Jun 2020 07

What I learned by not marching in the rally on Friday.

I’m still volunteering for the local food bank.

And, yes, still shamelessly bragging about it on here.

For any new people curious about what I babble on about here, on Fridays I drive. I pick up some boxes of supplies, grab my list of addresses, and off I go.

I really do enjoy it. It probably gives me an inflated sense of self but I like to think it’s also because of the clients. I like them. In recent weeks, one of them invited me to a Backyard Barbecue ‘When this all blows over, Andrew’. I get person-to-person contact that I just don’t get in advertising.

Anyhow, that’s not the meandering point of my post today.

My post is about how I was feeling guilty about not going to the Black Lives Matter rally on Friday afternoon. I weighed whether the food bank could get along without me and decided that I was needed more as a deliverer than as two more feet and one small body downtown.

Good news though as my list had one of my fave clients. Without saying anything that would identify them, I am always amazed at the optimism and strength of this person. Raising three kids on their own, and without a job right now.

And … they’re black.

So I wondered if we’d have a good conversation about the state of the world and what it’s like to be raising three kids right now, and what they are telling them, and what the rally means and blah blah blah.

I arrived. And called. And I heard the usual mayhem of the three kids in the background. And this person came outside by themselves where we always do the exchange of boxes…

And yes, we talked. About how the kids are fighting with each other right now. And how the playgrounds aren’t open for them to go play. And there are three more months of city living before school opens. And the kids are bored. And they have energy to burn with nowhere to burn it. And they’re ready to flip a gasket but trying to keep it together.

And that’s it. It was probably a welcome 15 minutes for them just to be away from that tornado and outside, and with a sort of adult and chatting.

And we laughed and I did the whole ‘sorry, that sounds like a fuckin nightmare!’ and I left.

We didn’t dissect George Floyd or Regis Korchinski-Paquet or the Rally or even Hamilton the Musical.

Because, day-to-day life.

Maybe it was what they needed.

It was certainly what I didn’t know I needed. A conversation that not only made me forget for 15 minutes how crazy the world is right now, but also smacked me in the head.

They’re black. I’m not. So what, Andrew? You fucking idiot. What were you expecting? We’re all fighting different battles. And this person is fighting the ‘just a single parent in the city’ battle. Kids are still just kids. And some kids don’t know what’s happening right now. And they don’t need to know.

We have to let them just be kids, and make a better world for them to grow up in.

And if you can let a parent blow off steam for 15 minutes, let them.

Yes, it’s an important fight going on right now. But we’re just people. Let’s just deal with each other as people. Andrew, you moron.

Some battles are fought at high altitudes for the good of everyone. And some are just on the ground as someone tries to raise three good humans.