I had a really excellent birthday. On Saturday, the whole family spent the day together, going to Prairie Ridge Ecostation in Raleigh, and later getting ice cream after dinner. On Sunday, me and the boys got to spend the day together and went to see my friends at Emmaus Way, where we are talking about the inequalities in our communities. Today, I woke up to loaded biscuits, donuts, and time with the kids in the park with some of my favorite people. I ate a quarter of a watermelon, Korean BBQ, and churros and took a 90-minute nap. Crystal and the boys bought me a board game and some awesome travel clothes with hidden pockets. I got a high score on my favorite video game too at 1:30 this morning. This Labor Day weekend gets an A+.
Today was a strange day. I volunteered to canvass with Triangle SURJ, talking with neighbors about the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, the hate shown there, and the subsequent events in Durham – pulling down the Confederate monument, the anti-KKK rally. Talking to people I don’t know is one of my very least favorite things. It’s terrifying in a way that doesn’t make sense.
I only got to have two conversations. One was with a nice guy who agreed with me about most stuff, but hadn’t gotten involved yet in the fight against white supremacy. The second was with a guy about 10 years older than me that was conservative. He was disgusted with “violence on both sides” (his words) and had a lot of stuff to say about Black Lives Matter and the media. It was not always comfortable, but my role today was to listen and connect.
It was interesting to see how two people with similar backgrounds and information can deviate so much. He talked a lot about being Christian and how he thought no problems would be solved unless people turn to Christ. His conservatism was based in that. I told him how being Christian was the reason I was out trying to fight white supremacy, which I think got his attention a little. I felt a little weird saying that because I don’t like to call myself that term, but I wanted to connect and the term is technically correct.
Anyway, I spent at least a half hour talking to a guy with a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag in his backyard about race and it didn’t go that bad.
I started reading Laurie Penny’s Unspeakable Things over lunch today and found the best sentence:
Public ‘career feminists’ have been more concerned with getting more women into ‘boardrooms’, when the problem is that there are altogether too many boardrooms and none of them are on fire.
I have a feeling I am really going to enjoy this book.
I took my son Dashiell to something called Defy Gravity today. It’s a giant room filled with trampolines, plus something called a “ninja course.”
Did you know jumping on trampolines is hard work? When I was a kid, I thought it was the easiest thing in the world. I barely survived this morning.
This is something I’m going to call a “moon pit.” I have no idea how deep that pit of foam blocks is, because I never reached bottom. Dashiell could jump in and scamper out because he weighs 35 pounds. I weigh enough that it’s kind of embarrassing and is better represented in binary:
11010010. I would estimate it took me 1 minute per foot of area I had to cover in that pit of doom. The time I jumped as far as I could in was really fun while I was in the air and then 5 minutes of bootcamp-level exertion.
My dad owns and operates a turfgrass farm. When I was a young kid, I would go on deliveries with him. He’d drive an eighteen-wheeler loaded with grass, usually to Columbus, GA. There was a time he listened to a lot of Tony Robbins audiotapes. That guy has an amazing rhythmic voice that I can still hear in the back of my head.
We would take a loaf of white bread and put it on the dashboard to warm in the sun. We’d arrive at the delivery location and I’d ride on the Spyder forklift with him while he placed the pallets. Afterward, we’d take the warm bread out and make sandwiches with it.
The other day, Dashiell and I were headed to Little River Regional Park to learn about birds together. Even though it’s December, it was over 60 degrees out, so we had the windows rolled down. I was playing Public Enemy’s “Welcome to the Terrordome” and he was shouting “louder! louder!” in the backseat while we drove through the NC countryside.
Today, I watched my son Thorin get born. His momma worked very hard and he slipped out into the world. We spent 36 long hours getting him there and I am so tired I am going to fall into a coma, but it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.