I officially miss my kids.
Maybe it's because Jeanine is back in Boston today, working, and I'm up in Maine with all the animals. Maybe it's because I received two letters from Jake and one from Zachary today.
Jake drew a picture of a tree, and then wrote a note requesting a care package: an action figure, the newspaper, a bathrobe and "sum pichers of the cats."
Yes, I sent him without a bathrobe because he insisted he didn't want one. Not that I'm feeling guilty.
Action figure.... do you think he means this?
The special edition "Crazy Cat Lady?" Or is that too much like his mother? And look, she has a bathrobe, too.
Zachary wrote me, in typical Zachary fashion:
Dear Mom S,
I have sent out a letter and in my care package I would have the marvel bat 2 magic decks. Mom you can find them at Newberry Comics. Oh and some candy and comics.
His required letter sending had taken place. I did send out care packages but before I received the letters. Allan is at work locating the marvel bat 2 magic cards from Newbury Comics. I'm surprised he didn't say, second shelf, to the left.
As Jeanine and I walked onto Ogunquit Beach yesterday, we watched cute little children playing in the sand happily. Jeanine sighed.
I miss the kids.
I rolled my eyes.
As Jeanine and I walked off the beach, late in the day, we watched no longer cute little children crying and screaming as their weary parents were trying to get them packed up for home.
Okay, I don't miss the kids, Jeanine said.
Today, armed with letters and faced with an old cat who insists on sitting on my lap even though it is 100 degrees, I miss my kids. The shooting at the Unitarian Church has left me feeling more susceptible. My idea of a safe place has been jarred. While the idea of anyone doing harm at a YMCA camp in the Berkshires is fairly remote, I think about Ben at Camp OUT.
All the kids at Camp OUT. They are all kids of LGBT parents. None of them chose to be a kid of a LGBT parent but there they are, hanging out together, trying to make sense of it all.
Are they targets? Should I not write about it? Should it be a top secret place no one knows about?
Maybe it's easier to shuffle my worries into a box called "I miss my kids." It normalizes the anxiety I feel about their safety in a world where LGBT people are still targets for extreme hate crimes.
A world I'm watching my oldest son come closer and closer to joining as different and there is not a single thing I can do to make it easier, keep him safe, or shelter him from what is to come.
A world that will take my other two sons confidence and comfort with their family structure and toss it in the air. No positive images on the daily news, only kids killed for being different, crazy people charged with hate coming into their churches.
When will Zachary's "Day of Silence" become a year of silence because to speak up is too challenging?
When will Jake's easy response, I have two moms and two dads, turn into a guarded shrug?
Like I said, it is easier to simply say, I miss my kids.
Otherwise, the reality comes crashing in, I am paralyzed by fear and the people who hate win.