I was thinking in the shower today. Don’t we all do our best thinking there? I wish showers could go on for two hours, some days. Anyway, I was thinking mostly about fear.
I live in a suburb, and sometimes I get a chance to write about it, as I did today. The story is about a local lawyer, who is black, and was told his BLM sign was in violation of the local ordinance governing yard signs, and that he’d have to take it down.
One tangent I didn’t include was this: The complaint was signed by a cop, which is standard practice when a neighbor complains and doesn’t want to be known as the complainant. The lawyer said that if one of his neighbors had a problem with the sign and came to him to talk about it, he’d probably have taken it down. But calling cops is chickenshit, and so it was that I thought in the shower about fear.
Fear is the dominant emotion of parenthood, especially when your kids are young. The hospital hands you this tiny, larval little human being, and if you have an ounce of self-awareness at all, you are flooded with terror. For days, you an barely leave them alone in a room without fearing they’ll burst into flames or something. But newborns are easy compared to toddlers, lurching around the house and threatening to smash into coffee-table edges or fall down the stairs or drown in their baby pools the second you turn your head for even a second.
A friend once said that children never grow out of one set of dangers without growing into another. Truer words, etc.
But eventually, you learn to relax a little and if you’re lucky you even get to the point where you understand that what will happen will happen whether you’re there or not, and you can even trust that you’ve done the best you could, so que sera sera.
The fear, however, can become comfortable, like a pair of sweat pants. But comfort =/= a good look, and you can end up wearing them every day because it’s familiar, and change is scary. And so, instead of just asking the perfectly nice man across the street whether he needs to have a huge Black Lives Matter sign and maybe a smaller one, or two smaller ones would be sufficient? You call the goddamn police.
Suburbs are full of people like this. So are cities, for that matter. Maybe that’s why we keep buying guns. In fact, I’m sure that’s why.
Oh, well. Other things of note happened in Michigan today. A truly bonkers committee hearing in Lansing, that wasn’t held for any reason other than to allow a lot of venting about the election. Here’s one straight news account; and here’s a more entertaining Twitter thread. God, these people. Stop indulging them.
One final note, which we’ve known for a while but here we go: Alan is retiring in a month. The buyout offer came as expected, and at 64, he’s decided he’s had enough. I’m in full agreement. Anyway, our financial guy says we have enough money to do this, and so he’s pulling the ripcord. Me, I’ll keep working, but only part time, and at some point I guess I’ll be out of the plane, too. I expect it to feel great.