Not today

Some days I want to leave work mid-day. Just because. And pull my kids out of school or day care or camp and not worry about what any of us is missing. And maybe I’ll even leave my cell phone at home. But if I don’t, I definitely won’t check emails. And we will go to McDonald’s or get ice cream with caramel and sprinkles, or get¬†doughnuts. Something that isn’t really meant for nourishment, but tastes really, really yummy.

And we’ll go to the park before we realize that we live in Phoenix and it’s still too hot to be outside, even in the shade. So then we will go to the library (but we won’t do anything educational!) or watch 24 episodes of Ninjago or play Twister, even though I hid it in the closet last month because I didn’t want to play it.

I won’t even try to make it into a teaching moment or complain that they haven’t been outside all day. And when they ask for juice or hot chocolate I won’t ask how much water they drank or say that it’s weird to drink hot chocolate when it’s 112 degrees outside or complain when they ask me to dig through the box of straws to find one blue one and one orange one.

I just want to hug them and hold them and be silly with them and look at their cute little faces. Faces that a few short years from now will look like so many faces we’ve seen on the news lately. Faces that, once they are teenagers and nearing adulthood, will be feared by some people just because they are brown. Faces that are so full of innocence now, but won’t always be. Faces that will be disappointed the first time they experience racism.

But that’s not today. Today, I can’t take a break from reality. And today won’t be the day that I change theirs, either. I’m not naive enough to think that day won’t ever come. But. Not today. Today, I’ll finish watching the footage of Sam DuBose being shot and I’ll see the names we are seeing much too often: Sandra Bland.¬†Tamar Rice. Michael Brown. Trayvon Martin. And then I’ll wipe away tears. And finish my work. And pick up my kids a little early so we can eat ice cream. And my sons will hold onto their sanitized versions of reality a little while longer.

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