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Flying Too Close to the Sun

Perfect summertime bliss has given way to hot and humid weather hell. Hopefully it will be a brief stretch. And thankfully my helpful boyfriend manhandled our heavy window a/c units up the stairs from the basement and into our bedrooms. But not before encouraging my son to spend much of last weekend cleaning his filthy room first. Bags of trash and a couple of rounds of vacuuming later we can see the floor again! Last night we had the a/c cranked in both bedrooms. That mitigated the swampiness somewhat but it’s nothing compared to the decadent central air of my office. Which my son does not have. He had been enjoying outdoor day camp quite a bit up to this point, but this week the kids have had to retreat to their air conditioned lodge building and take turns in the pool. Dude is also less than enthused about returning to Wisconsin Dells next week, for another four day trip. Solely because his cabin mates wanted to stay up late every night last time, playing poker for…candy. And my kid likes his beauty sleep. He will have to endure it (growing up we were too poor to do anything in the summer - he has no idea how lucky he is). Next week is his last with summer camp and then our month of travel begins. So I’ve just managed to squeeze his annual physical appointment into the narrow window between the two. He’ll be THRILLED. Especially if there are shots of some sort.

I often write about the mundane, every day business of parenting a special needs boy-child (see above). Occasionally I discuss my fears. But these fears are nothing compared to what parents of young people of color must worry about. Especially after the recent travesty of a verdict in the murder of Trayvon Martin (George Zimmerman not guilty, my ass - he killed an unarmed teenager). This lament from a white father gets at that. And The Onion that reinforces the feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness: Nation Throws Hands Up, Tells Black Teenagers To Do Their Best Out There.

“I mean, what can I say? You have no legal system to turn to, the police are out to get you, and everyone is immediately suspicious of you,” said Denver real-estate agent Kelly Martin, adding that she has been racking her brain trying to think of helpful advice for the teenagers, but that all she could come up with was, “Try to stay alive if you can.” “If you’re a black teen, you’re basically living in the Wild West right now. Not exactly words of encouragement, but there you have it.”

Dammit if The Onion didn’t make me weepy with that one. I do have my own concerns about how my son is perceived in public and private spaces, without me. But not because of the color of his skin or his appearance in any way. My concerns stem from his unusual behavior. We’re still working on his personal space issues. Boundaries don’t come naturally to him. And now that he’s gotten tall and his voice has deepened it is a lot more threatening than cute…when wants to horse around or give noogies to or tickle others. He has an eight year-old’s sensibilities in a man-sized body. I get that. I have a fourteen year-old’s sensibilities trapped in a 40 year-old’s body. But I worry about others feeling threatened by him, and how they may react to their perceptions. Keeps me up at night.

Brain Tumors

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