At about 9:30 AM yesterday I got a series of texts from my babysitter. She had been tidying toys with my daughter in one of the rooms, and suddenly Nico, my son, was gone. She and Ellie searched the house, looked outside, and gradually panicked. They called the cops. They ran around. They shouted. They found Nico sitting inside the back door with dirty feet. The police showed up and everything was fine.
I did three things. I reassured my babysitter that it was ok, that it had happened to me, and that I would take steps. I called a handyman to install door chains so we can better secure our home .
Later, I called the police to talk about registering my son with them. I need to send them a picture, some ideas about where he might go if he were lost, ways of interacting with him, and so forth. I felt re-assured.
There’s some irony here. I’ve been writing for a year about police violence and disability, usually in tones highly critical of police actions. In the meantime, I’m relying on the police to help take care of my son in case he wanders.
And that’s the point. I write about police violence and disability BECAUSE my son is vulnerable to all kinds of dangers, and I need them to be there for him.
Those are the stakes.