play nice. be respectful. love.

Bill Cosby boldly goes where many men before him have gone. Caught finally by his lies. And now, slowly, he’s paying the price. A patient, terrible death that he may or may not deserve. It depends on where you sit. One thing’s for sure, he’ll pay more in the end. The judgment passed here pales in comparison to the judgment he’ll face there. I’m not sure when or if he ever stopped abusing women. And it’s hard to say if all the good he’s done in the world will outweigh the bad, but I think the reason we’re so pissed off is because we actually thought of him as Dad. The funny man. The loving man. The caring man. Shame on us. Sure, Bill has done wrong. Yes, it’s horrible. But what does it say about us? We believed what we saw on TV. We believed what we wanted to believe. And now we learn that dear old Dad has been drugging, fondling, and fucking women—like props at his disposal—for years. And what? What does this do? What does this change? What good can this bring about? What is there to learn?

I watched my daughter draw a Santa Claus picture tonight. She bit her lip. Furrowed her brow. She smiled. Laughed. She sang songs. She was totally engrossed in the moment. Taking what was inside of her and putting it out on the paper. I was amazed. Enamored.

While she did that, I asked my wife about what she thought about the upcoming decision in the Ferguson case. She said she didn’t think much of it. That she hasn’t been paying attention to the news. I thought of everything that will happen as a result of the decision and how stupid stupid people will act no matter what the outcome and then I loved my wife a little more. Her mind is off the grid. She is living in a world of color. A place where people love one another. Where they open doors for each other. They say thank you. A place where good overcomes evil time and time again. As the decision is announced later tonight, we’ll drink wine and watch The Voice and wonder what happened to rock n’ roll.

I worked on multiplication facts with my son this evening. He knocked them out with confidence. We worked on his spelling words. He nailed them all. When I tucked him into bed this evening and I told him that I was proud of him, he just smiled and reached for a hug.

My kids—they ground me. And so does my wife, Sweet S.B. She is my best friend. My artist. My hope. When things get tough at work, when life comes at me harder than I think it should, I remember them. I breathe deep. I know that at the end of the day, we’ll all be together. We will eat supper at the dining room table. We will talk about our day. Afterwards, we’ll go for a walk around the neighborhood, read, or play a board game. And no matter how bad everything can go with kids being kids and parents just hanging on to days by the seat of their pants as they work to make ends meet, life is good.

At least for now.

My daughter could grow up to be raped by a friendly man. My son could be shot by the police for reaching for a BB gun. My wife could go stark-raving mad and poison me a little every day until I wither away. Weak, weak, weak. I could end up a right wing bigot or a left winger out of touch with the every day. Anything can happen. And will. But we can’t live in fear. All we can do is be aware. Give. And provide to everyone—more often than not—the benefit of the doubt. Can it come back to haunt us? It sure the hell can. Look at Cosby. Look at the kids killing kids. Watch as business gets bigger and the earth disappears. Listen as we get fatter and slower and dumber. Pay attention year after year as we get older and begin to remember that all we ever really needed to know we learned in kindergarten. Play nice. Be respectful. Love.

~ K.J.


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