Friday, January 29, 2016

America, the country that should have been...

     After a long morning of active play, my granddaughter Sofia was tired and needed a nap -- so I read her to sleep with Rosemary Wells' magical book, "Voyage to the Bunny Planet".  This book almost always makes me cry.

     The plot is simple.  After a small girl named Claire has had a very bad day at school, the Queen of the Bunny Planet arrives and takes her away to "the day that should have been".  And this wonderful story of a day that should have been always gets me to thinking about America, the country that should have been.  And that's when my eyes start to well up.

     "In Canada, where I used to live," one mother at our YMCA playgroup told me this morning, "the parents of every single child are automatically given $400 a month to spend on housing, food, clothing or whatever else the child might need.  Every single child."

     In America, $400 per child is automatically spent on cold hard and steely killing machines to blow up and maim babies in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Ukraine, Columbine and Sandy Hook.

     "In Canada," the mom continued, "their pre-school daycare is heavily subsidized so that every family can afford to have their children attend quality daycare programs -- so that Canadian children can have a great start in life."

     In America, deadly weapons and hateful politicians and nuclear bombs and industrial pollution and war mongers and corrupt banksters and Wall Street casinos are highly subsidized instead.

     "In Canada, children are highly prized."  In America, more than 16 million children live below the poverty line and/or on the streets, in homeless shelters and in the back seats of hoopties.  Bunny Planet indeed. 

     Please please please, Bunny Queen, take me away now -- to America, the country that should have been.