Monday, March 10, 2008

2 Months: Part Deux

Everything's turning out to be different from the last time and, even though I feel so many of the same emotions that I did with Lucas, it's all shifted because both Xtina and I feel like veterans...we've been through this battle before.

We've found that we're a lot more mellow about everything. With your first child everything seems like an emergency. It's all so new that you analyze every move that you make, every bump or cough or anxious wail is a sword condemning your very soul. Every moment is the first, every tear a dagger and every smile the sun. Everything that you do with your first-born is imprinted like a hot brand molding you into this grand new person called "parent".

Not that Quinn's smile doesn't shine like the sun or that her firsts aren't memorable or that every scream doesn't shoot through us like lightning (oh, how can it not when she has the lungs of a banshee?)...but we now know that tomorrow will reveal new dreams and disturbances. We know that she will cry again when she can't bear to be away from us. We know that our heart will seek her soft tiny heart with warmth and protection. After all, we've been parents for awhile now.

We took her to the movies already. She actually sat in the dark of a movie-house, scattering light shining off her face, even before her brother. We saw "Four Months, Three Weeks and Two Days", a movie from Romania about the time spent under the rule of Nicolae Ceau┼čescu. It subtly portrays how the cloud of oppression hangs overhead through the experience of a woman as she tries to help her roommate obtain an illegal abortion (yeah, interesting choice). It's so disturbing because even though we now know how terrible the situation was in Romania during that time, it didn't feel that way viewing it through the eyes of these people. Everything seemed perfectly normal, it was simply their world and they had to deal with it.

Sometimes I look around our world and I see so many things that are terrifying. Perpetual war, hate legislation, fear tactics, reality teevee, a population raised in prison, humiliation disguised as friendship, so much suffering, sadness in the eyes of so many people and I wonder how it's possible to raise children in this environment? How can I raise a young woman in a society that only can see the shape of her ass? How can I raise a young man in a society that feeds on his insecurities and turns them to hate? Where does the value come from our culture? Sometimes I'm terrified by what I see but what can I do? This is the world that we live in, the world that we've created and I guess it's up to us to uncreate it. Especially if I don't want my son to go kill other human beings or if I want my daughter to own her own body.

John F. Kennedy once said that human beings created the world and if that is so, then human beings must have the power to change it. He said those words on the brink of nuclear annihilation and four decades later we are still here trying so hard to find a better way to survive. Our current leaders have chosen a path that is diametrically opposed to what JFK said and I find that unacceptable. I hope that many others feel the same way that I do because, unless we turn ourselves around, the world that our children will inherit is going to make Romania circa 1987 look like a walk in the park.

But we must have hope because JFK was right. So much that exists in the world today that threatens human civilization was made by human hands and every single one of those causes can be reversed. I want to look in my daughter's face when she's my age and tell her that she's the most beautiful woman on the planet (just like Nonno does with Xtina)and not only because I like to look at her but because her heart is full and joyful, and because she is doing whatever she wants to do in life without any cloud of oppression floating over her head.

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