FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Step Into 2017

Bragger alert.

My husband and I were successful. The genius children, J and H, are, well, geniuses, and so much more. The genius children are kind, compassionate, and empathetic.

Allow me to shift into reverse, backing into the past—the time the genius children met their mom and dad, took that first big gulp of air outside the womb. When I held blob-like son J in my arms the first time, I was a novice. Lamaze classes had prepared me somewhat for labor and delivery…………….. but then what? My first thought, prior to wondering what to do with this crying THING I was desperately trying to placate with a nipple, was directed at the gods, “Please don’t ever let him go to war.” With H was born, eleven years later, I was calmer.

Anyway, when our son J was about seven, I made him watch Amityville Horror with me. What was I thinking? We’d moved to Baltimore from Lexington, KY. My husband Charles had finished his residency at the University of Kentucky and we were repaying thousands of dollars in medical school debt. We rented an apartment and decided to buy J a television for his room. It was a 13 inch black and white. One day, J said, “I’ve seen An Officer and a Gentleman 17 times. I think he was 9. When H was about six, I made him watch Chucky with me. What was I thinking?

When J was a teenager, he’d ask plaintively why I wasn’t more like Che. He wanted his mum to be a revolutionary. I’d say, “Because I’m your mother.” Emphasizing mother. Later, years later, when I’d been arrested for activism and was writing political opinion pieces, J suggested I had become too extreme. Charles was dead and J was worried about me. I’d mentioned I might self-immolate in front of the White House.

Back to the success, the genius children’s kindness, compassion, and empathy. This year for Christmas, John and his wife L gifted me with Kate Evans’ graphic biography of Rosa Luxemburg, Red Rosa. Even though Rosa Luxemburg opposed violence, her life, her death, and today’s war lust and police state here in America make me want to blow up some stuff, but then I’ve just watched V For Vendetta again this week. Still, that’s not the point of my telling you about this particular present. It’s the genius child I’m focusing on here, his kindness, compassion, empathy, and the gift he chose for me—the story of a woman devoted to justice.

And the other one, H, younger by 11 years. H and his wife V were shopping for Christmas gifts two weeks ago. Among the crowds, H said he felt disgusted. He had an image in his head. A Syrian mother, holding her children. He said she was dazed, appeared to be in shock. One of her children was injured, bloody. He said to V, “I can’t do this.” They fled Consumerism, USA, sat and talked, accessed the Internet, and selected charities. These genius children—yes, V is also a genius child, as is J’s wife, based their decisions on the very personal. For me, they donated to Palestine Children’s Relief Fund. For my guy, the Innocence Project. For Laura and Erma, Paws4ever Animal Sanctuary, for J and L, New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty. For V’s family members, Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Against DAPL.

Kindness, compassion, and empathy. The genius children have it. Despite or perhaps because (heh heh) I made them watch those movies with me, while also providing love, listening to them, believing them, believing in them, teaching them the Golden Rule. They were/are loved and have been nurtured well not only by me but also by their father, their grandparents, their friends, nurtured by heartbreak experiences as well as the joyous.

Today is Thursday. I must submit this little piece soon, but I’m not finished. Just need to add to each of you a hope for kindnesses, good health, good humor, love, and justice. Plus this advice: Live as if there’s no tomorrow, because there may not be, and prepare to step into 2017 frightened yet willing to throw your body on the gears.

More articles by:

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

December 11, 2018
Eric Draitser
AFRICOM: A Neocolonial Occupation Force?
Sheldon Richman
War Over Ukraine?
Louis Proyect
Why World War II, Not the New Deal, Ended the Great Depression
Howard Lisnoff
Police Violence and Mass Policing in the U.S.
Mark Ashwill
A “Patriotic” Education Study Abroad Program in Viet Nam: God Bless America, Right or Wrong!
Laura Flanders
HUD Official to Move into Public Housing?
Nino Pagliccia
Resistance is Not Terrorism
Matthew Johnson
See No Evil, See No Good: The Truth Is Not Black and White
Maria Paez Victor
How Reuters Slandered Venezuela’s Social Benefits Card
December 10, 2018
Jacques R. Pauwels
Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia
Richard Klin
The Disasters of War
Katie Fite
Rebranding Bundy
Gary Olson
A Few Thoughts on Politics and Personal Identity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit Britain’s Crisis of Self-Confidence Will Only End in Tears and Rising Nationalism
Andrew Moss
Undocumented Citizen
Dean Baker
Trump and China: Going With Patent Holders Against Workers
Lawrence Wittner
Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: a Practical Proposal
Dan Siegel
Thoughts on the 2018 Elections and Beyond
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: I Can Smell the Dumpster Fires Already
Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
Jason Hirthler
Laws of the Jungle: The Free Market and the Continuity of Change
Ajamu Baraka
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: Time to De-Colonize Human Rights!
Andrew Levine
Thoughts on Strategy for a Left Opposition
Jennifer Matsui
Dead of Night Redux: A Zombie Rises, A Spook Falls
Rob Urie
Degrowth: Toward a Green Revolution
Binoy Kampmark
The Bomb that Did Not Detonate: Julian Assange, Manafort and The Guardian
Robert Hunziker
The Deathly Insect Dilemma
Robert Fisk
Spare Me the American Tears for the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Joseph Natoli
Tribal Justice
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Macdonald Stainsby
Unist’ot’en Camp is Under Threat in Northern Canada
Senator Tom Harkin
Questions for Vice-President Bush on Posada Carriles
W. T. Whitney
Two Years and Colombia’s Peace Agreement is in Shreds
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Ramzy Baroud
The Conspiracy Against Refugees
David Rosen
The Swamp Stinks: Trump & Washington’s Rot
Raouf Halaby
Wall-to-Wall Whitewashing
Daniel Falcone
Noam Chomsky Turns 90
Dean Baker
An Inverted Bond Yield Curve: Is a Recession Coming?
Nick Pemberton
The Case For Chuck Mertz (Not Noam Chomsky) as America’s Leading Intellectual
Ralph Nader
New Book about Ethics and Whistleblowing for Engineers Affects Us All!
Dan Kovalik
The Return of the Nicaraguan Contras, and the Rise of the Pro-Contra Left
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Exposing the Crimes of the CIAs Fair-Haired Boy, Paul Kagame, and the Rwandan Patriotic Front
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail