Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I walk with you

Scott Blanding
I walk with you

I walk with you.  Sometimes I run ahead.  I sense your distance and run back.  You hold me.  At night you read to me.  The world is full of adventure and wonder, and you are my faithful guide.  I ask questions about fire trucks, dogs, trains, and insects.  I ask about family, the ocean, Jesus, life, death.  What does this word mean? What does that word mean?  My questions are endless.  We’re best friends. The ball skips across the grass.  Kids pull towards it like a magnet.  I score three goals.  My biggest fan is always there.  I join more teams, but don’t always want to go.  Commitment is hard.  But I know what it looks like.  We don’t use some words.  Mouth washed out with soap and then timeout in my room.  I play with action figures.  They love women, and fight for them in their imaginary battles.  I color with smelly markers while you bake a cake.  You write my name on my hand with frosting.  I have a fever.  You make me soup.  You sing to me.  When I fall asleep you are there.  When I wake up you are there.  I know what love is.

You’re not my friend’s little sister anymore.  We drive together to get smoothies after school.  We listen to music.  I’ll even listen to “girl” songs.  You listen patiently to all my complaints in life.  I notice something.  You have the prettiest smile I’ve ever seen.  I don’t know how to type.  I learn so I can respond quicker on instant messenger.  Typing class is boring, but I would read the phone book every morning if it meant I could spend the rest of the day with you.  I find something I didn’t know was missing.  The world is full of excitement and the unknown.  “Togetherness” with you is something new, yet familiar.  We’re best friends.  We watch movies.  We have picnics by the creek.  On someone’s private property?  Oops!  We have nothing-fights.  I treat you poorly.  You forgive me.  We have more nothing-fights.  Grace is hard.  But I know what it looks like.  We laugh. We dance. You kiss my hand.  When I fall asleep I think of you.  When I wake up I think of you.  I leave for college.  I know what love is.

You’re a twinkle in my eye.  Your mother and I dream about you.  You walk with me.  The bells on your shoes jingle when you run.  You turn and smile.  I could hold you forever.  At night I read to you.  We make up stories.  We’re best friends.  We build sandcastles.  Ocean water breaks over your legs for the first time and you giggle.  The world is full of mystery, and we discover it together.  I replace the money in my wallet with pictures of you.  I’d run through a brick wall for you.  Ants come through the window and crawl on your grandmother’s face.  You climb onto her bed to brush them off and kiss her sweetly.  You play nicely with others.  You share your toys.  I think about the future.  Boys.  If only I could scare them all away and keep you to myself.  Unselfishness is hard.  But I know what it looks like.  I cry occasionally for no particular reason.  You make fun of me.  I’m getting older.  You’re getting older!  Admittedly, you are a mystery that I understand less and less every day.  I give you more space.  When you fall asleep I am here.  When you wake up I am here.  I know what love is.

Mothers, sisters, first loves, daughters.  Women leave an indelible mark on the lives of all men.  They teach us to love, and remind us what love is in every phase of our lives.  Violence against women, and the oppression of their rights, is the most unnatural behavior a man can possess.  It betrays the very foundation of life, quite literally the source from which we all come.  As “Real Men” we cannot accept injustice against women as the natural way of things.  We must identify the ways young men today are learning such behavior is acceptable, and combat these poisonous ideas with truth and love.  As a human race we must unite behind the idea that oppressing women is never called for.  Never OK.  It will be a struggle, but with the right commitment, a lot of grace, and enough unselfish hearts, we can make violence against women a distant memory.

Scott Blanding is originally from Roanoke Virginia and graduated from Temple University with a degree in Film and Media Arts. Scott and his friend Brad work together at their company which aims to tell stories about marginalized people through media – Made Known LLC. Scott is a man who believes in the importance of standing up for women and is brave enough to do something real to change the world.