I had several things I wanted to post about tonight.
How Rico almost got arrested in New York City. How I have finally caught the Houdini mouse.
Funny things. Silly things.
Those things are not important. It’s seems so trivial to talk of things so lighthearted.
The tragedy of Newtown has touched me so deeply. I know there has been many other events like this. Too many events like this.
Newtown is everyone’s town.
These were babies. Innocent children learning reading, adding and subtracting, coloring and pasting.
Babies the same age as my Ella.
I think of my 6 year old and her innocence. I think of her excitement to go to school every day. I think of her only concern is that she is not going to like what they are having for lunch or that someone will not want to play with her at recess. I think of her growing and learning so many new things each day.
I don’t want her to ever be concerned that a mad man will enter her school and kill her. Or that she will be afraid and I won’t be there to comfort and protect her but this is our new reality.
It can happen. It has happened.
As I pulled in the pick up line at school Friday afternoon, I cried because there were so many parents who would never have that privilege again. I cried because mothers and fathers will never get another hug, another smile, another birthday party, tooth fairy visit, Easter egg hunt or another Christmas.
I cried for the father of the shooter because the only thing that could be worse than your child dying would be knowing a child you brought into this world could be capable of such an evil act.
I cried for the police and first responders and the horrible images they will carry in their minds for the rest of their lives.
I cried for my own children and the fears they have over this tragedy. Fears they should never have to consider.
I cried for a loss of their innocence.
I cried for our country and what is has become. For the society we live in and the children we are raising. I cried for a loss of morals. For parents making excuses for their children when they’ve done wrong instead of letting them suffer the consequences.
I cried and I cried and I cried.
I cry still.
People will argue we need more gun control or better mental health intervention or better safety measures at school and all have valid points.
People will argue that the schools are to blame for taking God out of our education system but it’s not the schools job to teach my children about religion or faith or morals. That’s my job.
Until we, as a society, make a conscious effort to bring morality back to our children and the media stops glorifying these horrific tragedies nothing is going to change.
We have to change.
Rico and I went to NYC for an adult getaway to celebrate the birthday of a dear friend. It was fun weekend of sight seeing, shopping and eating at restaurants where I didn’t have to cut anyone’s meat nor take anyone to the bathroom to poop.
Any meal where I don’t have to take anyone to poop is a good meal. I have pretty low expectations at this point. Really low expectations. At this point if I can eat at McDonald’s without kids it becomes a 5 star dining experience. No joke.
So anyway, we arrive in the Big Apple and get a taxi to our swanky hotel and I have to tell the Pakistani cab driver three different times our address. The man speaks marginal English and I speak expert Southernese and it becomes quite the cultural exchange. Rico starts a conversation with him (which he does with EVERYONE) about where he is from, when he came to America and if he came over in a boat. Why he asks everyone about the whole boat thing is beyond me. I think he believes immigrants are incapable of buying airline tickets and can only get here stowing away on a boat. I mean, really, even Al Qaeda can get on Expedia. We finally get to the hotel in a ride I can only describe as “life changing” as people in Pakistan apparently don’t have laws for driving and the horn honking was so frequent I developed a tic.
The woman at the desk of our nice hotel was very helpful. We couldn’t do express check-in as we had reward vouchers and were too stupid to figure out how to accomplish that on the speedy check-in computer. So Rico is explaining our situation and the first thing she asks is “Where part of the South are you visiting from?” which is code for “Do people really speak like that? I thought that was just in the movies?”.
We tell her we are from Kentucky and she immediately starts laughing and ask if we eat a lot of Bar-B-Que.
”Why yes we do, ma’am” and then Rico begins to tell her how often we do Bar-B-Que and at times even Bar-B-Que whole rolls of bologna infused with jalopenos. It’s the “poor mans steak,” he says.
Lord, I was about to DIE!!
The night of my friends birthday party I had a stern talking to with Rico.
”Don’t say anything stupid. Don’t talk politics. Don’t talk about the economy. Don’t slap me on the butt in front of everyone. Just don’t open your mouth. I will tell everyone you have laryngitis. Just nod when spoken to and smile a lot. O.K?”
He promises to be on his best behavior and I feel confident that we will make it thru the evening without looking like the Clampett’s.
Dinner is at a fabulous restaurant in the West Village. We are seated in a private room with 15 of her closest friends who are from either NYC or LA. It is a warm, intimate environment and her friends are friendly and gracious.
My first feelings of apprehension are when I realize Todd and I aren’t seated together. I mean, he is close enough where I can hear what he’s saying but not close enough I can kick him under the table. Sweat starts tricking down my back.
“Please be good”, I plead.
The night goes well for the most part. There were only a few instances where I felt like he was acting like the guy from Sling Blade. We were clearly out of our league as her friends were hedge fund managers, a Today show correspondent, very successful business owners, physicians, etc.
There were even some Louboutins in the house.
I only overheard Rico make one major guffaw when one of the guest passed around her beautiful engagement ring which was the size of a Cadbury egg and he he nudged her husband and said, “Where you get something like that? I bet it’s a CZ!!”
Swear on my kids eyes. I about died right in my chair.
On a serious note, it was a great night. Despite our differences, we were warmly welcomed by her lovely friends and by the city itself.
I LOVE NYC!