Land of the Free

Land of the Free | Freckled Italian

As soon as I heard about it I knew that I couldn’t handle it, so I avoided it from my bubble of privilege and and stayed away from news sources and even Twitter for a day or two.

And then there it was, a photo embedded in a retweet as I mindlessly scrolled on my phone, a Double Double from In-N-Out in my other hand. A young man and his tiny daughter, face-down and lifeless on the bank of the Rio Grande, her little arm still bent around his neck.

My stomach dropped and I couldn’t help but think of my own toddler and the way her little body feels against mine when she wakes up every morning, how I have the pleasure of watching her chest rise and fall on the baby monitor, how we are mostly just lucky to have both been born on the “right” side of an invisible line, how I would do anything to keep her safe.

You don’t have to be a parent (or a child of an immigrant, which I also am) to feel horrified by what’s going on at the border of our country right now. Toddlers are sick and cold and scared and hungry and trying to soothe babies they don’t even know who are also locked up, separated from their families. Parents and guardians are waiting for them with grief in their hearts and for some reason they are not being reunited. Families are literally dying as they attempt to get here, doing whatever they can to reach a “safer” nation.

I don’t talk politics on my blog very often and still I’ve had people ask me to do it less. (I will not.) This, however transcends political party. This is a humanitarian crisis and it’s an outrage. I can’t think about anything else.

If you are also feeling helpless and overwhelmed, here’s are just a couple of things you can do to help. Also don’t forget to vote.

PS If you do come across the photo please don’t repost or share it—that’s a whole other issue.

Megan Flynn Peterson