Independence Day Grandpa, Grandma, can we talk to you about our mom and dad? I don’t know quite what’s going on but things are getting bad. Dad’s been crying at the news and his voice is higher pitched. His jeans get tighter all the time and there’s a limpness in his wrist. Meanwhile, mom’s been swearing more and wearing suits to her new job. She hasn’t fixed her hair in months and on weekends she’s a slob. Dad’s afraid of everything – plastic straws and – what’s a Russian bot? Last week was Independence Day, and he said he “just forgot.” Mom hasn’t cooked a single meal since she went marching in D.C. And now our yard has all these signs that say “welcome refugees.” Dad almost asked if it was right but she wouldn’t let him speak so he’s been getting craft beer growler fills every day for two straight weeks. We don’t know what to do right now We’re prolly just too young. But maybe you’ve got some idea of what’s been going on. Granddaughter you’re a clever girl and grandson you’re no fool. So we’ll tell you something here and now that you’ll never learn in school. You’re noticing about your folks that something’s kinda wrong. It’s not just them – it’s everywhere. We’ve been watching all along. If it’s hard these days with mom and dad, to know just which is which You may not have the words for it, But your dad’s your mommy’s– You’re right, grandpa, school’s no help our teachers are all so strange. They say two-plus-two and Judy Blume both equal climate change. They took us out of class one day to line up on main street with signs that said the world would end from the President’s next tweet. I just want to build some things, and when sister tries to sew they swear that STEM’s the thing for her and I’m privi- toxi- I don’t know! Do you think that you could talk to them? To our parents and the school? Tell them that they’re scaring us and that they all seem real confused. We surely could go talk to them but they hate that we’re so old. We remind them of the ways they’ve failed and the truths they’re scared to know. There’s a wisdom in our wrinkled skin that they’re trying hard to kill. And if kids like you are catching on they’ll start trying harder still. For now it’s good you’re noticing and that your guts say it’s not right. Just keep each other close at hand – pick your spots, and fight your fights.
Not THAT independence day.