Sunday, March 18, 2007

Creating Peace

Yesterday we went to the peace rally where we saw many of our old friends and made some new ones. We stayed at the rally for a couple of hours in the brisk, cold wind but left when people lined up to march to the federal building.
Hammy was to play music with friends last night so when we got home I sat the boys down and told them I needed quiet. I said that if I heard one word of bickering or any rambunctiousness that I would send them to their rooms for the night and if they didn't like it they could go with their father or find out if they could hang out at my parent's house until Hammy could pick them up. The called my folks and asked if they could come over. My parents, of course, we very happy to have them, so the boys got to play games and eat junk food and watch TV, Hammy got to play loud rock music with friends and I got the house to myself.
I brewed a cup of tea, brought my pillows into the couch, got in comfy clothes and read for hours until I (finally) finished Peaceable Kingdom. I made myself a yummy omelet with tomato and avocado and ate a bunch of chocolate covered cherries. I nurtured myself and found tranquility. When the guys got home at 11:00, I was a much more centered, contented person.
At the peace rally yesterday, I talked with a Veterans for Peace activist. He said he and two other vets spoke to about 75 kids at another high school this past week. He said it went well. I told him I'd love to help facilitate them speaking at my son's school but that I'd have to talk to my son first. I talked with Declan last night and he is fine with it. He said he would attend even though he's heard it all before and thinks the speakers will be old and boring. He suggested I talk first with the head principal but then follow up with one of the assistant principals.

I'm relieved at his open willingness to participate in this. He's been going out with his school friends more often lately and Friday night (we didn't know and wouldn't have given permission for) the guy driving a brand new Mustang was a kid we don't know at all but who Declan described as a racist. I'm glad D can identify racism when he hears it but it troubles me that he is willing to call someone like that a friend. He supported some of the kid's views, saying that the majority of the people in his school are of a particular type because of the culture to which they belong. I tried to get him to understand that labeling all people within a group as being the same is wrong but he didn't want to hear it from me. I think, I hope, this is a phase, an immature perspective that he will soon grow out of. He's a peace activist white kid in a school that is 90% black and the only white kid who, he says, doesn't wear a rebel flag on any of his clothing. I'm sure that he feels overwhelmed by being the minority of the minority much of the time. Thankfully, he is a strong individual with a good sense of himself and his boudaries. He is not easily swayed by other people. I think his "painting everybody with a broad brush" is a response to feeling overwhelmed and once he is out of that school, he will be able to gain perspective that people are individuals, no matter the larger culture they are a part of.

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