I don’t know how to start this post. Lately I don’t really know how to start any post or any conversation or any sentence, because it feels like the giant elephant in the room is standing on my chest. Most days the news is so rapid fire that it’s hard to breath and even harder to avoid. I’ve deleted Facebook off my phone for the sake of my sanity. And I’ve put myself on a restricted news diet only in taking so much per day.
I’ve spent a lot of time actually looking at my kids lately. Not in the “yes, honey, that’s lovely, now let Mommy go back to making dinner” way but in the lets sit here and just be together and smile and laugh and cuddle because these are the things that really matter. Grace’s laughter, Jack’s wise beyond his years insight, the way I see so much of me in him and so little of me in her.
Divided seems like the word these days. Divided, wall, ban.
Life was easier before we saw everything our friends “liked” or didn’t “like” on Facebook. When we weren’t bombarded by people’s political opinions day in, day out when all we really wanted was to mindlessly peak into our friends lives.
But the more I think about walls and divides and bans, the more I think about the things we have in common.
We want our children to grow up in safe neighborhoods. We want them to have good schools and play sports and make friendships that will last. We want them to run and play and not worry.
We want to watch them score touchdowns and win spelling bees. We want to see them sing in their school shows and we want to hold their hands as they head off to school. We want to see them off to prom and watch them graduate. We want to dance at their weddings and someday hold their children.
We want to go on vacations even if they are short and local. We want to sit on the beach with a cold beer in our hands, our toes touching the ocean and not worry for just a moment.
We want just 5 minutes to ourselves and laundry that washes itself.
We want our kids to be healthy and strong and safe and loved. We want our parents to be healthy and see their grandkids grow up.
We want good jobs and to not have to work so many hours to pay taxes and healthcare and childcare and all the things that make adulting so hard sometimes.
We want clean air and safe food and to feel like those we’ve elected have our back.
We want friends to laugh with on Saturday night and friends who will celebrate our triumphs and be there in our failures. We want time with our families, more time than seems possible.
We want lots of things and we probably want these things more than we want any policy, program or politician. I think if we talked, maybe just about the easy stuff; our love of This Is Us, our favorite wine on a Saturday night, or that amazingly cute thing our daughter did last week, that we just might find that there is more common ground than we think.