Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mother of the Year

In my morning ritual, I include a visit to two news apps on my phone. Both are New York papers, neither of them very esoteric but they do report the news adequately and most of the time, the articles are on a local level, either in Westchester County or NewYork City. I am shielded from feeling shamed about my choice of The New York Post over the New York Times, currently being a resident of New England.  The Post carries a lot of the same new articles as Times but reports them in a much juicier, less erudite style if I may.

Already  this week, there has been a lot of news, national and international.  Ashamed as I am, I must admit that I have very little knowledge of what's happening locally because my head will explode if I have to read one more article that tells me that kids are dying like flies from drugs and ultra-liberals have proposed an answer which, instead of being tossed into the first toilet passed, became a front pager.  The insane idea was to open "safe" clinics, staffed by nurses and doctors, where drug users could come, shoot up, and get not only clean needles, but after-care from professionals should they over dose.  I've worked as a nurse in a detox unit, helping drug users to safely do quite the opposite and find the idea of asking nurses and doctors to work in a "safe shooting gallery" offensive. And don't get me started on the time and funds allotted to training police officers and supplying them with Narcan while programs get cut from schools and teachers laid off.  Do not go there with me.

So, this morning, I read more about the terrible tragedy in Nepal, the loss of yet another thousand lives on top of the thousands about which we had already heard.  Unavoidable, no warning, nothing to grab on to, no way to stop it. Earthquakes and tornadoes.  Nature's most terrifying acts of defiance. I cannot imagine what that is like, such utter loss of control with such complete loss of everything as a result.

Next, in the Post, a lengthy article, written up in the style that draws me to keep reading and turns the Times readers away, furious and indignant because their intelligence was insulted.  Damned the scholars and full-speed ahead, I plowed into the headline, "Baltimore Mom of the Year: 'I don't want him to be a Freddie Gray".  This, in the aftermath of the death of a young black man in Baltimore at the hands of local police enforcement.  The online article warns of explicit content. Toya Graham, in exercising her maternal instincts, minced no words.  She's the mother who turned on the evening news and saw her own son on TV throwing rocks at cops in the streets during Monday's riots. She told it like it was and she's become a national hero after smacking some sense into her son Michael and dragging him back home without one thought to who might be observing her behavior. She referred to herself as a "no-tolerant mom," one who does not play "that", one who has done her best to shield her son in her home, grounding him in the past to keep him off the streets. At one point, she tells the news reporters that she knows she can't do this for the rest of her life and comments "Is he a perfect boy? No, he's not. But he's mine!" From her language and her actions, I'm kind of guessing she would be a Post reader but from her statements, I would love to see her on the Supreme Court. Videos of Toya Graham, taking action, have gone viral.  By now, millions of others have had the opportunity to observe, first-hand, the art of taking control. No, Toya did not have to deal with a tornado or an earthquake. She was not facing a tsunami, She had a kid, one who's future she's hoping will be a better one for her current stance and her courage to do what comes naturally. She followed her instincts and hopefully she's not only taught Michael, but millions of other Mothers and kids the lesson that there are things that we can change if we realize that we have to power to.

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