It was an interesting, bitter-sweet, frustrating day today.
Last day of school. A pretty easy day to say the least. The two and a half hour day ended with an all-school assembly. The gym is packed with close to 500 hundred students. This is not counting the staff or parents. It was hot. My little suburb of Seattle hit about 85 degrees today. Inside the gym, it felt like 105. Gracie was with me, as her last day was yesterday. I have to be careful that Gracie does not get too hot, sometimes that can trigger seizures. Not just in her, in many people. Gracie and I are standing off to the side, just in case I needed to make a quick exit, which I did, thankfully, not seizure related.
As Gracie and I are standing there, I am mindful that she does not do well in crowds, while trying to take in the last assembly of the school year. I scan the gym for Sofia. I spot her. She does not see me, yet I have a pretty good view of her. I hope she’s taking it all in as well. This is it for her. Good-bye elementary hello middle-school. She is sitting with the one friend she probably has, and by the look on her face, she is indeed taking it in. This is Sofia.
Scanning the section where most of the parents are sitting, I see Mia. You may remember her from a previous post. “Mia” Prior to us all meeting in the gym, Mia and I had a pretty intense conversation. You see, Mia’s husband is Undocumented. He came here with his grandfather when he was 17. He works hard, provides for his family. They are on no assistance at all. I know some of you may be shocked by that, but it happens. The thing is, in order for Mia’s husband to get his papers, he has to go back to Mexico for an unspecified amount of time. It could be six months, it could be a year. One year away from his children.
Sitting next to Mia is Renata. Last year I was volunteering in a classroom where Renata’s daughter attended. I did not officially meet Renata until this year. You see, Renata spent a full year in Mexico getting her papers. A full year where she was not with her kids. There has to be an easier way.
The separating of families at the border is a passionate issue of mine. To put it simply, I believe families should be kept together. Do not let the children pay for their parents screw-ups. Do not let the children pay for everyone else’s’ screw-ups. Keep them together. I mean isn’t it all about the children? Or shouldn’t it be? Your own party lines do not even matter, the common denominator should be the children, but it is not.
A quick look on Facebook will show you that. Early this morning I posted a very thorough post, links included, that backs up what I believe to be true. You can read it HERE
You guys, I seriously had comments on my own personal page that went a little something like this.
“You are spreading false information.”
“It’s too long I am not reading it”
“People write long post to be “showy””
Okay, fine. Do not read the post. However, perhaps in the middle of your judgment, the best thing to do is just scroll on by?
Anyway, back to the gym. I have one daughter next to me, the other daughter in the sea of students. Dripping in sweat, annoyed at the dynamics of this assembly and it’s sound system, it hits me. How many children are right in front of me whose parent’s are still in Mexico? How many children have undocumented family members? I can assure you the number is higher than what you may think. I see it every day.
Look, this is all I know. I am not very well versed in politics as a whole, I am not well versed in party lines. I consider myself Independent, leaning more towards conservative. I am however well versed in children and their struggles. I have seen first hand how any sort of traumatic event can hinder a child.
We have a problem. There has to be a better way. I do not have much but I have my voice, and I will continue to use my voice no matter how many judgmental condescending people I come across my own Facebook feed. I will use my voice for children.
You do not have to agree with me, hell, you do not even have to like me. What you do have to do though, is be respectful.
As the assembly is coming to a close, these kids will soon welcome Summer Vacation. Some of these kids, the kids who I see daily are not going to have a summer. They will be left to their own devices while their parents work, trying to make enough money to support their family. Some of these kids do not have parents, some have parents who just do not care, and then some, some have struggles we cannot even comprehend. It is those children who I want to use my voice for.
I remember a song I heard the other night for the first time. Christin and I were talking about songs we were going to do for our Songs of Summer series. I heard “Dear Me” by Nicole Nordeman. You can listen to it Here.
I glance at Gracie, I spot Sofia, and I hear the lyrics.
And hold all the mothers, whose babies bleed from bullet holes
And feel all the hunger, the bellies and the bones
Shout for the prisoner, cry for justice, loud and long
And march with the victims, as Jesus marches on
And sit at all the tables, ’cause Jesus eats with everyone
And dance to the music, if you can’t sing its native tongue
And cry for the wombs, the mothers and the empty arms
And hold high the warriors, fighting now for freedoms’ song.
Yes. I am going to use what little voice I have. I will fight in my own way. I will use my voice, I will use it loud and strong, I will use it for “When the Children Cry.”