For the past week I have not felt particularly joyous or insightful. I have had no urges to 'Boot Scoot Boogie', 'Vogue' or 'Wang Chung' I have made none of Andrea's typical to-do lists (which often end in exclamations. "Search out a new coffee shop!" "Ebay three additional items and put the money toward a new entertainment center!" "Read a new book that doesn't involve witty English twenty-something obsessed with work, men and if her ankles look fat in a Manola Blanik!") I can only attribute my doldrums, and all my exclamations, to the fact that there really is no time in my day for these impractical things on my pad, squeezed between more pressing items like 'Grocery Shop', 'Apply for Nick's Birth Certificate' and 'Get new deoderant, you stink'. But my soul can best be described as a scrappy middle child, always wanting more more more, and sometimes it pushes its more responsible siblings out of the way to get the last piece of cake. The "!" is its vehicle to drive through the boring roads of life with a little zoom zoom. I figure if I'm going to spend 3.00/gallon for gas, I might as well enjoy the ride. My to-list is no different.
I could say I'm PMSing, or I'm still mad at James about our anniversary dinner, or I'm disappointed that Herb and I haven't heard from Warner Brothers or Nickelodeon. But it's not really any of those things.
I blame Katrina.
I am so angry. And upset. And horrified. And disgusted. And empathetic.
And grateful that it didn't happen to me.
I'm not a particularly political person. I can tell you every flavor of syrup they have at the House of Pancakes, but don't ask me to desribe the House of Representatives. But something about this disaster woke something in me. All I can think about is being stuck in a dark Superdome with feces on the floor, trying to hold on to Nick and Sophia and praying they don't die from heat exhaustion. People can blame New Orleans for not having better evacuation procedures. Or the Federal Government for not stepping in quickly enough. But as a mother, all I can think of is the long term effects for the victims. Yesterday I decided I was tired of feeling sorry and that I was going to take action. The big question is how.
I spoke to Cecelia about starting a program similar to Big Brother/Big Sister. I love the idea of linking sponsor familes to families in need. The goal would be to send the needy family one care package/month to give them something to look forward to. As I do more and more research into charity starting, I see this is a huge undertaking. It needs 100% committment and time. And since I don't have that, I am instead going to adopt a family on my own with an organization already in existence (or volunteer a few hours/week doing something - even if it's just typing). I will then post online to give others ideas and ways to help also.
Maybe I'll sleep better at night knowing that I'm contributing something to the world. Maybe the small things will make a difference in someone's life. Hell, maybe I'll become one of those hippy parents who will take Nick out of Catholic preschool and homeschool him with abacuses and bongo drum lessons. We could boycott McDonalds and subsist on Tofu fries and Morning Star patties. I could get an old car with bumper stickers that promote my cause and get out of the sitcom business, proudly wearing a tee shirt that says "Kill Your Television".
Wait, I can't become a hippy mom. The first thing on my to-do list is "Shave my arm pits".
I'll start small.