Sunday, January 19, 2014

whizza whazza?



I usually stay away from anything that could be remotely construed as political on this here blog.


But the timing of two separate articles on my screen in the same sitting made me question some things that should matter regardless of how you vote.


First I saw this article:

Obama football1



…and my first thought was: isn’t pro-football usually played by (wait for it)


 grown men? 


I know plenty of toddlers who won’t let you order them around, not to mention 18-year olds who have a lifetime of hard work poured into an NFL opportunity… methinks a hypothetical grown son might not be so willing to be “disallowed” to play the game.


He followed it up with this explanation:

Obama football2


I see his point, but…


…on the heels of his comment about smoking, was this article:


Obama pot


He’s perfectly candid about his own drug use:

Obama Smoking Pot


Including cocaine.


With this kind of perspective, are we certain that he is the best choice for making statements that undermine federal law?


I’m not going to jump into his racial disparate impact argument – I’ll leave it broad.

I won’t belabor the “gateway drug” argument, except to point out that I doubt Obama sampled cocaine prior to marijuana; and that it’s only a valid argument because the statistics

And I want to keep this laser-focused: this is NOT about medicinal use of marijuana or hemp.  This is for a segment that chooses to use marijuana purely for its mind-altering properties.


In our president’s words; consuming marijuana is a “vice not very different from cigarettes”, and he doesn’t think “it is more dangerous than alcohol” (in fact, that it is less dangerous).

Since he’s already equated smokers with pro-football players… as well as those who consume alcohol and pot (presumably until their effects are felt)… where is he going with this?

Would he seriously be more upset if his pretend son decided to play pro-football, than if his son consumed the same mind-altering substances that he himself did?


My main soapbox is this:  I’m tired of the minimizing


I’m tired of people saying it’s “just” pot. 


I’m tired of working in law enforcement and seeing the numbers climb for driving-under-the-influence marijuana use.


Because when they do?  There aren’t faceless nameless victims.


Anything that impairs your ability to drive can result in disaster.




I know, because I walked away from one of those disasters.  And it was someone else’s choice to drive that way.  And when I looked at her across a courtroom, shackled in an orange jumpsuit, I told her that she could have killed my child.


So when Obama says that pot isn’t such a big deal… I invite him to find my beloved car at the wrecking lot.

To let Sasha and Malia sit in the front seat where the air bags exploded and strange powder covers everything.

Or to sit in the backseat where a baby’s carseat lays tipped against a smashed door.

Or in the other driver’s vehicle, where she bent the door with her bare hands in a drug-fueled state.




To let his girls listen to the trooper or the EMT or my husband describe the collision on a 50mph road when an impaired mind missed seeing the bright yellow vehicle she turned in front of.

Let them go through surgery for injuries.  And see them live with a shoulder that will never work right because of a seatbelt that did its job.


I’ve earned my right to this opinion.


So have my concerned coworkers who have to witness the bloody aftermath of “just pot” in accident scenes across our highways and have to make heartbreaking notifications to families.

So have the parents who are desperate for their children to succeed in life but watch them wrapped tight in the “harmless” embrace of a high.


In the way this president seems to mean… that marijuana use for the purpose of altering one’s mental state, is perfectly acceptable; does he support the use of pleasure narcotics among the armed staff who protect him?  Does he trust his family’s safety to those who are stoned?


Before you label me as self-righteous, understand that I’ve seen parents put their “it’s just pot” use before the health and safety of their children.  Witnessed emergency phone calls to poison-control centers.  Fear of what happens to their life if anyone knows.  $pend on their high while their kids go without.

I have a friend who has to sit at home after getting high because he can’t drive for an estimated amount of time, waiting for the drug to wear off.  What if his mother has a medical emergency after chemo?

In my mind it's difficult to make a distinction between the idiots who get behind a wheel, and “responsible” users; because frankly, anything that alters your decision-making ability should give you pause.


It’s damaging.


More than smoking – with a widespread message of health dangers.

More than alcohol – with a  widespread message of DUI dangers.

And certainly,


More than pro-football.




Mr. President.  Please stop minimizing.




(This post is likely to engender some strong pushback from members of my circle of friends and family.  It’s alright to disagree.  Respectfully, there are things I cannot share about how close some of those members have come to losing their lives over this exact issue.  Trust me when I say that what I’ve witnessed, and what my law enforcement coworkers witness on the roads – make it clear that there is a price for recreational use of marijuana.  Don’t unfriend me, let’s talk.  Your experiences are different from mine.)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

you are more than your voice



He breaks my heart in a place that is already broken.


Not that he knows.


Or has any idea how he heals it all in the same moment too.






For any other parent, any other child; it’s a bedtime stall tactic.


Except, he has no way of knowing that his words destroy the defenses around my walled-in hope after 35 years.




Mommy!  Sing me a lullaby!  No wait, sing me three.

The Edelweiss one.

and the Irish one.

and the family one.



And just like that, the wall is breached.


Hurt and hope squeeze out in equal measure, until logic reminds me that I have a reason and a right to be self-conscious.

Dread sits squarely atop my lungs, daring me to defer to sanity.


No one wants to hear a deaf person sing.


Except.  He’s my boy.


And my performance anxiety will be long-forgotten someday, swallowed up in his childhood.

Edelweiss hums hesitantly… memories of a decade of ballet company warm-ups with a sweet elderly German pianist.

He closes his eyes, but cannot resist a grin when he hears the first words of my off-key personalized version of his next request…


He’s my dear my darling one

My smiling and beguiling one.

I love the ground he walks upon.

My handsome Irish boy.


I sing it twice through to his uncomplaining sleepy face.

I steel myself.

My voice doesn’t bother him like it bothers others.  It’s just “Mom’s voice”.


But still, the dread.


I stare at my insecurities head-on as I recall his last request.

The one sung by three generations to their babies.  The family song.

One that is a true lullaby – meant to be sweetly sung.

Knowing that each generation before me sang with lovely, stage-worthy voices, family harmonies, and clear sweetness.  And knowing that I am utterly unqualified, except…

that the words are pure love.  Crooned into my own ears as a colicky baby.  Crooned into my mother’s ears as an infant.  Into every aunt, uncle, cousin and grandchild’s hearing; each time made to fit them.


He’s my little baby boy

baby, baby, baby boy

He’s my little baby sweetheart boy.



And the locked up places where I longed to be able to sing to my boy - are suddenly lit with the dim glow of the cowboy nightlight next to my son’s bed.


He’s done me no small miracle.


And I’ve sung him to sleep.