do. Donating money doesn’t feel like enough, and yet we do. We will be out of town for the protest in San Diego, although I wish we could show up to support it. We are looking for ways to show up for events while we are on vacation.

Seemingly through the pressure of people speaking up, Trump has felt a need to change course, and I can only hope that if we keep speaking up in the ways we can, progress will continue to happen. Today for the first time ever, I contacted President Trump and encouraged him to make further progress to keep families together and uphold human rights. 

If we each do what we can, whether it’s through a social media post, contacting our representatives, donating money, or showing up for a protest, I have to believe we can make a difference. As for me and my family, we will keep speaking up.

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