On the mourning [sic] after I was brought up short by this common lawn sign ~

img_6967It seemed to me then that few really comprehended the tragedy our children were experiencing. Parents got it, at least the “attached” ones; I had been sympathizing all day with multiple, numerous parents who had all been wide awake at four am rocking and comforting, holding children – even teenagers – who simply could not sleep. Inconsolable they trembled, they cried, they were just so fearful that sleep would never come. They seemed not to have developed the coping mechanism of maturity that enables sticking one’s head in the sand or underneath the covers and simply willing oblivion in the form of sleep.

I was always enamored of the parenting philosophy that exhorted not lying to children with false platitudes about “everything being OK” when reality dictates that no one knows what will be, OK or otherwise, and moreover, our children never were so dumb as to not know this. The prudent course, the philosophy urges, is to assert no untruths, just be there, rock in solidarity and sympathy, hold and touch and breath together.

By now I think it is clear to many the urgency and fear our children reflexively expressed that night. So many of us adults thought to count to ten, wait, give patience and forbearance a chance. Our children felt otherwise.

Time belies the wisdom of “maturity”, sometimes. The rogue’s gallery of advisers and actors is a searing signal of the pain to come, the nail in the coffin of America’s lower 99%, and all quite independent of the bogus claims of the orange scalawag.

It’s not new, any of this. People have been warning against the aspirational lure of two-birds-in-the-bush trumping one-in-hand since time immemorial. People abdicating their best interests in favor of a pipe-dream is one of mankind’s older stories, as is the corollary pain of choosing the lesser of two evils: Ecclesiastes IX – A living dog is better than a dead lion.

Day after day the Golden Rule remains unassailable, if reworked for Californian car-culture: Drive Like Your Kids Live Here. They’re watching you, they’re learning from you, your job is to secure their future. In their future lies your best interest.

But with this election we have repudiated our children alongside the parable. We have sanctioned separation and segregation, different rules for different folks; a Wall.

This is a time of crisis, to decide whether the fear is substantive or metaphoric, whether this is the second for action or watchful waiting.

I approve the advice from one child’s teacher: “Brush Your Teeth And Do Your Homework”.

But I wish I knew how to steer clear of our children’s fears.