Monday, August 09, 2010
I don't wanna complain about the impending 100 degree temperates today, according to Accu Weather, another prediction on Channel 2 is more appealing at just 95 degrees, it's so much better than being cold, but our heat index is projected to be 105-110 degrees with stagnating humidity to consider as well. This won't stop me from working in the garden this morning, after I'd gone to the country gas station, pass by the biscuits made from white flour, and get JoJo the Pringles, he needs for a class project, run it by the school, and take a literal truckload of recycling.
Why no white flour? With the wheat germ and everything taken out of it, it has no nutritive value, will neither fill me up, nor ultimately do anything for me. I need higher octane fuel for this level of energy I disperse each day.
Grandma and Grandpa used to go once a month to the all-you-can-eat buffet at a Chinese restaurant with whichever of my my children that'd had a birthday that month. The kids loved this special treat and looked forward to it all month long. Grandpa just isn't able any more, rarely leaves his room, much less the house, as breathing is very difficult for him.
Grandma, wanting to continue this tradition, changed it to a once a year venture. She and I took everyone after church yesterday into the restaurant that put the crowd of us into a side room alongside two tables of Asians. I delineate the races only because this is an Asian restaurant, staffed by Mexicans, and full of Mexican patrons, Spanish was the predominant language I heard yesterday, yet country music, heavy on the banjos and fiddles filled the air. I was the only blonde in the building and I ain't even a real blonde.
My kids behaved beautifully, while I looked at the staggering array of foods that didn't terribly appeal to me, I wouldn't want to do this very often when I have a garden full of way more delicious, nutritious fare, but I did get very greasily full.
Coming home so dang stuffed I couldn't work, I felt sluggish as crud, thinking if this is the normal way to eat, I prefer to be weird. I sat between the fan and the Braves game, JoJo sucking away all my oxygen, very much like his older brother Edgar, clingy and domineering, shutting the fan on and off, while a deputy and I texted each other throughout the game. Knowing where they were seated at Turner Field, I kept my eyes peeled for a glimpse, as did my kids who've had her as their D.A.R.E. officer at school, a situation in which they interact positively with law enforcement.
"I know who she is," Jack told me yesterday, "I'm as tall as she is!" A thought that thrills him. He so wants to grow up and be a cop. This particular deputy really is tiny, I tower over her.
I stress quite a bit over a kid of mine who is in prison, knowing the threats he'd made against me, knowing I'd cut him totally out of our life, due to the violent, irrational severity of his mental illnesses, knowing there was no way to keep us all safe otherwise.
I'd gone to the altar yesterday basically to nail this specific fear to the cross, coming away emotionally and spiritually relieved, having been prayed over without any specifics spoken.
So why'd I pick up a copy of the book Kids Who Kill: Confronting Our Culture of Violence? Well, duh, mainly because I'd bought it for a quarter at a yard sale.
Less than 200 pages long, less about the psychological issues, rather they examined it from a cultural perspective, mentioning issues I certainly agree with such as kids today, "fear neither the stigma of arrest, nor the pangs of conscience, there are fewer moral restraints. Claiming the juvenile justice system has significantly higher rates of recidivism and lower rates of rehabilitation. Most brutal juvenile offenders often have little or no sensitivity to the value of anyone else's thoughts, feelings or rights, they are self-consumed or self-absorbed. That attitude is constantly reinforced by a lack of respect for authority and a topsy-turvy logic that makes it cool to be bad."
Having lived with juvenile offenders, having had more than a few locked up in RYDC for significant crimes, having thrown up in terror out in my own meadow, I just say a big ole Amen! and wonder how we have survived at all. I've earned every wrinkle that has collected around my scared and frightened eyes.
My stance on rap music is firm and clear, hating the misogynistic, violent, debased lyrics, "Not in my house, Buster Brown," I've bellowed to my children.
According to juvenile criminologists, "there are direct and obvious correlations between deleterious pop culture and youth violence. Indeed in virtually every case of violent teen crime there is evidence of heavy involvement in - and even deliberate imitation of- depraved lyrics in music, violent films, brutal video games, or decadent tv programming.
Essentially the entertainment industry is conditioning kids to kill. It is training them by wearing down their natural resistance, by inciting their baser passions, and by detailing the methods, procedures, and techniques of destructive behavior. In many ways, the mass media has unknowingly aped the military's training regimen for depersonalization.
Go back and re-read these words.
Even with me forbidding R rated movies to ever enter my home, banning rap music, doing my level best to protect their hearts and minds, you gotta know stuff still gets by me, they still sneak and disobey, maybe finding the thrill in the forbidden, getting one over on Mom, not having a clue that I have their best interests at heart at all times.
I ran into another deputy this morning, hollering at me standing by the gas pumps, "Hey girl! Where's all your kiddos?"
And I think I have it hard? How about them? How 'bout our under appreciated, terribly underpaid deputies? Facing criminals and liars, thieves and drug dealers all day long? I'd watched a highly praised new reality show Prison Squad, loved it, but wondered how those men and women could stand to deal with violent convicted felons constantly?
Where's the good in this world? It so often seems as if evil is winning.
Thank God I go to an excellent church, thank God for the spiritual power to motor through each day, for the strength to go on.
This book ended with a Calvin Coolidge quote, "There is only one form of political strategy in which I have any confidence, and that is to try to do the right thing - and sometimes be able to succeed.
Reading that aloud, I'd had those who'd ask me, "Who the heck is Calvin Coolidge?"
Yet they know who Justin Bieber is.
Worse still is the fact that I know who this young singer is.
Deep, deep sigh.
I have a lotta work ahead of me.
A phone call yesterday informing me Paloma'd been in an altercation there on barely her second day in the new facility. I grieve for this beautiful child who is so hampered, so hindered by her brain's unfortunate miswirings and emotional illnesses, the severity crippling her so terribly.
The school social worker just called me for an update on her and my other kids. He's also coaching at the high school, I'm very glad of that, plus he's been known to drop by the house and check on my kids, another layer of security and resource for me. "Look," I'd asked him as his office is in the high school, "I have six kids there this year, please keep an eye over them. It's CW, Allen, Chuy, Martin, Sabrina and Mayra."
He also reads my blog sometimes, but like a man, he might find my wordiness excessive here. I know you mamas relate, as you've told me so.
But back to Paloma, I can't even allow myself to ponder her future. I was stressed out enough just reading about Sharon's daughter, Ebony. Having known Sharon so long, I remember when this 18 year old was a baby in their family.
It's so ultimately and tragically sad.