Last night, my youngest went Trick-or-Treating. She came home puffy-eyed & quiet.

She told me she had an ok night but at one of the last houses, an old man was handing out full-size candy bars & when it was her turn, he sneered at her & told her she looked like a ‘punk’…
She was dressed as one of The Outsiders - a homemade ensemble, b/c store-bought costumes - like everything else - were in short supply and she didn’t decide to go until the last minute.

She was worried she was too old…
Lu’s last normal trick-or-treating experience was when she was 8. In 2019 when she was 9, she was super sick and couldn’t even say “trick-or-treat”. We had to stop after two houses and go home so she could rest.

In 2020, Halloween didn’t happen…

So I encouraged her to go…
The old man followed his ‘punk’ comment up with, “Don’t you think you’re a little old to be trick-or-treating?” and pulled the basket of candy out of her reach.

She said she froze.

Sure, she looks older. She’s 5’9”.

She’s also 11.

Eleven.
She said she was shocked and embarrassed and her friends had already run off and she didn’t know what to say so she just turned and walked away.

I asked her, “Why didn’t you tell him you were 11?”

“Why? He wasn’t going to believe me”…
She was right on some level. Debating her age w/ a crotchety stranger over a candy bar isn’t worth it.

We can buy candy bars. That wasn’t the point. His judgement & disdain had already landed.

Then again, being able to speak up is empowering, even if it doesn’t change minds…
So many kids have been silent through this whole ordeal. They have been shamed into believing that advocating for themselves and their needs is immoral. That letting people know that they have been hurt by the way they’ve been treated…
I immediately wished I had been there to defend her. To stand up straight and walk my 6’3”-in-sneakers ass up to him and say,

“What the hell is wrong with you? You get off off on making little kids feel bad? She’s eleven! Have kids not sacrificed enough for your benefit?”…
But that’s not the fix. I won’t always be there to defend her.

She needs to be able to say it.

And this is on me. That gentle nature of hers is at least partly conditioned.

I raised my 4 girls to be polite & respectful of adults and it’s occurring to me…
that maybe that default respect is no longer earned…

Maybe it had more utility in an world where we trusted that adults valued children.

And maybe now I’m going to start focusing a little less on instilling respect for random adults…
and more on developing and trusting their own competence and judgement and willingness to speak up.

Protesting in the face of injustice can be healing. If nothing else, it helps you feel like you can do something…you can stand up for yourself…
So I went to the store this morning and got her three of her favorite full size candy bars (which are a rare treat, BTW) and left them on her nightstand with a note to find when she gets home from school today…
It says, “I love you I’m very proud of you for being so kind and respectful. You’ve got it down. I say we work together on giving the world a little more ‘punk’, after all. You have a beautiful voice. I want to help you learn to use it. You in?”

❤️👩‍👧❤️
“…hurt by the way they have been treated *is wrong*…”
Update: She’s in. ☺️👏💪

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More from @AJKayWriter

27 Oct
How do you turn the public on someone you deified for two years?

Puppies and orphans is a good start.

ahrp.org/ahrp-calls-for…
In case you missed the puppies.

medpagetoday.com/special-report…
Read 5 tweets
25 Oct
Question: Did anyone *not* have Fauci as the fall guy?…

🧵🪡
1/6
People in those high level positions get there by their willingness to do unsavory things that others won’t do in exchange for power and ego gratification.

A quick read of his emails makes it’s clear that Fauci was vulnerable in that way…

2/6
And the things that get them those power positions, also make them vulnerable to exploitation by other powerful people…

3/6
Read 6 tweets
10 Oct
Given all the claims that masking is cost-free in terms of broader culture, I thought it would be interesting to see what some of our iconic images would look like with the lower half of the subjects' faces covered.

Impression: There is clearly a cost. ImageImageImageImage
ImageImageImageImage
ImageImageImageImage
Read 4 tweets
18 Sep
My friend (no, not me) recently had the opportunity to respond to a @tacobell "Tell us about your visit" survey - specifically the "Heath & Safety" portion.

I sure hope that tweeting this doesn't ruin her chances in the $500 sweepstakes.

It made me laugh & had to share ...😂
"I don’t care about your COVID health and safety measures.

I am not operating under the delusion that a fast-food vendor can protect me from a respiratory virus.

You claim to be 'committed to my health' but if that were the case, you’d stop selling me your 'food'...
"The truth is that you don’t give a shit about my health, as evidenced by the nutritional content of your product.

And I'm good with that! In fact, that's been our explicit arrangement all along.

It seems you suddenly misunderstand the role Taco Bell plays in my life...
Read 9 tweets
11 Sep
What's the word for an economic system in which the government can artificially restrict a company's (or even an entire sector's) customer base at will?

Because it's not capitalism...
And, yes, we have regulatory oversight: FLSA, FCC, CPSC, EPA, etc... the list of regulatory agencies is extensive.

But what we're facing mass disruption of the most basic market forces using a flimsy justification that crumbles under the most superficial scrutiny...
Does removing people from the economy reduce the transmission of a primarily non-lethal virus? No.

So you can tell me this has been going on for years and there's truth in that...but this is a matter of scope, scale & lack of any reasonable explanation.

It's a paradigm shift.
Read 4 tweets
8 Sep
Yesterday, @Medium informed me via email that they were deleting my account for “elevated risk of potential harm to persons or public health”

The only piece I pub'd there in the last 9mo. was a narrative essay expressing shock at how we’ve treated children - 6w ago...

1/

🧵🪡
And for that thoughtcrime, they are burning my books in the town square.

All my books.

Even the ones on parenting and autism and writing and health.

Medium thinks I am a dangerous dissident in need of silencing...
Understand I wasn’t cited for dispensing medical advice or ‘misinfo’ (which we know means inconvenient truths) like I was when they censored The Curve is Already Flat in April 2002.

This time, it was my opinions and morals that were deemed a risk to people or public health...
Read 16 tweets

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