The goal of any momma is to see her children happy. My heart aches when my offspring are sad, and my temper flares when injustices make their lives more difficult.
Right now, I am a mad momma…a momma on the war path…a momma on a mission.
The government for which my oldest child has decided to serve is letting him down with its failure to agree. As a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point, he is directly affected by the shutdown of the government he has pledged to defend.
One of the biggest news stories coming out of the service academies so far has been the uncertainty of Saturday football games. The Older One plays on the offensive line for the Army Black Knights, and in a football household like ours, the cancellation of a game is considered a disaster. The potential of such a rare event sent the Hubs and I on a frantic search of both traditional and social media for answers which finally came Wednesday night when the Secretary of Defense declared all service academy games are on as scheduled.
Yippee! We can watch football this weekend…. But that’s just a game. What about the rest of it?
What about the classes that are cancelled indefinitely because 30% of the teaching staff at West Point is made up of civilians now on unpaid furlough?
What about the assignments that just got more complicated because, while the library remains open, cadets can’t check out books with the facility now severely understaffed?
What about the added stress of keeping appearances up to military standards with the on-post barber shop and dry cleaners closed?
What if this shutdown doesn’t end soon? Will the USMA be forced to close completely like the Merchant Marine Academy already has?
It’s not fair! This is making my child unhappy! It is making me angry!
I want to drive the 13 hour trip to West Point to do his laundry, cut his hair, and teach his class. No matter how much I want to be there to make this crisis better for him, I am realistic. I know I can’t do those things. It would embarrass him too much, and I’d be too tired by the time I got there any way.
There is one thing I can do, however.
I can write.
I can write to my congressman. I can write to my senators. I can write with a plea for compromise, a request for change, and a demand for common sense. Keep our government open. Bring back the so-called “non-essential” employees. Stop cutting funding for programs and institutions that directly affect the lives of innocent people. Thank you for the football game, now let’s start talking about the bigger issues and end this dysfunction.
I can write. The Constitution of this great nation says I can express my opinions. I helped put these people in office so they could represent me. It is my duty to tell them how they can best do that, and right now, they can best do that by ending this shutdown.
That would make this momma extremely happy.
How are you affected by the government shutdown? Have you written your government officials?
***This post was brought to you today by Five Minute Friday and the word “Write”. After you write your letter to the government, head on over to Lisa-Jo Baker’s site and write about the experience.