Boo, you may be non verbal, but you are a smart cookie. You pick up on a vibe instantly. It is for good reason I never watch the news around you. I try not to talk about scary things around you, because you are always listening. We tried not to talk about George Floyd in your hearing. Tried not to talk about how an innocent man died in the street, trapped under the knee of a cop, unable to breathe. We did not talk about the looting and rioting that is going on in Minneapolis, only two miles away. But, you were awake all last night. Thankfully, you did not have a seizure. But, you could smell the smoke in the air. You could hear the dogs pacing the floor. You could hear the choppers overhead. You knew. All night long you paced and flapped. Around three in morning you burst into heartbreaking tears. I held you in my arms and told you that I loved you, that I would keep you safe, that you were my good Boo. I tried to get you to sleep. At 5:00 am I got up Mouse, so we could look for the comet for her astronomy class. You insisted on following us. We could not find the comet. The air was thick with smoke. The choppers were overhead. We went back in. I gave up on sleep for the night. Gave you your morning meds, praying they would hold off the seizure that lack of sleep seems to bring. I gave you your iPad and let you retreat back into your room. I turned the TV on mute and watched as our sister city went up in flames. Interestingly, all the corporations got the torch, but the independent and minority owned stores surved. Target is looted, Auto Zone, Aldi’s, Wendy’s, the new high rise, they are all gone. New Moon Bookstore is still there. The Indian restaurant is still there. I don’t know if Hook and Ladder made it or not. My friend on that side of town says her house is okay but it is a surreal scene. Everything is acrid with black smoke. All she can hear is choppers, gun shots, and oddly morning birds singing. I reach out to other friends. Are you okay, are you safe? I worry about the ones that don’t answer back. Maybe they are sleeping? But, how can one sleep when one’s city is on fire?
What do you know, Boo Bear? What keeps you up at night? Last night was a hard night for so many. This morning we blearily stumble to our coffee pots, look at our newspapers, pray for peace, hope that the National Guard is not needed. We did not need police brutality in the middle of a pandemic. Correction, we never need police brutality. How do I keep you safe, Boo Bear? How can I get you to sleep? How can we stop the seizures? How can we stop the violence? How, how, how? I have so many questions and no answers. All I can do is hold you and love you. I will always protect you. What do you know, Boo Bear? What would you say to the world? Can you pray and act for peace? Can the world stop and listen to a non verbal Boo?