“There are children with real problems,” I snap.
“Yeah, like me,” Zach flings back. “Benjamin is my problem.” He turns around and runs, skinny legs and all, up the back staircase to his good-sized bedroom in the comfortable house in a good school district that celebrates diversity where we moved specifically so that he would have a chance to fit in for once.
I holler up the stairs after him: “Have I or have I not explained to you about security deposits?”
There are children who sleep on the streets and children without food and children sold into slavery and children who go to bed at night not knowing whether they will wake up in the dark to an adult’s silently prying fingers and children who will grow up with scars they shouldn’t have on their souls. So it’s hard to hear my second-grader bitch about the healthy food and warm house and clean clothes.
That’s part of why I haven’t written in the past few weeks. Every time I want to write I stop and think, But there are people with real problems. Which I don’t have.
What I have are three healthy children, an employed spouse, a bit of a freelance career, and a sprained ankle that’s finally healing. Also health insurance and food on the table. Plus a five year old who falls asleep to “Hotel California” played on repeat, the volume dial set to 16.
I’m starting to question our decision to put an old stereo and our CD collection in his room, especially since he discovered Greenday.