I’ve done some specific things that have helped me cope. I won’t lay them out here specifically, since I think everyone has to find their own way on this, but I’ve found ways to express my opinions on my body, in my office, and through my wallet. If you want to know, I’m happy to talk about it the next time I see you or text with you. Mostly, it’s helped me address concerns I find most urgent and those I see as being long term entrenchments.
I’ve also continued to go to class, raise the kids, and only rant to Patrick occasionally. My students are smart people who form their own ideas from myriad inputs (I do not believe that academia brainwashes students into liberal thinking–that would give me far too much credit). Rather, if I’ve done my job (and most of the time I believe that I do), I will have contributed my expertise in critical thinking, writing, reading, and information literacy to my students. Then it’s up to them to be people who will come to their own ideas through carefully examining information they encounter.
And because I don’t want to forget this precious, fleeting time in Harlan’s life, I make a few comments. He loves to eat pretty much whatever he’s offered. He says, “Mmmm” when presented with food. He also said “Mama” the other day. I’m 100% certain of it. I think he said “more” about his food last week. He pulls up easily, and he likes to sneak down the hallway to see what the other boys are up to in their room. His favorite people are me and Patrick, but Seamus, Gilbert, and Porter run pretty close! He gives anyone who looks at him a smile, and he’s finally cut his top two teeth, so he looks goofy. Porter’s latest expression is “Oh, wow!” and I think I mentioned that he has a Knock, Knock joke he likes to tell. Gilbert is popular with his friends (and has a new obsession with Shopkins…don’t ask), and Seamus’s current obsession is making paper airplanes.