photo by Sheri Dixon

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Blink of An Eye

My son and his friends are looking at Denmark. Or the Netherlands.

Not for a visit, but to move there.

I'd say, "I don't know how I feel about that" but it'd be a lie. I know exactly how I feel about that.

I'm excited at the youth and strength behind such a plan- I remember (not that I'm that old)having much the same thoughts as they do, albeit less farther-focused. My main thought was to get the hell out of Wisconsin. Took me a while, but I did it and have never looked back. Actually crossing the US border and staying across never occurred to me.

I'm proud that we've raised a human with such an independent bent. A free-thinker who knows more about current events and social issues, politics and world events than most adults do. Someone who loves his country but is not brainwashed to believe that the US is #1, that the US must remain #1 and that everyone on earth wants to be us and all other places are backwards shitholes. I'm proud as hell of that. He doesn't HATE America---there's a big ol' middle ground between screaming "We're #1!" while wearing a flag t-shirt and clutching an eagle by the throat... and yelling "Death to America!". Big. Ol'. Middle ground.

I'm terrified that once he boards a plane and is out of my Mama Bear reach, our economy and society will continue on the ungracious, unattractive and (unless something changes RADICALLY QUICKLY) inevitable sliding into the social squalor that is the morning after for all societies that become 'too big for their britches' and I'll never see him again. I do not believe we are in danger of a Mad Max No Food Zombie Apocalypse. But we're NOT #1 anymore, we never WERE the gloriousness of a Leave It to Beaver fictitious utopia, and we're looking like a B-film starlet after one too many cosmetic procedures in a frantic attempt to still look 21 at age 51 instead of...Katherine Hepburn at age 81- gorgeous and not giving a shit, just going about living life.

So it scares the hell out of me.

But then I realize...if we are (and we are)headed for an age of disgruntled frumpiness and depressed economics, still steered by bullheaded backwards financial initiatives and punitive social agendas...where does that put my son, as an American in America?

If he can get college-educated and come out of it with zero debt (and he can in Europe), if he can get a job that can support him and won't kill him with low pay and dangerous workplace conditions as well as short work weeks and hours (and he can in Europe), if he can have access to health care without paying almost 20% of his gross pay in premiums (you see where this is going...), then that's where he needs to be. That's where I WANT him to be.

Until the US gets its head out of its far-right, pseudo-religious, egotistical ass, the only place my son and others like him will have even a marginal shot at having a life that is the Norman Rockwell American outside these borders.

And that's a fucking shame.

Last night my son was looking for a 'new' book to read- he'd just finished up the last of the Game of Thrones series and like his parents he HAS to have a book in front of him at all times. He was going through all the shelves in the house that hold a total of about a thousand books- very few fiction other than the 'classics'. He found a medical guide (huge old tome) that was 'new and revised' in 1905. He found a little book of PHOTOGRAPHS (it was capitalized just like that because PHOTOGRAPHS were such a new thing) from a 1800's World's Fair. He found a box of crystals and yak hair that'd been sent to him for his birthday half a dozen birthdays ago.

He looked around this log cabin and said, "Our house is full of weird shit." And he smiled.

The world is full of weird shit, son. Most of it delightful, intoxicating and smile-inducing. I'm so happy we've taught you that, and I hope you never forget it.

Step across the borders and grab the American Human Dream wherever you find it- for yourself, your friends, and all humans.

A blink of an eye ago, I was fifteen and eager to find my spot in the world. Now I'm watching my son do the same. My great-grandparents came to this country looking for a better life and the next two generations stayed put in Southern Wisconsin. I left and came to Texas and now my Texas-born is looking even farther afield.

He has his roots here in a log cabin in East Texas full of weird shit.

No telling where his wings will take him.

1 comment:

  1. I have no doubt he will fly and change the world...he's got this.