Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Pizza and a lesson in Human Trafficking.

Yesterday I was chauffeur for my daughter as she prepares for her new job. She needed to get finger printed in the city and I needed to pay the cement guy, so I coordinated a nice morning out to take care of these two things. As I was going to get my daughter at her friends house, I see my son walking towards the house, so I grabbed him to tag along. We stopped at my parents said good morning to my dad, and headed to one of my all time favorite pizza joints. Johnny's Pizza has been around since I was a kid, and one of the only pizza places in the neighborhood. Lots of my friends had their first jobs the this joint and it really is GOOD pizza.
We really enjoyed eating this yummy lunch and it was a nice trip out with just my eldest children. Since my son has graduated from HS and ceased his college career to pursue "other things" and moved in with his girlfriend, I don't see him all that much, so it was nice to have him along. My daughter continues to be busy herself, and I am glad that I can be there to help her get things taken care of as she works towards her own graduation.

They both think I am silly for taking pictures of my food! At least these two humor me. I cannot believe how fast they grow up. It seems just like it was yesterday that we were just a threesome living in a house just around the corner from this pizza joint, when having pizza was a special treat that we did only when mom had the money, which was almost NEVER. We have all grown so much since those days. I cannot say I don't miss them, because often I reflect on those days with fond memories. They were more difficult yes. Being a single mother is never easy, but it seems it was a simpler life. We had our routines and we stuck to them, otherwise things would be out of whack. Not to say things didn't get crazy or that there were times when I felt like giving up, out of control moments when I would cry and beg for some assistance from God above to help me get through it, there were days when we'd come home to a dark house and no power to light it up. There were times I would spend hours in the hall putting my eldest back to bed as he insisted on, h2o, bathroom, one more story, anything to be able to stay awake or sleep in mommy's bed. There were times when I worried about how I would juggle all of the demands, times when the only thing to eat was bread and peanut butter for dinner, times when I was just SO over disciplining and being a parent. But there were so many good times, so many times when no power meant we had a campout in the livingroom with candles and silly stories, dinner was more then just eating, it became an adventure on what could we make with what we had, it meant dinner's at a pizza place was a BIG treat. My son did stop sleeping in my bed, although he continues to wander at night, and both survived my attempts at discipline, and surprisingly they have both turned out to be pretty amazing young adults. Spending time with these young people has been a joy and I feel so blessed to have had the experience with them. Pizza with these kids will forever be more then just a lunch out, it will always be a fond memory of how the three of us were once a family of our own.
Enough of the sentiments. After my daughter got her finger prints, and I paid the concrete guy, it was back to life NORMAL. My daughter was off with her friends, and my son was off to his own life. I was off to attend an in-service at Vera House on Human Trafficking. As if I hadn't had enough pizza for the day, the dinner was pizza and salad. I ate it anyways as well as a chocolate chip bunt cake for desert. The in-service was pretty  informative. When I think about human trafficking I think about the movie "Taken", where a young girl is taken from her "safe" environment and forced to be sold as a sex slave in some foreign land  far far away from the United States, and surely if it was going on in the US, it wasn't happening in Central NY. I guess I was wrong. I wont get to detailed but note that the reality is, it is happening here in the US and it a multi-million dollar industry. The reality always blows my mind. We all learned about the difference between sexual trafficking and labor based trafficking. Both exist and are kept secret mainly because of fear or a belief that this is of their own choosing. Fear is the biggest. Fear of deportation, fear that their family may be hurt, or fear for their own safety. Over all it was very interesting and I learned a lot.
It was an interesting day overall and I felt accomplished considering that I didn't do much else, but read my Game of Thrown series, and actually fell asleep on the livingroom couch.