Letter to Fred #1

Friday January 8th, 2021
Martinez, CA
3:45pm 57° foggy morning turning to overcast and then sun
Monthly rain: .44″ Year to date: .44″

Dear Freddie,
We have finished the first full week of January. You returned to distance learning on Tuesday and I think we are all the better for it. You are a child who finds security and safety in routine and honestly I can’t blame you. I benefit from our regimented schedule as well and I am happy to see the faces of your classmates, teacher, and aides. Sometime over winter break I realized that my brief interaction with them throughout the day is about the only time I get to see adults face to face. There are some days where I think I talk to them more than I get to talk to my own husband.

This has been a strange week to start a new year. On Wednesday, our nation’s capitol was stormed by Americans who have spent the past six months believing the election would be stolen from them (but only if the current president lost) and then throwing an epic fit when courts threw out case after case because of lack of evidence. Four people have died. The confederate flag, the flag of traitors, was paraded through the halls. To say this is unprecedented would be an understatement (of course, given the events of the pandemic the word “unprecedented” has lost all meaning. It’s been said so often in the past 10 months that it’s little more than sounds at this point). It was so frustrating to watch these white men (and a few women) be allowed to do this when this summer, when black and brown Americans marched they were maced, attacked, and arrested. I guess police actually do know when to withhold deadly force after all.

By the early early hours of Thursday, the electoral votes were counted and Joe Biden was confirmed president. Various members of the cabinet, having stood by complicit in the 4 years that the current president had encouraged violence, spouted lies, and stoked the fires of hatred all for his own egotistical enjoyment, are now resigning saying they are shocked SHOCKED by his actions on Wednesday.

I am not fooled by this. This is like that asshole on the Titanic who grabbed a random child to claim as his own in order to get off the sinking ship and onto a life raft.

By this afternoon, Facebook suspended the president’s account and Twitter has outright banned him. Again – I am not fooled by this. They had four years to do something – anything. They chose not to. Oh hey, what did Beni say when O’Donnell held him to the fan? Ah yes: It is better to be the right hand of the Devil than in his path. I know I should quit Facebook but honestly, I just wish it would stop existing entirely.

But what does this mean for you? You are six years old. You haven’t been in a classroom since the middle of March. You haven’t been able to play with kids your age. Your world is so incredibly small. All of this, all of this grown up stuff, will be a footnote in a history book by the time you get to high school (I take that back…I never learned about the Iran-Contra Affair in High School. If anything, this will be a 20 minute section when some cable channel does a retrospect on the 2010s and you’ll watch it on some rainy afternoon and call me up and ask “hey mom, did you know this happened?”).

I’m doing my best to keep you on your schedule. To keep you safe, to keep you healthy. But I admit that I am in a position of privilege where I can compartmentalize my brain so much that all of this seems to be happening somewhere else, to someone else, to some other country.

In other news: I went on one bike ride this week, Archer is learning not to jump on everybody as they come through the door, we taught you how to play Blokus, and Jonathan is getting really good at making the cheesy broccoli hotdish.

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