Taking a page from Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s playbook, we’re attempting to keep our sense of humor during these times. Sometimes, when things seem and feel so ridiculously out of control, laughing is all that is left. Military members and civil servants alike are often accused of having warped senses of humor because of some of the things/stories they find funny. It’s simply coping; because, like Jimmy Buffet says, “If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane….”
In that vein, let’s take break from the daily bickering, virtue signaling and finger-pointing and talk about some other stuff that has no relevance.
I was sitting in my patrol car last night. Me and my partner were trying to make sense of society as a whole. I said TRYING. Don’t get excited. We came up with the concept of thinking of America in terms of a typical family structure, each generation/member with their own clearly defined role. Oddly enough, it actually started to make sense.
These are society’s grandparents. At one point, they were raising kids of their own. Maybe they were good at it. Maybe they weren’t. Now, far removed from the actual hands on work that needs to be done, they sit on their porch swing, kick some money around when they can….money that almost always comes with terms…and pontificate about how they used to do it in ‘their day’. The years removed from the road and their days of front line police work (literally days in the cases of the professional social climbers) has resulted in a disconnect. They have opinions and demands disguised as subtle ‘recommendations’ in regards to how their grandchildren should be raised but, in reality, they are dinosaurs and wouldn’t know the first thing about raising a kid in current times because it’s apples and oranges. Chances are, they still wear ‘slacks’ and call jeans ‘dungarees’. Seriously. Sit on your swing and let the parents do the parenting. Ah, yes. The parents.
*The American Police Officer*
These are society’s parents. Whether they sought the title or not, they are now tasked with raising children. The have the responsibility of protecting the children from making poor decisions. They are expected to facilitate learning while providing a safe and often under appreciated environment for the children to grow and, within the limits that are clearly defined, live their lives as they see fit and find their individuality. They have to marry the balance between wanting to be the child’s friend with the need to be the authoritarian, the latter which is often met with vitriol, rebellion and threats of running away – a threat that, let’s be real here, many parents wish would materialize. They bear the full weight of judgment when the child acts up – ‘Why doesn’t someone smack that kid??” – and then are given the nasty side eye or even jailed if they discipline their child too much. They are scapegoats for every wrong decision that their child makes, often assumed unproductive or useless in their role when, in fact, some kids are just defective from the starting line. The children.
These are the children. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Some have penises. Some have vaginas. Some have both. Some report to have brains yet some should probably have CT scans to confirm that before we agree. They are ALL born equally free of hate and ill-will. Everything they are is taught and learned. Some turn out good. Some turn out bad. Most are a mix of both, having great days and others that they’d rather not talk about. More often than not, all the children want to do is live their lives and avoid having to be punished by their parents. Just as the parents seek harmony, most children intrinsically do the same. However, even when they do butt heads with their parents, deep down inside, they know how much they rely on them. As we’re literally seeing in current times, the children tend to truly appreciate their parents when they’re not around anymore; you don’t know what you have until it’s gone, as the saying goes. Also as we’re living through now, in twists of irony, the parents will often end up relying on the children to be their advocate, fighting for them when they’ve lost that ability.
From the President of the United States down to the lowest level of elected official, these are the Aunts and Uncles. They aren’t bound to the rules of the household and, in fact, will often undermine them just to be the favorite. They will be the ones who sneak the children pieces of candy and their first sips of alcohol at the family picnic. They always bring the biggest presents at the birthday party and, in cases where they don’t have children of their own to worry about, they spoil the children rotten while never having to be concerned with ever disciplining them or even knowing what that looks like when applied. They think it’s funny when they teach your child to curse and often tell them it’s ok when the child cries to them about how mean mommy and daddy are. They are snake-oil salesmen who get all the praise without having to do any of the heavy lifting. Regardless of how demented he or she is in real life, every child has often dreamed of living with that favorite Aunt or Uncle.