Not Normal

Thirteen Wishes

Dear Friends and Family,

A year ago, I wrote two letters about the new normal and grieving for the old normal, but today I want to talk about what is Not Normal.

  • Zero mass shootings. Not normal, but I want it.

  • Zero unarmed BIPOC men, women, and children killed by police. Not normal, but I want it.

  • Murdering cops convicted. Not normal, but I want it.

Here are a few other Not Normal things I want:

  • Healthy, organic food for all

  • Clean, clear water for all

  • Doctors, nurses, dentists, optometrists for all

  • Warm or cool insulated homes for all

  • Safety in the streets, the stores, the schools, the salons for all

  • Dignity at work, care at school and love at home for all

And, here are a few Not Normal things I grateful for and/or want to keep:

  • Having an extra year with our college-age daughter

  • Volunteering with Homies Empowerment

  • Taking martial arts classes with Master Ellis

  • Facing white supremacy

  • Zooming with those far away

  • Spending time with those close by

  • Balancing work, love, and play

  • Paying attention to those who need us most

Eighteen years ago, I had thirteen wishes and because of COVID those wishes are more urgent than they ever were. So, once again, I leave you with:

Thirteen Wishes

I have thirteen wishes.

I wish no mother ever had to put her child to bed hungry.  

Instead, I wish we lived in a world where the richest people made certain that the poorest people had all the fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, rice, pasta, bread, beans and maybe even dessert that they could eat. 

I wish no father ever had to worry about wind or dust or rain or roaches or ants or snakes finding their way into the cracks and holes of his child’s apartment or house or cardboard box.  

Instead, I wish we lived in a world where the richest people made sure that the poorest people had a warm and safe home in which to live and grow and love and maybe even raise a family.

I wish no working mother ever had to make the choice between paying the rent or buying food.

Instead, I wish we lived in a world where the richest people made certain that the poorest people could make a living wage that would be enough for both food and rent and maybe even a night out every now and then.

I wish no working father ever had to hang his head in shame for being to tired to play with his child or to poor to give his child gifts.

Instead, I wish we lived in a world where the richest people made certain that the poorest people could work at a job that allowed them time for rest and family and maybe even a vacation or two.

I wish no mother ever had to worry about how her children were being cared for while she was away at work.

Instead, I wish we lived in a world where the richest people made certain that the children of the poorest people were loved and treated with dignity while their parents worked to pay the rent, buy the food, and maybe even a present every once in a while. 

I wish no parent ever had to suffer the guilt, the shame, the humiliation, the pain of knowing their child was teased in school for the clothes they wore, the words they used, the foods they ate, or the games they played.  

Instead, I wish we lived in a world where the richest people made certain that the poorest people had well educated, well paid, well supported, well appreciated teachers who would protect their children from the pain of isolation and maybe even celebrate their differentness.  

I wish every child could crawl into bed with a full tummy to snuggle with their mommy or daddy or aunty or tio or abuelita or nali, and in the morning they would wake up to the sound of birds, run to school with their friends, eat dinner with their family, and at night they would crawl into bed to snuggle again.

Those are my thirteen wishes.

Until next time, stay healthy, safe and loved, most important loved.

Love, Leslie