Where Are You Going?

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” ― Albert Einstein

What a month this has been. Not even half way through June, and so much has happened, is happening, will happen!

My 19 year old son is on the cusp of graduating! I’m so proud of him. He has FASD. If you don’t know what that is, it’s Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. His birth mother drank while pregnant, causing a great many neurological issues for my sweet boy. That said, he has constantly strived for what he wants. The past week alone he has past his learner’s driving test (YES!) and will finally graduate with his GED that he worked so hard to get. He even has full time work on a farm. To say this momma is proud would be an understatement. I can’t take the credit though. He has been staying with a caregiver who is trained in assisting those with issues like my son’s. She has been my super hero, a guardian angel that swooped in and made life so much better for all of us. My son’s mind is active, he is constantly thinking of what he wants to do with his life, how he wants to do it, where he wants to go, and so on. He has a huge heart, and his spirit shines so bright.

In other news, my parrotlet, Kalypso, has started laying eggs! My budgie, Pi, has become her mate/guardian and even injured himself trying to keep me away. Oh my. The eggs will not be fertile, budgies and parrotlets are from two very different genera. If you’d like to see a little video of them, feel free to head over to my Instagram (link on the sidebar). They are so adorable. The eggs will remain until about 20 days after the last one is laid. If I remove them any sooner, it will cause Kalypso to lay more, and that could be very harmful to her. Parrotlets can lay up to 8 eggs every other day in one breeding season!

Schools almost over for my youngest. He’s so excited to start summer, and we are so fortunate for our lives.

This, then, brings me to a very important current happening, something that needs to be talked about.

Many people in Canada, and around the World, were shocked to hear of the discover of 215 children at a former Residential School. Some calling it a dark part of Canada’s history. What a load of shit. The last Residential school closed in 1996. I graduated in 1992. I graduated university in 1997. I grew up knowing how horrible these children were treated. I don’t know if it’s because of where I was raised of my family dynamic, or that I had friends and loved ones who are First Nations. Maybe a combination of all those and the fact that I have a thirst for knowledge.

My mom’s family (as mentioned in the previous post) is Acadian from Northern New Brunswick. I’m not going to paint it with rainbows and fairy dust, but for the most part I grew up hearing how wonderful First Nations treated Acadians, especially during the horror of the deportations by the English (we know we have family that were separated from us, but we don’t know where they ended up).

My dad’s family is Welsh. My grandparents immigrated to Ontario around 1938/39. My dad’s oldest brother was born in Wales, followed by my dad who was born in Canada. If you don’t know the history of the Welsh, let’s just say the English treated them just as good as they did the Acadians and for centuries longer. The Welsh weren’t allowed to speak their own language, it’s amazing it has survived and now there are many Welsh schools in Wales.

I do know how to speak French, my mother insisted on it. I have struggled to learn Welsh. My dad spoke Welsh at home until he was school aged, then it was all English. He remembers a few words, but not much else.

Why am I explaining my family history in this context? I think because I feel like it shines a light on perspective. I was raised by families who had endured hardships. That being said, I’m white. I completely understand and see my privilege. If you see me on the street, you’re most likely going to judge me by my tattoos or lack of make up, not my skin colour. That is wrong on a level I can’t even put into words. There are those who have been born with this privilege, but they lack the perspective to see and understand it. They lash out with terms that are meant to demean, all the while showing how fragile their own self image truly is.

The fact that First Nations children were so heinously abused for just wanting to speak their mother tongue is absurdly cruel. They were harmed for things any white child would never have been even scolded for. I’ve started to read the names of the dead First Nations children, starting from A. The list is long. My pronunciation is atrocious, I am sure. I will persevere in reading each and every one. Their names deserve to be heard, I just wish their birth names, not Christian moniker, but true First Nations birth names were written therein. Some do, you can tell which ones. It breaks my heart and hurts my soul to see so much pain. I’ve tried to put myself in the shoes of their families, and I can’t. It would quite literally break me if someone stole my children from me and sent them away to such a place.

I’ve said it before, I will say it again – the depths of human depravity never cease to amaze me.

If you want to learn more, please visit The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s page – http://www.trc.ca/index.html. Here you can find more information, resources, children’s books that can help open up a conversation about Residential Schools – I firmly believe they need to be taught this, it is not just of historic importance, it is important CURRENT issue.

My heart is with you. My eyes see you. My mind thinks of you. My spirit weeps with you.

Dave Matthews Band – Where Are You Going

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