I sit up in bed, bleary-eyed, as Mike hands me my coffee. “Thanks, Baby,” I say, taking a sip. The coffee is hot, and after a few more sips, I can fully open my eyes. Mike opens the shades, and I squint at the sudden light. “I have to write my weekend post this morning,” I tell him. Mike plants a quick kiss on my lips. “I have to run COVID numbers,” he says.
Welcome to our usual Saturday morning.
There’s something about this weekend, however, that feels like we’ve reached a…culmination of sorts. Like the last several months (years? decades?) have been leading us all to this point. Like we’re perched on the edge of a cliff, high up on the mountain we’ve been — knowingly or not — climbing our whole lives.
At the precipice, so much hangs in the balance.
The election on Tuesday is not a small thing. It likely could be everything.
Rarely has there been an election with so much at stake. It is not an exaggeration to say that the results of this election will directly determine how many people will die from COVID this winter. The results of this election will determine the health of our democracy itself, from our system of checks and balances to the strength of our institutions. Will we, as a country, be able to pull together and vote in numbers strong enough to overcome the ridiculous amounts of gerrymandering and voter suppression that — almost all agree — are necessary for a Trump win? Or will the United States become “another abject discard on the ash heap of failed republics going back to ancient Rome and Greece,” as Michael Hirsch wrote in last month’s Foreign Policy, an article whose words continue to haunt me.
My anxiety is back — for first time in 15 years. It’s not surprising, really.
Mike and I have been doing this Saturday morning routine for so many months that it’s hard to remember what life was like before the world went crazy: Mike, up early, running COVID numbers, myself, up early, attempting to write something light and funny about life. Yet the Saturday morning soundtrack of 2020, the one of tears and death — pandemic, police, children in cages — runs like a loop in the background.
My coffee is cold. I walk downstairs for a refill, and see that the boys are up. “MOM!!!!” Pax comes running at me for a hug. They are both gleeful — it is almost 9AM and they are allowed screen time at 9. “War Thunder’s Halloween version is out,” Raines tells me, seriously. He kisses my cheek, then walks into the playroom, his mind already in a different world.
I know what I want to write about. I want to write about the killing of Walter Wallace in Philadelphia, the latest black man to be shot dead by police. About the protests and nightly curfews that have followed. About how stores are boarded up all over the city. About watching the video of his death — taken by a bystander — because I couldn’t fathom that, after all of the protesting all summer, after all of the work so many have done to bring the Black Lives Matter movement into the forefront…that two cops would actually choose to shoot another black man, days before the most crucial election in our recent history.
So I watched, in a state of shock, as two officers shot a black man from almost 10 feet away. To say that this man was, like the reports claimed, “threatening” them is laughable. Walter Wallace had a knife in his hand, but he was basically staggering around, slowly. His mother was right there, begging the cops to lower their guns. The cops, after yelling a few times to drop the knife, suddenly opened fire, and shot fourteen times. All at once, with no warning shot. They shot fourteen times, in rapid succession from ten feet away, into the body of a man who had taken a slow, staggering step toward them.
They shot fourteen times because Walter Wallace wasn’t listening.
I don’t know what situations the Philadelphia police are appropriately trained for…but it clearly this isn’t one of them. To say — as this article states — that the cops were correctly following police protocol shows exactly how broken our system really is. Fixing it will likely take years. Decades.
I stare out the window…breathing in, breathing out…until my heartbeats slow.
We’re on a precipice, a culmination of sorts, one that has been years in the making. This is our great historical moment — one that will be written and studied and discussed for decades to come. That fact is staggering, but palpable. You can feel it.
We will likely not know the outcome on Tuesday night.
But I hope we know…something.
Breath in, breath out.
Currently: distracting myself with holidays. And I’m not even a little bit sorry. To start, I’m ordering this genius Christmas song advent calendar because that’s literally the only one I can even remotely commit to. (Also, someone please make a yearly one — I would 100% buy it.)
Also, glowing bath cubes. Pax is suddenly into bath time again so I just picked up this bubble bath for seriously epic bubbles, and am going to give him these glowing bath cubes for his birthday, too.
My go-to gifts for literally everyone this year…this chic, scented hand sanitizer and one of these silk masks. Linzi discovered both, and I cannot overstate how much daily life has improved with silk masks and nicely scented hand sanitizer. Mike wants them, Pax wants them, Raines wants them…and I’m just going to order a bunch to use as random gifts for everyone.
Winter planning… I just ordered a ton of everyday snow boots, and was surprised by how much I loved these Sorels. Super-lightweight, feels more like a sneaker, waterproof, warm, has a grippy bottom and looks cute with jeans. I currently have the light gray (or ‘quarry’) at home, but am eyeing up the ‘elk’ black-and-tan combo. (Our Backcountry code, THEMOMEDIT, should take 15% off, too.) The gray looks especially cute with a cream puffer. My current fav is this one — it’s shockingly chic on.
And for the latest development in our Quest For Fleece-lined Pants…Athleta’s Peak Hybrid fleece tight. While I WANT to be the girl who nonchalantly rocks white, fleece-lined leggings…I will probably end up keeping the black. BUT I WILL TRY THE WHITE, THIS I SWEAR.
Reporting back…I finally ordered that sustainably-made, Tiger graphic tee from Able. The fit is GOOD. Like…seriously, unexpectedly good. The fabric is high-quality, the seams fit right at the shoulders, the sleeves are perfection, and the design is both chic and cool. The kind of tee I threw on…then did a double-take in the mirror.
Do we like these sneakers? These gold, black and leopard Geox sneaks are maybe…fancy party sneakers? If by “fancy party” we mean “socially distanced alone in your house pretending there’s a party” sneakers. (Still a valid party, BTW.)
Mike, did I take my Tamoxifen today? I was forever looking for a cute pillbox during my chemo phase…and then again in the following five Tamoxifen years. It is a seemingly impossible task for a girl to remember to take something daily. So. If anyone is looking for a cute little somethin’ for a breast cancer survivor (or, I suppose, a gift for someone who is Very Serious About Vitamins)…I love this chic mirror/pillbox combo.
Hang in there, gang.